REFLECTIONS ABOUT THE BEAUTY MYTH
What is real beauty?
What does it mean to you?
What makes us feel beautiful?
How much does our outer beauty influence our lives?
Is it a lifelong struggle to improve how we look?
How many of us feel like victims to a lie of an overhyped run on perfectionism that can leave us in a state of frustration?
It is time to review the beauty standards of our society.
It is time to shatter them and to figure out who we really are.
Self-knowledge is the key, enjoying and living in the moment.
We, all women, are allowed to expose ourselves to the experience of not being perfect.
And we must all develop empathy with the “I AM”, and every other being.
“Pretty” is not the point.
It is time to feel our true essence.
Beauty is a celebration of diversity, everyone owns his/her own beauty.
Beauty is a state of grace and it is only within where we will find our identity.
Beauty is self-confidence.
Beauty is standing in our own power and respecting ourselves, getting out of the daily grind of worrying about how we look and how we dress.
Beauty comes from loving and accepting yourself, first.
Beauty is feeling at peace within.
Beauty is a celebration of our uniqueness. It is not found by comparisons.
Beauty is the discovery of our inner goddess and by accepting our own truth.
Beauty is in us, let’s own it to feel our very best.
There is no “standard” beauty, there are no set rules to define what is actually beautiful unless we choose to believe in the rules.
If you see one, you can break it, or shake it up!
Create your own rules to feel beautiful.
It is time to defy the standards of the beauty myths that have invaded our society.
We must unveil the guise of female beauty and set ourselves free from the struggle of everlasting youthfulness.
This change is upon us.
Let’s become enlightened and shine a new light on our values of beauty.
There is no such thing as “flawless beauty “(unless on Photoshop !)
I AM THE MOVEMENT
By Angelika Buettner
First came the concept of the book. This didn’t happen overnight. Not at all. After the concept came to the process of implementation.
This involved introducing myself to hundreds of mature women over 40, and asking to photograph them in the Nude, … listening to their first responses, and later their intimate details, mainly about their self-image, their sense of style and beauty, their personal fears, struggles, and triumphs. I wanted a diverse population of as many ethnic backgrounds and of different sizes and I wanted every age represented from 40 to 100.
How hard could this be? How hard could it be to find these forgotten women? The hidden population is sometimes described as past their prime. Ha-ha, as it turns out, it is harder than you might think. According to society’s norms and of course, the fashion industry and Hollywood industry, beautiful women over 40 didn’t really seem relevant or worth a discussion. Their focus and definition of beauty relied on ideal images that had evolved over time. Regardless of whether the women were brunette, blonde or redheads, they were always most beautiful in their youth. This is what all women were instructed to believe……we learned it without anyone even needing to come out and say it. It was just the way we were raised, treated, or conditioned to believe.
Women were often told after they had children their bodies would deteriorate… they would never be as beautiful. If in fact, anyone had actually tried to tell them they were beautiful…. that wasn’t always forthcoming.
Most women grew up believing that the only truly beautiful women were the ones in magazines and in the movies……and if you weren’t beautiful you weren’t special. Real women were less desirable… Less perfect…. what they did or what they thought wasn’t really the point, now was it? And so, this make-believe narrative which was passed down from generation to generation continued the lie and got told and retold over and over……there were times when a single woman would break out of the mold, and shine a light on her inner beauty, and outer strengths. But these were always the exceptions to the rules…….and most everyday/ordinary women didn’t trust that the exception could be the norm.
It took over a hundred years before women started to question these rules. And another hundred years before women started to change them into more just laws that governed such matters as the right to vote and work outside the home, and receive equal pay, and have an abortion. All the struggles women endured had left them shaken and scarred……some of their scars can’t be seen by the naked eye, but they are still there.
Eventually, a few courageous women said we can change the system. We can fix what’s broken. We can demand better treatment, better educations, and better opportunities than our mothers and grandmothers……we can teach our daughters and sons to be more thoughtful and loving and kind.
And the woman’s movement was born.
I am the movement.
Soon more and more women were stepping out, into unknown and uncharted territory and asking all kinds of new and liberating questions.
