This is a compelling photo series that strips away all the excess to explore how we as human beings deal with the words thrown at us, both carefully and thoughtlessly, each and every day.

“The labels that dictate how we are viewed by society are different, in many ways, from how we as individuals identify with ourselves. At times, it can seem as though the line between our self-identity and the identity placed on us by others is blurred. This makes it difficult for us to free ourselves from the confines of words, and alter the perception we have of ourselves.”

To explore the effects of the labels and stereotypes we’re all exposed to, Renner recruited volunteers to list the various words used to describe them on a piece of paper. After listing all their modifiers, from the complimentary to the painful, Renner’s subjects stripped down and wrote the words on their nude bodies.

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All images © Lauren Renner