Twelve years ago, photographer Steve Rosenfield wasn't happy.
He worked a 9-to-5 job and couldn't build relationships with others, in part, because he was too insecure to let them in. So in 2002, he quit, dropped everything and traveled the word, and gained a new mindset in the process: no more judgements.
"I tried to have no judgements towards the people I was meeting and saw no 'flaws' because I had made myself aware of the fact that we all struggle, we all have our 'flaws,' and we all have our insecurities," he wrote on his blog.
With a fresh perspective on others, and himself, he decided to start a social experiment, which then turned into a national project. Inspired by the song about acceptance, "What I Be," Rosenfield began the project, using his friend's insecurity first:
"I wrote 'thunder thighs' on Amanda's hand, alongside the photograph she came up with the statement, 'I am not my body image.' And thus, the "What I Be" project was made."
He then began traveling, finding subjects of all walks of life and having them display their insecurities and then immediately shut them down starting with three words "I am not ..."
"In today's society, we are often told to look or act a certain way. If we differ from these 'standards,' we are often judged, ridiculed, bullied and sometimes even killed over them," he wrote. "I started this project in hopes to open up the lines of communication, and to help everyone accept diversity with an open mind & heart and empower those who feel they suffer for something they may see as a flaw."