Beauty Papers

Jameela by Sharif Hamza

A portrait series celebrating the beauty of middle eastern teenagers living in Europe.

This issue of Beauty Papers shows the extraordinary minds of our contributors taking risks, revelling in their obsessions and convictions to explore the very definition of beautiful. What is beautiful to you?

I find stories to be beautiful, and more so the opportunity for all to tell personal ones.

Your story beautifully captures a celebration of middle eastern diversity. What were important observations for you to make?

I wanted to capture the depth of the beauty in the faces and the stories of those with identities that combine yet transcend middle eastern and western backgrounds. The subjects of this shoot have middle eastern faces but the cultures, issues and feelings that they identify with go far beyond what they look like or where they were raised. A greater exploration of the term beauty is more than skin deep.

Growing up in London, obsessed with magazines, I had always longed to see faces like mine and my sister’s printed on pages. It’s wonderful to see that we are in changing times where everyone’s beauty is included.

Do you think editorial has a social responsibility?

This shoot was an opportunity for me to use my voice and my work to show others something that I find to be beautiful but often overlooked.

We are at a point when the visual language of our time is more diverse, creative and less about wealth and status, how do do you challenge the norm?

For me the main thing is that we create imagery that tries to say something instead of sell something.

We live in media age where our landscape changes in seconds. What effects do you think this has had on artistry and has this changed your approach to your craft?

I find it to be very liberating. The landscape has opened up and there is a place to be non-conformist, less superficial.

Who are your photographic influences?

The New York Times.

What are your goals for the future?

To do more work that says something.

Photography Sharif Hamza
Beauty Ciara O’Shea
Hair Raphael Salley
Styling Gary David Moore
Nails Lauren Michelle Pires
Casting Shelley Durkan

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