You Are Beautiful is an art project that evolved in Chicago during the early new millennium. As they say on their website: “It began simply with 100 stickers. In the past decade over a half million stickers have traveled around our globe. You Are Beautiful has evolved into block long murals, public installations, and exhibitions at cultural institutions involving thousands of artists. The history is rich, but the message remains clear. Stay strong, and never forget: You Are Beautiful.”
I first began noticing their stickers around ten years ago when I had gotten into stenciling anti-war messages on the sidewalks of Wicker Park in Chicago ( we actually made a couple of billboards too). I loved the the stickers and the message really stayed with me. It seemed humble, honest, and free of manipulative intent.
The stickers voiced an idea that after years of doing photography I had decided was true – people are beautiful. We’re beautiful in our oddness and our flaws. We’re beautiful in the unconscious mundane actions that comprise our day to day. And the world is beautiful. There is beauty in its unpredictability, its challenges, its promise, its vastness, and its vulnerability. I couldn’t think of a better message that people should be confronted with in their day to day.
It’s good to see these guys still going strong some ten years later. Here’s the link to their site: