Kintsugi: This traditional Japanese repair method celebrates each artefact’s unique history by emphasising its fractures and breaks instead of hiding or disguising them. Often making the repaired piece even more beautiful than the original, revitalizing it with new life.
But what if we thought of ourselves in the very same way? That our scars and marks only go to highlight our beauty and uniqueness? It was this thought that became the inspiration for the latest shoot from Specialist Talent Agency – Zebedee Management.
Off the back of their successful #EveryBodyBeautiful campaign from last year, founders Zoe Proctor and Laura Johnson wanted to explore this beautiful tradition, and the parallels it has between people’s perception of beauty.
This stunning set of images showcases just some of the female talent currently signed to Zebedee. The sense of strength through vulnerability is breathtaking and prompts the viewer to question what is beauty and where can it be found?
“I got involved with the ‘Kintsugi’ shoot as I loved the concept of mending broken objects with gold and seeing the beauty in them. By having my scars painted gold I could show them in a beautiful way and celebrate them. I’m proud of my scars as they show what I have been through, challenges I’ve faced & they are a part of me! I also couldn’t miss the opportunity of working with Murat! Being part of this campaign shoot was not only fun but also an amazing confidence boost. Having a disability can often make you feel isolated but being apart of Zebedee breaks that as I’ve met so many amazing people from these shoots who I can call my ‘friends’ and I always feel at ease. The media is changing, slowly but surely, and I hope this campaign takes another step towards inclusion and diversity, with the powerful images that come from it.” Caitlyn F.
“The Kintsugi shoot means so much to me, it stands for so much. Our own personal triumphs and triumphs we’ve done together. We’ve all overcome struggles. Now, as a team and as a family we are helping change the worlds fashion and media, one person, one model, one photo shoot at a time. Zebedee has been the gold to us, mending the breaks from what we’ve all faced due to being looked down upon or not seen as who we truly are. They’ve made us more beautiful. Correction, they’ve helped us see our own beauty which has helped us all be more confident and embrace ourselves, disability and all. I’m honoured to be a part of this, my hope is that when people see the photos, they are inspired. Whether it be someone with a disability or not. We are all “golden” people. ” Georgina W.
“I wanted to take part in the Kintsugi shoot due to the fact it represents the way the Japanese use art to fill in ‘broken’ things with gold for example. In no way do I present myself as a broken person, however I am someone with broken parts that have needed repair and upkeep throughout my life, but unlike disguising it I would want to highlight my imperfections, tell the world, shimmer like gold and lighten up peoples room like these items of Kintsugi I love how it seems people with disabilities are more accepted in the mainstream fashion, acting and modelling media and I hope that visible or not, if an employer gets updated of any disabilities you have it does not impact anything career-wise.” Sophie W
“ I got involved with the Kintsugi project because the thinking behind the art form of decorating pottery fractures with gold reinforces Zebedee’s mission to celebrate all that is different. Plus a group campaign brings us together and fuels our collective strength to communicate our future visions. The fashion and beauty industry have had a fixed idea for years that being perfect is the norm but this campaign highlights that diversity is the norm. It’s time to change expectations. There is cultural change as minority groups are standing up and being heard. Here at Zebedee we will continue to drive the change to inform, encourage and endorse the fact that it’s OK to be different. Genuine beauty is as diverse as the golden Kintsugi pots. Zebedee models exude beauty, confidence and strength through their own broken parts. We continue to work hard and share our stories to encourage others to define their own expectations and not be led by blinkered industries. “ Nancy H
“The reason I got involved was to show people a different aspect that disability’s are unique, beautiful and to show others that you can still be you even with a tube. I wanted to help build my confidence and prove to myself I can do it. Personally I think the fashion and beauty industry has to change and move away from the fake beauty for example airbrushed effect, pictures and stereotyped models.
In my opinion I think it’s great that their finally starting to recognise disabled models, different sexuality’s, creed, race and true beauty. It doesn’t matter what race, creed, sexuality you are just the same as everyone else.” Chloe M
“I had never heard of Kintsugi before but when I did some research I thought the imagery of fixing things with gold was relevant to me. If something is fixed with glue, for example, the intention is to hide the crack, Kintsugi means you don’t hide anything, you can embrace these cracks. Although we are not broken we are highlighting our disabilities with the gold and making them beautiful, as we already know them to be. Kintsugi and this shoot is about showing the beauty within the cracks. I think the fashion and beauty industry are starting to embrace disability by using disabled models but we have to ensure that this is the start. I hope more brands and stores start to use models with disabilities and this won’t be the last you see of us Zebedee Models!” Cara J
“I initially got involved in this project because I loved the analogy between The art of Kintsugi and the Zebedee models. The photographer Murat with the assistance of the make-up artist Kelly has shown that everybody is beautiful no matter what this size shape or disability. I am happy to see that over the last 12 months there has been an increase variety of people represented in the media . Zebedee has been a great help in pushing forward the idea there are so many talented actors and models out there who did not conform to The usual idea of normality. I look forward to the future where disabled people will not be noticed as different within the media as their appearance has become the norm.”
“I personally got into fashion and beauty at a young age as I found it a great way to express myself, as I like to stand out. Then later on in life I became aware of how little people with disabilities are represented within the media (which is sooo wrong) and wanted to get involved in promoting disabilities in anyway possible. We are seen as different and not “normal” which is sad, I put “normal” in quotations because what is “normal”? I want to see everyone represented within campaigns and advertising as everyone is equal regardless of religion, colour, sexual orientation or disability. This shoot was a key to unlock this as it shows imperfections can be beautiful and make us all unique and strong individuals.” Bethan T