Arrested Movement is an inclusive portrait series and awareness initiative celebrating and promoting positive body image for men by Anthony Patrick Manieri. In recent years, the push to include the issue of body positivity awareness into the mainstream conversation has been acknowledged in the media as a woman’s issue; Manieri believes that it is a human issue. We as a society are bombarded from an early age with what is considered to be beautiful and acceptable through our environment, television, movies, advertising and the dominant juggernaut of social media via our computers and smartphones. All causing negative affects on our self-esteem. Body image is related to self-esteem.
“Body image and self-esteem directly influence each other - and your feelings, thoughts, and behaviours. If you don’t like your body (or part of your body), it’s hard to feel good about your whole self. The reverse is also true: if you don’t value yourself, it’s hard to notice the good things and give your body the respect it deserves.” - Canadian Mental Health Association, BC Division
What started out as a single photo session consisting of 10-12 men to be showcased in a gallery exhibit, quickly and organically morphed into this movement through social media, which now is allowing Manieri to meet and photograph men in different cities. He listens to their stories and personal struggles that they share, and he reminds them that we’re all the same. This inclusive series focuses on men of all races, from thin to large, Little People to super tall, men with physical disabilities, transgender men, as well as two-spirited men. All are welcome. All are beautiful.
Manieri holds space on set for these men, allowing them to feel empowered. Stopping every once in a while during the session to show them what they’re images look like on screen, and having their reactions be quite joyful. He is looking for a moment where the soul comes through, then stopping time when their authentic self meets his eye and the shutter of his camera. A celebratory moment of self-love, self-empowerment and self-acceptance is captured.
The Japanese author and researcher, Masaru Emoto, claimed that human consciousness has an affect on the molecular structure of water. He believed through his research, that water reacts to positive and negative thoughts and words. Therefore, because the human body is made up of 60 to 70 percent water, when one is verbally or cognitively negative with themselves or to the people around them, this will inevitably cause a negative affect on the physical body and psyche.
Anthony hopes that the end result of this project would someway help to shine light on the fact that men, especially men in the LGBTQ community, suffer from body issues and self-acceptance just as much as women, and that men should be included in the narrative; creating a dialogue about loving and accepting ourselves, and help to create a ripple effect in the social consciousness. This ongoing photo series will result in a touring gallery show partnered with a book.
Anthony Patrick Manieri is a professional photographer and art director based in Toronto, Canada. He specializes in stylized portraiture and food photography. Anthony’s work has appeared in print and online, including Martha Stewart Weddings, Maclean’s Magazine, The Globe and Mail, The Toronto Star, Hello! Magazine, Weddingbells, BRIDES, and Dauphine Magazine. Clients range from The Art Gallery of Ontario to Second Cup Canada.
Arrested Movement has garnered coverage in online publications such as Italian Vogue, Gay Star News, Fstoppers, BARNAB Paris, HORNET, MAINLY MALE and The Point.
Share your Story
Thank you for your interest in this portrait series and awareness initiative. We all have a story. We can all relate on some level with being self-deprecating, self-sabotaging and sometimes even self-loathing. We know that this behavior is damaging, and yet some of us still choose to continue to share space with these negative practices because its what we know; And some of us may have already started on our individual path to self-acceptance and self-love.
Since starting this photo series/project I have received messages from men who either would like to participate in future sessions or have just shared their stories of their struggles and achievements with me.
If you would like to participate in the series and/or would like to share your story of your personal journey, please let me know. Selected stories may be included in the upcoming photo book that will house the diverse collection of images captured thus far for the Arrested Movement series.