How confetti-filled photos aim to de-stigmatize mental health
"All the Feels,” a series from Shine and The Confetti Project, showcases celebrities and influencers whose emotions are as diverse as they are.
Since 1949, May has been Mental Health Awareness Month, but this very well could be the first time confetti has been used to not only raise awareness for the cause, but also to encourage people to be vulnerable and playful while doing so.
"My hope is for someone to look at these vivid, candid photos and feel like they're not alone,” said Jelena Aleksich, founder of The Confetti Project. “Through this series, our intention is to create something that de-stigmatizes mental health. This series spotlights diverse individuals that have all achieved various degrees of success, yet they all feel all the feelings.”
Naomi Hirabayashi and Marah Lidey, co-founders of Shine, hope viewers will look at “All the Feels” and “know it's OK to feel awkward. It's OK to feel worried. It's part of what makes us all human. We hope this photo series starts a conversation and helps others notice and embrace their full range of emotions."
Celebrities and influencers from Aparna Nancherla, a comedian currently appearing in “The Standups” on Netflix, and Girls Who Code Founder Reshma Saujani to fitness activist and model Kevin Kreidler and Katrina Craigwell, vice president of brand and revenue marketing of GE Digital, were among those who appear in “All the Feels,” and the emotions they celebrate in the series are as diverse as they are.
Nancherla, who has lived with depression and anxiety, celebrates contentment and said she has “learned to appreciate those moments where everything is more neutral and at ease.” Craigwell celebrates her tendency to worry — as well as those moments she can stop, while Kreidler celebrates sexiness.
“Trust me, I’m still awkward at times, but it’s because it’s so new to be able to say, ‘Whoa, Asian men are sexy,’” he said. “We can be. It’s still something I’m learning to do.”
For Aleksich, it all comes down to the magic and celebratory emotions confetti can provide.
“I want people to look at these photos and their stories and let go of any shame they have about their own mental health,” she said. “You can celebrate every part of yourself because when you really let go to the present moment without judgment, there's no such thing as beauty not being there. Confetti really does have magical powers that invites anyone to be comfortable being vulnerable while surrendering to play."