January 17, 2002

Dear Ms. Richards,

As the aging father of a teenage daughter I have become even more aware than I was of how one's body and looks can influence life outcomes. 

I am 56 and have noticed that I am now invisible. I can walk down a street and have the unenviable experience of having people look right through me. My daughter, who is a lovely young woman, gets looked at too much, and for the wrong reasons. 

Many years ago I knew a stunningly beautiful young woman who killed herself because there was one imperfection on her spine, which showed a tiny bit when she was naked. I also knew another woman who died of breast cancer in the most horrible way. Memories of her struggle will stay with me forever. How we look can often dictate whether we are successful. 

How many strikingly beautiful women have you seen working at MacDonald's? Conversely, the corporate image of the beautiful woman in a wool skirt and jacket as an executive is everywhere. Depicting us as we really are is impossible, it seems. I like Jan Arden not only because she sings and writes so well, but because she has guts. 

I think your project has heart and guts, too, and I respect that, being a small publisher and film maker myself. Working without a net takes some doing.

I am buying a calendar.

Matt Scott Chester,
Nova Scotia