These Brilliant Photos Redefine the Notion of American Beauty

July 24th 2015

Many people remember the rose petal scene in the Academy Award-winning film, "American Beauty," which follows a middle-aged man as he develops inappropriate feelings for a teenage girl, whom he dreams of in a bathtub full of roses:


To promote the third season of her show, Amy Schumer re-imagined the rose petal scene in a pile of alcohol bottles, and photographer Carey Fruth has just reimagined the shot as well. Fruth has asked women of all shapes, backgrounds, and sizes to pose in a bed of lilacs to show that there is more to being beautiful than what "American Beauty" seemed to perpetuate during its heyday in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

"Body positivity is a very important movement," Fruth said of her work. "It's about all bodies being shown in a way that is respectful and caring... Our world is made up of so many different people. Beautiful people. People that are worthy of representation. Worthy of respect. Worthy of love and self love."

Though Fruth realizes someone might think she is still perpetuating the obsession with women's bodies, she feels this is a way to take back the power.

"A lot of people may say that I am just perpetuating the obsession with women's appearance, especially because I am creating imagery inspired by images whose audience was originally the male gaze. However, for me, I see it as a way to take back the power," she said.

Fruth added that she would have loved to see images like these in magazines and media growing up. She's still working on her series and plans to add women with cellulite, body hair, tattoos, and visible disabilities to her artwork.

America and the fashion industry seem to be becoming more accepting of different body types. Earlier this month, ATTN: wrote about American Eagle's lingerie line Aerie, which has a successful ongoing #AerieREAL campaign that features non-airbrushed images and avoids perpetuating the supermodel look. Since Aerie made this move a year and a half ago, consumers have responded positively. A conference call last year revealed that sales climbed nearly 10 percent following Aerie's decision to stop using retouched images in ads:


Jenny Altman, the brand's Style and Fit Expert, said in a Good Morning America interview that the company decided not to airbrush tattoos and beauty marks out of photos.

"What you really see is what you get with our campaign," she explained.

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