em-brace your beautiful

Photographer Stef Mitchell teams up with stylist Hannah Cooper to showcase seven teens that are embracing their inner and outer beauty, orthodontia and all!

by i-D Team
|
24 November 2014, 3:15pm

Miyanda wears shirt vintage from Six Foot Single. Sweater Rag & Bone. Top earring model's own. Key charm earring Wouters and Hendrix. Hoop earring Topshop. Ring Catbird. Jeans model's own.

Miyanda Jacobs, 17
Define beauty... Beauty means having a heart that beats and a mouth filled with honesty and care.
When do you feel most beautiful? I feel most beautiful when I am on set with the camera and lights all on me.
How has social media affected our ideals of beauty? I believe that social media has opened our eyes to all kinds of beauty. I personally get to see all different types of faces and styles on a daily basis because I am connected to different people all around the world in simply a matter of seconds. It has become a norm to see things differently; my eyes have been opened.
Is beauty really in the eye of the beholder? Beauty is definitely in the eye of the beholder.
Who is the most beautiful person in the world? We are all the most beautiful people in the world because we all have a heart and lips to form the same beautiful smile.
What's awesome about braces? The best thing about having braces is watching your teeth form into perfectly shaped teeth. It's amazing.

Sahara wears top Guess. Necklace model's own. Hoop earrings Topshop. Jean's models own

Sahara Lin Leung, 17
Define beauty... Beauty has a compassionate soul, it's not just the physical self. Beauty is timeless; it's your inner being.
When do you feel most beautiful? I don't really feel beautiful. I feel happy or sad. Beauty is not a feeling for me.
How has social media affected our ideals of beauty? It's broadened our exposure to many different types of people that we would not have seen before.
Is beauty really in the eye of the beholder? Yes.
Who is the most beautiful person in the world? My mum. She's always been there for me no matter what.
What's awesome about braces? At first I felt self-conscious, then I got over that and I started to feel confident. Now I think they put an edgy spin on my outfits.

Cacique wears shirt Levis.

Cacique "CK" Cotto, 16
Define beauty... Beauty is what is in you. It is how you express yourself with confidence and pride.
When do you feel most beautiful? When I feel I accomplished something. When I know I've done my best, whether I'm on the courts or the classroom. It's that feeling when you are just beaming. To me, that's when I feel most beautiful.
How has social media affected our ideals of beauty? Social media has definitely diversified my views of beauty. I have access to new trends or different ways of seeing the world, but most importantly it has allowed me to openly express myself without judgment.
Is beauty really in the eye of the beholder? YES!
Who is the most beautiful person in the world? WOW! that's a hard one. Who isn't beautiful? I mean, beauty is a strength, power, humility, so much...but if i had to pick ONE person? It would be Frida Kahlo. She was fearless in her art. She changed the world's perception of beauty, art, women, sexuality, pain, depression. she is a hero. Her beauty is without limits. She is timeless. Her beauty still lives on so that kids like me can learn. She's amazing.
What's awesome about braces? I was bashful about my smile before. My teeth were messed up because of an accident I had (monkeybars) but now I can show my natural self. They make me better.

Amani wears sweatshirt Ashish. 

Amani Marshall, 17
Define beauty... Radiating positivity and having a unique perspective on things.
When do you feel most beautiful? When I'm with the people I like the most.
How has social media affected our ideals of beauty? Social media hypes things or celebrities up too much and people try to copy what gets reblogged on Tumblr instead of being themselves.
Is beauty really in the eye of the beholder? Yeah of course; my friends and I debate about that all the time.
Who is the most beautiful person in the world? Erykah Badu or Kate Moss.
What's awesome about braces? They make your teeth straight and girls like nice teeth.

Annie wears top Protagonist. 

Annie Blackman, 16
Define beauty... Beauty is when you're kind to people, open minded, comfortable in your own skin, and can impact other people with your positive vibes.
When do you feel most beautiful? When I'm getting dressed up for any kind of formal event.
How has social media affected our ideals of beauty? Media has taught me that thin is what's beautiful, which is completely ridiculous and untrue. Sometimes need to remind myself of that.
Is beauty really in the eye of the beholder? Yes, absolutely!
Who is the most beautiful person in the world? Probably Jon Stewart.
What's awesome about braces? I love having braces because they're making my teeth straight, but besides that they kind of sucks.

Emma wears shirt model's own. Necklace Catbird. 

Emma Piper Hastil, 23
Define beauty... The summation of parts working together in such a way that nothing needs to be added, altered, or taken away.
When do you feel most beautiful? Weirdly, when I have this green mud mask on. I think it's the olive hue that really brings out my eyes and smile.
How has social media affected our ideals of beauty? Capitalism thrives on making us feel insecure for the sake of profit. Social media is a tool to do just this. It's really tragic and I only see it getting worse in this era of Photoshop and impossible ideals.
Is beauty really in the eye of the beholder? I think the Lacan's theory of the gaze is really intriguing: that once someone becomes aware they are under observation, they begin to experience themselves as an object being seen, thus alienating their original sense of self. I also believe that you can just say "fuck that" and just do you. Be confident in your flaws - that's beautiful.
Who is the most beautiful person in the world? There are too many beautiful people in my life to pick just one, but my mother... she taught me how to swing an ax, sew a button, kill a chicken in one go, and braid my hair into pigtails and I don't know anyone with bigger cajones than her. She's beautiful.
What's awesome about braces? My teeth were so crooked that when my braces finally came off, my dad cried. That's what's awesome about braces.

June wear clothes all model's own. 

June Downs, 17
Define beauty... My definition of beauty is a happy and loving energy given off by another person or object.
When do you feel most beautiful? I feel most beautiful when I'm able to express myself freely and comfortably.
How has social media affected our ideals of beauty? Social media has changed our ideals of beauty by stereotyping beauty as a specific look instead of people being beautiful as unique individuals.
Is beauty really in the eye of the beholder? I think beauty is not in the eye of the beholder: there is something beautiful about everyone whether everyone sees it or not.
Who is the most beautiful person in the world? The most beautiful person in the world doesn't exist. Everyone portrays and witnesses beauty in different ways. 
What's awesome about braces? Obviously the brightly coloured rubber bands! It's hard NOT to feel unique and beautiful when you get to choose the colour of your smile.

Credits


Photography by Stef Mitchell
Styling by Hannah Cooper
Hair by Tim Nolan for Ion Studio
Make-up by Kanako Takase
Digital Capture by Zoe Weber for Capture This
Photography assistance by Mike Bogart
Styling assistance by Nikki Steiner
Hair assistance by Shelby Samaria
Make-up assistance by Megumi Onishi
Casting by Kegan Webb
Production by George Koren Productions
Special thanks to Fast Ashleys Studios & Capture This

Tagged:
Braces
fashion stories
stef mitchell
hannah cooper