Margaret Eby
August 11, 2014 6:23 am

There’s a difference between looking beautiful and feeling beautiful. Perhaps if we spent less time worrying about how we looked, and more time understanding how we feel, we’d have more fluid standards of beauty in general. Hey, it’s just an idea. It’s also the basis of “What Makes Me Feel Beautiful?”—an inspiring new photo series that raises the question we don’t ask ourselves enough. Photographers Alison Luntz and Viola Gaskell joined forces with eBay Fashion to take portraits of over 80 people in New York City and Seattle and ask about what makes them feel beautiful.

“From the responses we learned that, for most of us, the feeling of being beautiful is derived from many of the same places, and it’s more than skin deep,” eBay project manager Chibuzo Okoro told Mic. “We feel most beautiful when we are able to connect with others, when we’re outside in the sun, when we exercise, when we look good, when we accomplish something. Fundamentally, we feel most beautiful when we feel good internally.”

The strangers come from all walks of life, and every answer is different. For some, beauty comes from being engaged in their work. For others, it’s a good hair day. Most of all their answers are a reminder that we’re not all living a narrow bubble of unattainable beauty standards. It’s the little things—and the people in our lives—that make us feel good about ourselves, even though at times that’s easy to forget. That’s why this project is actually so eye-opening. Simple but profound. Here’s a sampling of some of the responses Luntz and Gaskell got when they asked total strangers, “What makes you feel beautiful?”

It’s a wonderful reminder that beauty is something that we all seek and find in radically varied places.

All images via

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