Creation Date



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gold leaf and digital photography


Dimensions: 36 x 24 inches

This piece is part of a larger work entitled The Garden.

Artist Statement

Throughout time, society’s standard of beauty has been defined by one standard. Not fitting into that standard has caused almost every woman a lot of self esteem issues. Recently though, there is a movement in the fashion and beauty industry to represent all different types of women. Tall or short, athletic or curvy body types, young or old, and diverse ethnic backgrounds have all started to be more welcomed into this industry. There’s a long way to go, but, this movement is what inspired my project.

I recently started following Ashley Graham, a very successful and well known plus size model, on Instagram. She’s not afraid to show off her curves, and embraces all of her rolls and cellulite. Watching her be confident with the things I, and a lot of other women, am incredibly self conscious about, motivated me to say something about beauty in media and how important it is that all women and little girls can see themselves represented.

There’s a quote from Miranda Kerr, “A rose can never be a sunflower, and a sunflower can never be a rose. All flowers are beautiful in their own way, and that's like women too. I want to encourage women to embrace their own uniqueness.” There are so many different looking flowers out there but, all are still so beautiful in their own way and I love how she compares that to the beauty of women, which is why I titled this work, The Garden.

While it’s impossible to represent all women in 8 photos, or represent how different the meaning of “beautiful” can be, I photographed a group of women between the ages of 20 and 58, with completely different ethnic backgrounds, and different styles. Like all of us, some women like a more natural look, some women love to play with color and use their bodies as canvases for art.

I want any woman that sees these photographs to be able see themselves in at least one of them and find that no matter what age, what color their skin is, or what “imperfections” they have, they are still beautiful.


© Emma Louise Thompson, 2019.

Exhibit Images

Series Title: The Garden


women empowerment, diversity, representation, photography