Rethinking Beauty

Celia Peters, Director | Producer | Videographer

Rethinking Beauty is an intense look at Shortstack, a NYC-based teen modeling organization whose members fall outside the boundaries of typical industry standards. In other words, they are all “normal” girls — some short, some tall, some overweight, some average weight, some slim — with a range of looks. What they have in common is a love of the runway. This short documentary explores why and how Shortstack, a teen-founded organization, came to be and how the organization uses one of the world’s most superficial and manipulative industries as a vehicle to promote empowerment and self-esteem among teen girls and young women. The models of Shortstack reveal their own savvy about the realities of the (media) world we live in, and their own determination to rise above the negative messages and dysfunction around female beauty and body image that are so ubiquitous in this country. In emotionally charged moments that seem speak through the collective psyche of young women in America, the models speak freely about the powerful allure of the runway and the thrilling gratification of being granted access to the exalted and ever-glamorous catwalk based on who they really are and what they actually look like.