The pressure to be "pretty" can get really ugly.

Research shows that girls as young as 7 internalize unhealthy thoughts about their appearance, including body dissatisfaction. This unhappiness can stop girls from wearing certain clothes or participating in activities they love, and can grow into a life-long battle with body dysmorphia or eating disorders.

Our culture's deeply flawed idea of beauty fascinated photographer Carey Fruth. Last year, the San Francisco-based artist started an ongoing project, to show how our narrow understanding of what's beautiful is anything but.

In her series, "American Beauty," Fruth captured women recreating the famous pose from the 1999 Academy Award-winning film. The body positive series features models who are also activists in the space, including Denise Jolly of the Be Beautiful Project and Sonya Renee Taylor of The Body Is Not An Apology.

Through this new lens, we explore how a woman's individuality and sensuality is what truly makes her beautiful — not harmful, myopic ideals.

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American Beauty photo
photo: Carey Fruth Photography
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American Beauty photo
photo: Carey Fruth Photography
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American Beauty photo
photo: Carey Fruth Photography
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American Beauty photo
photo: Carey Fruth Photography
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American Beauty photo
photo: Carey Fruth Photography
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American Beauty photo
photo: Carey Fruth Photography
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American Beauty photo
photo: Carey Fruth Photography