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In These Gorgeous Photos, People Face Their Fears and Turn Their Lives Around

The phrase "turning around" can mean many different things. And when Abbe Dembowitz decided to launch a project inspired by her lifelong struggle with self-esteem issues, she wanted to tap into multiple meaning of the phrase. So she named it the Turn It Around Project.


Abbe had turned something very important around not long earlier: her life. As the youngest sibling in her family, Abbe had grown up with high expectations that she found intimidating. From a young age, she experienced pressure that manifested itself in feelings of low confidence and an eating disorder. It took going to college and finding herself "in a very dark place" before Abbe got help.

Talking to a therapist was "a game-changer" for Abbe. She learned strategies for dealing with negative emotions, and she was able to turn away from the dark path she was on, and turn around her life.

Abbe created the Turn It Around Project to help people who, like her, struggle with negativity, by inviting them to participate in a photoshoot in which they face their fears and bad feelings by countering them with positive affirmations.

In their photos, the subjects have their negative thoughts written on their bodies, usually on their backs. On their opposite sides, Abbe and the subjects work together to write positive statements that transform the meaning of the negative ones. Abbe then captures photos of the subjects physically "turning around" to display the messages of empowerment and confidence.

"Being able to have changed my own thoughts, and then get to help other people to do the same thing, has been incredible," Abbe reflects with a big confident smile.

This video was produced by Angelica Toruno and shot/edited by Varya Rootwood. To see more inspiring videos, check out our HooplaHa YouTube page!

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