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Barbara Hazen,

Mill Valley, CA

PERFECTLY IMPERFECT by Barbara Hazen “If you try to view yourself through the lenses that others offer you, all you will see are distortions; your own light and beauty will become blurred, awkward, and ugly. Your sense of inner beauty has to remain a very private thing.”-John O’Donohue I began this project as an exploration into my personal feelings about feminine beauty and identity when my daughter asked me in an interview if I thought I was pretty. Answering this question honestly was more difficult than I’d expected. In short, my answer was that I felt that I was ‘perfectly imperfect’, because beauty comes from within. I feel that beauty is far more complicated than our physical selves, but rather includes our mental, intellectual, emotional, spiritual and social selves as well. This is what I wanted to capture in photographs of women--their inner beauty emerging out of their physical body. The strata of light in these silhouettes are a metaphor for the ephemeral layers and illusions of what we look like and what we imagine, or wish we looked like. Beauty is a personal and private journey for every woman to learn to live in her own skin, letting social expectations fall away, allowing her own sense of beauty and individuality to emerge.

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