I guess I AM one of these new women. Using my camera to pry deeper into woman’s psyches, I started to photograph timeless beauty, trying to capture what lies beneath the skin, woman’s hidden desires, and hidden conflicts. I am motivated to help women overcome their inhibitions and insecurities about their bodies. I believed if I could persuade enough women to let themselves be photographed naked, I could prove to them and prove to the whole world, ageless beauty does exist. Women over 40 and 50 and 60 and even women in their 80’s and 90’s radiate from within and are beautiful at every age. Sure enough, women started to come forward and started to embrace this concept. The I AM book is finally being published and from this book, came the start of something even bigger…IAM-the movement.com. I AM is becoming an interactive connection… become a part of this movement… help women of all ages! Share your knowledge, your life lessons, your dreams, and your fears. Create a YouTube, write a story, send us your videos…Karen Williams who initiated the first I-AM video tour opened a whole new channel of distribution for women. Her thoughtful, delicate way of interviewing, pushed the content to the next level.
Although I will never stop taking photographs, I now have a team of women behind me, offering more ways to connect and help empower other women. I have to admit, “the book isn’t the end product…. it is only the beginning. I want to carry the message of my book to all parts of the globe. I realize now, I can’t do this with just a book.” The IAM-themovement.com is designed to expand the reach. To connect with women in all parts of the globe and find common ground. In other words, the book will go viral!
This is why IAM-themovement.com is launching a website. The movement is becoming a platform for meeting like-minded friends, it is a platform for moving forward and daring to ask some hard questions…. i.e., what is holding us back? Why do we care whether people think we are pretty when we know how smart we are? Why should we buy into the myth of needing a perfect body? Why do we feel inadequate if we don’t want children or can’t have them? Do we really want children in our 20’s & 30’s or do we want them at all? Are we afraid to have children because of what it will do to our bodies? Why are we afraid to speak truth to power? Why do we want to hide our age? Why do so many women waste money on Botox? Why do so many women think wrinkles are ugly? Is it possible to move past body-shaming?
All these questions and more, demand answers. We want to know your opinions. We want to create more connections and help all women move past the stereotypes and the lies and discover just how beautiful they really are. I am the movement.
ON WE GO!!! ON OUR WAY TO ACCEPT OUR PERFECT “IMPERFECT” SELF.
About the Author
Photography is what Angelika does, what she loves, and so much of who she is.
Angelika is known for her love of artistic challenges, her independent nature, and her ability to help subjects express themselves in a soulful, daring, and honest way that portrays the unexpected, breathtaking and authentic. Throughout her career, she explored a broad range of styles, moods, and subjects. Her penchant for strong, sensual feminine photography has evolved over time. Angelika has rightfully earned her reputation for “pushing the envelope”. She never fails to infuse each photograph with a certain “je ne sais quoi”
Known for injecting cinematography into still images, Angelika pays close attention to the use of light and shadows, keeping her viewers intrigued, and eager for more. She loves the interaction with her subjects. Her exposure to the fashion and beauty industries and her sensitivity to society’s stereotypes about mature women has shaped the concept of ageless beauty. Her work is not of nudes, but of nude portraits, where she depicts the complete person: capturing expression, displaying the likeness, personality, and individual mood of each subject. Her photographs portray ageless beings, fully respecting the spiritual practice of choosing the presence of life.
Although she has gained international and national recognition in advertising and publishing, working for various international beauty and fashion brands, it has been her deepest desire to create I AM: a project seven years in the making. Just as every seven years we become a new person as in that time, every cell in our body has regenerated, I AM is about rebirth. Angelika has liberated society’s view of women over 40. Her photographs are truth, realness, and appreciation. There is no shame, no imperfection. In a culture obsessed with youth, Angelika strips away the devalued image of how mature women are seen, replacing it with agelessness. Women take everything off. It’s all off: predisposed views, opinions, judgments. Women are not represented by their age, but rather a portrait of completeness. There are no roles, no role-playing. Women are shown in their most vulnerable state, yet in their most liberated state. All truth is presented.
The 121 women featured in this book, who truly represent all women, will advance the power of women throughout the world. The continuance of I AM, IAM-theMovement.com, develops strength in the movement where women are seen, appreciated for their experiences and valued for their ageless presence. Angelika’s I AM realigns our society; women are now in full view.
Angelika Buettner was born and raised in Bad Homburg, Germany, then moved to Frankfurt to study photography, which has been her major motivating force. After living and working in Paris for over 20 years, she now resides close to NYC. She is married to a fellow photographer turned art and antique dealer and their two children, raised in a town close to Paris, now work and live in Europe.
The birth of I AM brings Angelika wholeness, with the confidence that her project will change how we define beauty.
I am the movement https://www.iam-themovement.com/i-am-the-movement
Angelika Buettner https://www.angelikabuettner.com/