I chose to photograph extraordinary young women of substance whom I admire for their confidence, upbeat personalities, and abundant selflessness. These women live fast-paced lives in New York City despite physical differences that many people would allow to limit their productivity and achievements. As Tiffany confided in me after auditioning for So You Think You Can Dance?, "I'm tired of people telling me that I'm such an inspiration. I'm just living my life like everyone else." Tiffany is inspirational because of her hard work and commitment — not because of her disability.
These women also feel genuinely beautiful and sexy in their own skin. All too often, there is a misconception that romantic relationships are unattainable for those who are physically different. I hope these photographs empower other young women, able-bodied or otherwise, to feel strong and satisfied with the bodies they have.
Criticism of bodies has become an epidemic for young people in America. Andrea said, "Being part of this project is exposing a beauty that is usually not seen and often is not spoken of. With every click of the shutter, Sophie has exposed the confident woman I am."
This article was originally published on July 28, 2015.