Controversy / by Jared Shoemaker

What do you do when your creative mind comes under attack? The message you were trying to deliver gets twisted before you even have a chance to exclaim it. But is that such a bad thing? The bowl for controversy and debate is always there, you just have to stir the pot. Not everyone sees creativity and different forms of art the same way. So when my "skin" album took some flak and my reputation as a photographer did as well, I sat back, and observed the debate.

It is all too common for women and men alike to be incredibly harsh on themselves and each other. Often comparing to the almost unreachable goals of super models, body builders and Hollywood actors. Just once, I wanted to make an impact and show people how truly beautiful they are by removing the one thing protecting them from public degrading, their clothes. The results were not only what i predicted but they were more. It goes way deeper than a picture.

"In this photo, you don’t see my good side, in fact you see a lot of “flaws.” Yet, they’re not flaws at all. Society has told women and men that they have to look a certain way all throughout our lives. I grew up having a lot of body shame. I use to be a size double zero, and now I’m a size 3. I don’t have the “perfect” body. I have thick hips and thighs. Although I get down on myself every once in awhile, I have came to an understanding: the body I live in, it’s my home and I can never break that home down. I am to live within my skin and praise what I was given. I mean come on, food is good..." -Gabrielle Moscato-Goodpaster

"So I was really nervous about doing this shoot, but once I started getting comfortable and saw the pictures, I was completely blown away. It was a huge confidence boost that I needed, and for the first time in my life I felt truly beautiful." -Alyssa Rogers

"You have given me a huge confidence boost and have given me the courage to be comfortable in my own skin. That’s because of your photography" -Gabrielle Moscato-Goodpaster