Showing women in a positive light

Laura White
Laura White

The final year work of Plymouth College of arts student Jess Lawrence

Jess Lawrence is a photography student at Plymouth College of Art and in her final year and wanted to produce something special for her final year project that captures real women and celebrates their real beauty and how it should be shown in a positive light, not by the unrealistic goals set by the beauty and fashion business.

In light of the scandal over Harvey Weinstein, the Hollywood film producer, and his treatment of vulnerable women in the film business, women across the world have stood up and found a voice together in the ‘Me Too’ movement.

Jess said: “I chose to use the women involved with these local groups because they have all got their own struggles, whether big or small, they have something they want to work on. I had a lot of positive feedback about my photography project saying how it had helped them with their confidence and to think differently about themselves.

‘If I can make anyone feel better about themselves or make some small change to society then I have done my job right. Women have come through a lot in the last few years and now have finally have the power and the means to be independent and comfortable with who they are.”

Comments from some of Jess’s subjects

Sam: “I realise I do not really stop and think enough about the impact my womanhood had on what I’ve done and do in life.”
Nicola: jewellery maker: “There’s not an end goal – it’s for life. By understanding ourselves we can heal and grow and create in ourselves.”

Heather: “There’s no need to fill gaps and I need to listen to what’s going on behind the scenes.”

Bec: Singer – songwriter: “When I sing and use my voice I’m in the zone and my everyday thoughts are suspended. Many of my lyrics are positive messages.”

Becky: “To be confident and comfortable with who we are and what we look like is truly inspirational. Be who you are and not what is expected.”

Shelley: “Voice is very important. It is about knowing when to shup up and when to be a leader. I am comfortable

saying my piece, but you also need to know when to stop.”

Naomi: “Ownership is an ongoing process that I feel I’m working towards.”

Olivia: “I hope to empower not only myself but other women.”
Tracy: “I feel privileged to have been asked to take part in such an empowering study.”