What is your America? My America is a melting pot of many nations. History taught me the good, the bad, and the ugly. But mostly, truth. Anyone here that is not a Native American is a descendent from an immigrant. My family traces back to 7 other countries. But I was born and raised here. I am privileged to live in the United States. I am privileged to live in the home of the brave and the land of the free. Free to write this, free to create, free to do anything I want. Including freedom of speech where I can share my feelings on things.
I keep myself in a little bit of a bubble. And when I come out and see some things in our country and this world I am horrified. One thing in particular is racism and prejudice. We are one race. The human race. That’s it. We come in many different sizes, colors, shapes, personalities, etc. I personally love living in an area where I see all kinds of people, diverse in many ways. And it makes me so happy that my kids get to grow up seeing that the world is bigger than our small little town that thankfully isn’t just one ethnicity.
So when i wanted to do some independence day pictures of my kids, I said, why not celebrate all these amazing cultures we have living right here. American children. Children get it. They see us all as one race. They make friends instantly by how the person makes them feel, not what they look like or how much money the family has, or what toys they have. Sit them in the woods with each other and they come out with new friends.
I put out a request for this project asking for anyone interested and had tons of people respond. Every person involved feels the same way as me. But more importantly, the children who came out for this project, our future generation, were so kind and loving toward one another. And my prayer is that this country and generations to follow will be everything these children are. These pictures illustrate my heart. And while they may not be the most amazing photos, I hope everyone who sees them, will see my message shine through. This is my America. This is hope.
I had such an amazing day today. I got to volunteer at a place called the Sierra House in East Orange. It is a place that transitions young women from homelessness to self sufficiency. They had a makeover day for them where they got their makeup hair and nails done. I volunteered to do makeup and brought my camera of course, so I could give them some beautiful head shots and photos with and of their children. With each face I did I was told I made them look “SNATCH.” I was like “HUH?” and they began to explain that snatch means you look so good someone is gonna snatch you up or snatch your look. you know, snatch! They looked absolutely beautiful and they were glowing.
The highlight of the day was when I covered up a girl’s dog bite scar for her. When the scar is lighter than the skin you don’t use concealer because that highlights the imperfection. You use mineral foundation with a small brush and push the foundation into the skin in layers in that spot to cover it up. I explained this to her as I did it. Then had her look in the mirror. When she looked in the mirror she started to cry. She said that was the first time in 8 years she was able to look in the mirror and not see that scar. Wow. What an honor to make her feel that way. I wish I could have taken away her scars and all her pain for good. After we were done, I did a few shots of her where she felt confident and beautiful. And as you can see she really is a beautiful young woman.