Style

This Film Is Helping Shatter Society's Rigid Beauty Standards

#Flawless
08/04/2015 03:11pm ET
The glitz and glamour of the fashion world is often what attracts people to careers in the industry, and it ultimately keeps them there once they get a foot in the door.
That was almost the case for Rick Guidotti, who became one of the most sought-after fashion photographers in the '80s and '90s. He captured iconic images of supermodels like Cindy Crawford and worked for top publications such as Elle. And while that might seem like the dream gig, it wasn't so for Guidotti.
After becoming fatigued by society's rigid beauty standards -- and a job that perpetuated them -- the New York-based photographer decided to leave high-fashion shoots behind and aim his camera at people with various genetic differences who are not often seen as traditionally beautiful.
Although Guidotti has left the world of high fashion, he says that capturing gorgeous images is still the objective. "I am the same artist I always was. It has always been about beauty and it still is," he told The Huffington Post.
Positive Exposure
This professional pivot was sparked by an encounter with a young girl with albinism, the congenital disorder that affects melanin production, resulting in little-to-no pigmentation in the skin, eyes and hair. From there it snowballed into a full-fledged career and the launch of a not-for-profit organization called Positive Exposure.
Positive Exposure
"This is a human movement, and together with the images, we are all advocating not to be seen as a disease or diagnosis but as human beings," Guidotti said.
Guidotti's awe-inspiring portraits and moving mission caught the attention of Emmy-nominated filmmaker Joanna Rudnick, who has turned his story into the newly released documentary "On Beauty," currently in select theaters.
Postive Exposure
The film follows Guidotti in his charge to redefine beauty, a cause he believes is slowly changing the fashion and beauty industry.
"[It's] such a huge industry with so many followers," Guidotti said. "So much money and so much product to sell. Things won’t change easily, but it's changing nonetheless."
Positive Exposure
The doc also takes an intimate look at two of Guidotti's subjects: Sarah Kanney, who has Sturge-Weber syndrome, a congenital condition that resulted in a large birthmark on her face, and Jayne Waithera, a young woman with albinism who lives in Eastern Africa.
Ultimately, Guidotti says he hopes the film will instill in viewers "the ability to see beauty in diversity, the freedom to see beauty in their own reflection."

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Photographer captures stunning Albino portraits