Being Sexy is Being Yourself

100 portrait photographs of our body landscape

Being Sexy is Being Yourself is a photography / design project by New Human Beings, directed by San Francisco based designer / photographer Tomo Saito. This project invites you to be a part of the message that we are ought to share to regain our freedom and affirmation about body recognition and ourselves.

The Beginning
It started with the conversations between San Francisco based designer/photographer Tomo Saito and high school students from Japan. Tomo had a group session to talk with students to inspire their future. He thought he should talk about this topic instead of talking about design or photography because it has a lot impact for student's life in long term. The topic was about "Sexy". When he asked students what they imagine in their head when they hear the word sexy, the students were giggling and embarrassed to talk about it. Tomo pointed out that those images (assuming they are the images of a woman, possibly on the beach, most-likely partially or mostly naked, with a lot of makeups) were designed by adult men for adult men, and coming from TV or magazines, which is not really part of their own life. Tomo who is originally born and raised in Japan has learned a lot about diversity and open-mindedness about "Sexy" in the Bay Area in California, and wanted to give a critique about how powerful the media can be especially for the youth to effect their idea about themselves. Then Tomo facilitated a quick breathing exercise; "Close your eyes. Breathe deeply, slowly inhale and exhale. Straight up your back and open your chest. Feel your breath and your body." After a minute, Tomo asked the students to open their eyes, and look around. Students were looking around and smiling. Tomo said, "Hey, you guys look 100 times sexier than before!"

conversation with high school students

After some months, Tomo wanted to translate this experience into a project. Tomo started designing a poster, and realized he should invite people to be a model for the poster. Now, Tomo is collecting 100 people, men and women (or any), any age, and any body types. Tomo will create posters, a book, and exhibition. Please be a part of a movement.