Carey Fruth’s photos series, “American Beauty”, slams mainstream culture’s narrow notion of the ideal woman: white, thin and young. “But that is not actually the majority of women in our country look like. America is made up of all types of women. Women who are hungry to see themselves represented in a beautiful way. And why shouldn’t they?”
Although Fruth intends expanding this work to include more individuals, the series currently consists of fourteen women who vary in color, size, age and shape; each photographed similarly against a bed of lilacs. The result is indeed beautiful.
Fruth’s “American Beauty” responds to an iconic sexual fantasy from the 1999 Film American Beauty, where a middle aged man envisions his daughter’s best friend (thin, white and blond) seductively settled on a bed of roses. Fruth takes feminine beauty away from the objectifying male gaze, allowing each woman to shed her insecurity, step into “a fantasy dream girl world” and celebrate her own unique beauty with the world.