What does beautiful mean to you? Can you say you are beautiful? I know I can. I’ve spent my life hiding and feeling ugly because I don’t conform to any standard of beauty, either Asian or white. But going through my journey and discovering my true self has taught me to see that beauty comes from within. It comes from experiencing life, both lightness and darkness, from accepting and loving yourself. It comes from being flawed and human and trusting that you are whole. It comes from living with raw openness that leaves you vulnerable to pain but also to joy and gratitude. It means you feel fully, experiencing all of life’s richest pleasures and deepest pains. You stand in it with open arms, showing up unapologetically as your most authentic self.

I have been wanting to do this photography project for almost a year and am finally getting it off the ground. Beauty isn’t skin deep. It lives in the soul and wholeness of our most vulnerable selves. I want to redefine beauty and show it for what it is because I am not beautiful like you. I am beautiful like me. .

No makeup or hairstyling. Black and white. Shadow and light. RAW.