Confidence, beauty, vibrancy—three words that represent photographer Nicole Mills’ “40 Over 40” exhibition. In its second year, the project has helped women over 40 celebrate their age. Mills says, “I started doing the campaign because as an older woman myself (52), I wanted to help other mature women to feel empowered through the portrait experience. In a world where women are constantly being told they’re not enough, I wanted them to see and feel otherwise.” Watch our social media @rochwomenmag for more!
Life has not been easy, and like most women, I have body image issues. When I saw Nicole’s “40 over 40” advertisement, I just went for it. I did not think it through. When I did, I wanted to back out. Nicole made me feel pretty good about myself, and the compliments I get about the pictures are empowering. After all, these other people are seeing something different, so maybe I just need to change my thoughts about myself.
After years of being overlooked and cast aside at work, I wanted to do something positive for myself, something that would remind me of who I used to be and that would reignite my self-confidence. This experience helps us see ourselves differently and reminds us of our inner beauty and strength.
I remember, in my younger years, feeling strong, beautiful and capable of taking on the world. Then I became a wife, a mother and employee, and societal norms took over. I thought I had lost that part of me. But this photoshoot helped me find that inner strength and beauty again. Nicole’s work is amazing! And it felt so good to make an investment in MYSELF. ::