There are a lot of exciting and beautiful things happening in the world! It’s time I start spotlighting those things again, whether in South Florida (where I live) or elsewhere in the United States.
If you have any great ideas, leads, or thoughts, please don’t hesitate to bring it to my attention, whether in the comments or in my email (ForReal511@gmail.com). It can even be a local story about you, family, friends, co-workers, etc.! Though there’s a lot of bad things in the world, there are also wonderful, inspiring, beautiful things and it’s time they get highlighted!
“We often hear ourselves saying beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Too often people say that to make someone feel better. Our society has some pretty set ideas as to beauty and knowing it when we see it. Our next story, though, is about a photographer who wants to change that. He wants to open our eyes to new ways of appreciating the people around us, and that means all of them.” ~ Brian Williams, NBC News
(Please watch the video at the end of this article and please tell me what you think.)
On June 7, 2013, NBC News featured RickGuidotti, Program Director of PositiveExposure, and his mission to show a different side to albinism and other genetic conditions. (Albinism: a defect of melanin production that results in little or no color, or pigment, in the skin, hair, and eyes.)
The following information was taken from and adapted from GeneticAlliance.org: Prior to founding Positive Exposure in 1997, Guidotti was a fashion photographer in New York, Paris, London, and Milan for 15 years.
“Disenchanted with the conventional standards of beauty in our media-driven society (the iconization of models, actors, and ‘beautiful people’), Rick turned his lens to what he found significant and beautiful. He discovered what he was looking for when he saw a 15-year-old girl waiting for a bus. She was stunning. She had albinism. Her physical characteristics crossed all cultural and racial boundaries, yet never had been included in the beauty standard. Rick was inspired to seek out others like her in the hopes that they would form the basis of a revolutionary new photo project.
“As Rick researched albinism in medical textbooks, he found photographs of children with this condition and other genetic conditions in their underwear up against cold gray walls in doctors’ offices—sad images of loneliness and sickness—in such stark contrast to the teenager he saw at the bus, laughing, her hair blowing in the wind. Parents with newborns diagnosed with albinism or any other genetic condition were shown these same textbook images as the only option to illustrate what they were to expect from their children. Rick approached the National Organization for Albinism and Hypopigmentation (NOAH). His intentions to favorably impact the way albinism is perceived by society were clear, and he won the endorsement of NOAH’s board of directors before the first photo was taken.
“LIFE magazine published the initial images from this endeavor in June 1998. In a five-page celebration titled “Redefining Beauty,” people with albinism laughed and danced before Guidotti’s lens. In keeping with the project’s formula, the photographs were accompanied by quotes Rick had collected from his subjects, providing a window into the experience of having albinism. These words were a testimonial to the triumph of self-acceptance in the face of adversity.”
Now that I’ve graduated with my Masters in Journalism, I’ve started planning my production schedule for new and old topics in 2013. Your input is very important to me though, so please chime in with any ideas or even specific stories you’d like to see me cover. I can’t promise I’ll do them, but I can promise that I will take it into heavy consideration. Thanks! And Merry Christmas!
“Jim” is a 38-year old abuse survivor from Michigan who escaped a 7-year marriage to a woman who attacked him mentally, emotionally, financially, and physically. Before she gave birth to their two sons, she helped raise his two sons from a previous marriage (he has full custody).
He played football for 10 years, wrestled for 20 and was taught never to hit a woman. “But on the other end of it, I was told that they shouldn’t be hitting you,” he adds.
His second wife started showing signs of abuse 3-6 months into the marriage.
I started seeing her start being real, kind of, controlling of things. Of course, we’d had a few arguments up to that point, but nothing that I would draw red flags on. I don’t understand how it happened, because everything seemed to be fine. And her personality, it just seemed to be good. It was… peaceful.
He started to see little things where she was manipulative with money. She would buy second-hand clothes for everyone else, but get nice clothes for herself. Pretty early on in their marriage, they decided to move into a bigger house for their growing family, which he built himself.
The finances for the house was supposed to be figured at 80 percent [of my wages], based on what we had talked about, and I found out later it had been figured at 100 percent wage.
Financial abuse was one of the four kinds of abuse she inflicted. Here’s an example of how she physically abused Jim.
Next edition, Jim will reveal how his second wife abused their children.