The idea behind the Weapon of Choice Project was to create a visual representation of the emotional damage words can do. World-class professional makeup artists generously donated their time to the project. The artists applied makeup to each participant to simulate an injury, and the hurtful word chosen by the participant was then incorporated.

We chose the name “Weapon of Choice” for this project because, for the abuser, using words to harm is a choice. While listening to the stories from participants who had suffered abuse, we discovered how closely physical abuse followed verbal abuse. Where we found evidence of one, we found evidence of the other. When the abuser chose to inflict harm, verbal abuse was just one of the weapons in the arsenal.

85mm · f/9.0 · 1/320s · ISO 100
Log in or register to post comments
graysonlauffenburger's picture

heavy, man. well done.

Kathryn Costello's picture

Important project and well done.

Don Shader's picture

I don't know what to think about this. It makes me sad. I like your work though.

Jennifer Kelley's picture

I saw this project on cnn.com a few weeks ago. Fantastic concept. I sit on the board of an anti-bullying non-profit and we were talking about this project at our last board meeting.

Richard Johnson's picture

Jennifer, feel free to use the images in your nonprofit. When I did this project we all agreed to offer it to nonprofits free of charge. If you send me your email I will add you to the dropbox folder with High res images.

Andrew Yianne's picture

Very powerful and moving, well done!

Martijn Schram's picture

Strong message. The expression really adds to it. Well done.

saphire gaskas's picture

This image has moved me to tears, such a worthwhile project and brilliantly executed! Well done!!

Richard Johnson's picture

Thank you for your kind words!

Studio 403's picture

I struggle to find real meaning what I call "Abuse Art". Of course abuse does happen. I would like to see art take a different tack.....How to mentor and or train folks to not let words get inside the head. A strong and kind heart always stands, show young men and women on how to stand in the face of a storm, We will always have low life's that exploit the vulnerable.