What is beauty?
Rick Guidotti, a fashion photographer from New York City, once defined beauty by supermodels, hairstylists, makeup artists and magazine covers, but a chance encounter at a Manhattan bus stop changed his perspective.
Mr. Guidotti saw a 12-year-old girl waiting for a bus with her mother. The girl had white-blond hair, eyebrows and lashes, pale skin and light eyes â the first time he had seen anyone with albinism. âShe was gorgeous,â he said.
He searched medical textbooks for more photos of people with albinism, but the only images he found were of youngsters standing up against a wall with black bars over their eyes.
Mr. Guidotti then called a support group for people with albinism and made arrangements to photograph another girl with albinism, Christine, who would become the first of the many thousands of people with genetic and developmental conditions he would come to photograph.
âAs a fashion photographer, I was always told what was beautiful, but I saw beauty everywhere,â he said.
His work evolved into a not-for-profit organization, Positive Exposure, and is currently featured in a new documentary, âOn Beauty.â His aim: to transform perceptions of people living with genetic, physical and behavioral differences, both among the public and health care professionals. âWe need to get rid of those black bars,â he said. âItâs not about what youâre treating, itâs who you are treating.â