What I Be Project is a powerful portrait series by photographer Steve Rosenfield that features individuals who have bravely opted to bear their insecurities on their bodies. Hundreds of people have already participated in the ongoing project, revealing a wide range of issues they have with themselves. Whether it be a physical, mental, or social insecurity, each person brands their face and body with words that have scarred them.
The collection of images, though simple in their composition, offer plenty of food for thought. While one young man’s arm is stamped with “TOO SKINNY” another has “YOU’RE TOO BIG FOR THIS RIDE” etched on his hand. Each struggles with his size, despite being on opposite ends of the spectrum. The series unveils the many insecurities that exist in the world and how no one is immune to feeling a lack of confidence in themselves. However, these insecurities do not define them.
Rosenfield states: “In today’s society, we are told to look or act a certain way. If we differ from these ‘standards,’ we are often judged, ridiculed, and sometimes even killed over them. I started this project in hopes to open up the lines of communication, and to help everyone accept diversity with an open mind & heart. Each person that takes part in the project is extremely courageous! They are putting their insecurities out in the open, and exposing a side of themselves that nobody has seen before. By stating ‘I am not my_____,’ they are claiming that they do in fact struggle with these issues, but it does not define who they are as a person.”