Zarah Browne

I am 16 years old and I was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. I’m a sophomore at Khalil Gibran International Academy in Downtown Brooklyn. Before discovering the world of photography I was deeply interested in dramatic writing, and I still am. Last spring I took part in the Future Dramatic Artists where I wrote a short play named Killing Todd Bertelli. In the following summer and fall I participated in Mind the Gap at NYTW and wrote two short plays, Deadly Dance of Two and To Be or Not to Be. After highschool I hope to double major in either dramatic writing or photography and psychology.

  • “To me beauty means to have a wonderful mindset. Beauty is not all about how pretty or fashionable someone is. It’s about bow beautiful and honorable your personality is. Without having a personality that is noble and humble, beauty won't really matter. Beauty arising from the inside, is what counts."
  • “To me, beauty means a kind heart and empathetic mind, snowy days, trees, nature, and laughter. Beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder. One thing that is beautiful to one person, may not be beautiful to the next. Beauty is whatever you feel it is, so it wouldn't be right for me to say what beauty is but to myself.”
  • “Beauty to me means having confidence and loving yourself regardless of your flaws because that’s what makes you the person you are.”
  • “Beauty is like it's perfect, like if someone says that's beautiful then its like its perfect, its amazing.”
  • “Beauty means sexiness, and sexiness is me.”



With this series I decided to explore the standards of beauty. Living in a society that tries to define what beauty is often causes people to misinterpret what beauty is, and makes them question their self beauty and lowers one’s self esteem. Media shoves the stigma of beauty down the throats of youth, suffocating them with false perceptions of what beauty is. “Beauty is being skinny, beauty is having light skin, beauty is having straight blonde hair, and beauty is having blue eyes,” is often what society says about beauty. In my school I always hear people say “oh my gosh I look so ugly,” when they’re really not, but society is driving them to believe they are. Through my photography I want people to understand that beauty is undefined. Throughout the series, most of my friends decided to cover their faces. This is intentional to express the way society installs a false idea of beauty; covering their faces lets them feel comfortable. Other photos are intentionally unfocused to create a blur of beauty. The photos that are out of focus represent us straying away from the beauty standard, because we’re changing what beauty means.

back to projects page