When Melanie Acevedo pitched Darling magazine, whose tagline is “The art of being a woman,” a portrait series and short film exploring the definition of beauty, they jumped at the chance. Melanie’s idea was to feature women of all ages, from 13 to 94, from different ethnic groups and backgrounds, and to photograph them in accordance with Darling‘s strict no-retouching policy. For the accompanying short film, she interviewed them about what “beauty” and being beautiful mean to them.
“This was an incredible experience. We weren’t just taking pictures. We were capturing a celebration of timeless beauty,” Melanie explains in the new issue of Darling, which features her project “The Sum of Our Beauty.”
“A woman’s validity has so long been defined by society according to her looks, and these wounds run so deep. I saw this struggle on the project—women searching to redefine themselves by qualities that come from within—and it was this journey which they were choosing that I found so beautiful to behold.”
Below, the portraits as they appeared in Darling, plus Melanie’s film “Revealing Beauty,” and a fun behind-the-scenes video from the project.
location: Dune Studios, New York. Special thanks to Jay Stradwick.
casting: Alina Zakaite
film crew: Industrial Color. Special thanks to Steve Kalalian.
DP: Santiago Gonzalez
operator: Tim Romero
audio: Daisuke Yoshid
DIT: Dan Atteo
producer: Sara Kinney
fashion stylists: Mengly Hernandez/Stockland Martel and Naila Ruechel
hair/makeup: Maggie Connolly/maggieconnollyhm.com and Susie Lee/utopianyc.com
makeup: Elena Perdikomati/elenaperdikomati.com, Rebecca Alexander/raybrownpro.com, Natalia Bizinha/nataliabizinha.carbonmade,com, and Suzy Gerstein/suzygerstein.com/themagnetagency.com
hair: Andreas Schönagel/utopianyc.com and Marc Anthony/judycasey.com