Julie Hassett Suton
I have been a photographer for 20 years. it is my way of processing the world – of trying to make sense of the chaos, of capturing the light, and of finding the absolute beauty in the everyday.
When I turned 50ish menopause started kicking my ass and I couldn’t get a handle on it. My body changed completely. I started to realize how much I judged myself and my body image. At some point I asked, “Was I less of a person because of my body weight and my wrinkles”? When Maryanne came to me with this project idea it was exactly what I was trying to come to terms with within myself.
I live in Brooklyn within blocks of Maryanne and Lisa and often join them for a caffeine fix. My other work can be seen here: juliehassettsutton.com
Maryanne Murray Fishman
A Lawng-EYE-land girl, Maryanne Fishman currently lives in Brooklyn. She met Lisa and Julie at the tiny, neighborhood coffee shop when their kids were tiny.
Maryanne was inspired to begin the “More Than” project after going through her sixth abdominal surgery which had complications that put her in bed and on opiods for over two months. When she first told Julie and Lisa about the project she shared how sexy she felt after all that had happened.
As an actress, a stand-up comic, sketch comic, an improv actor and painter, Maryanne has become quite adept at hiding herself. The biggest thing she has hidden her whole life has been the scar on her stomach and the problems that have gone along with it. The germ of the “More Than” concept was born from a vision Maryanne had of just being OUT LOUD AND PROUD of her huge scar in a photo.
For Maryanne part of this journey involves self-acceptance of flaws; the other part is showing her daughters the beauty of flaws. This quote also stood out and felt relevant - “In Japan, broken objects are often repaired with gold. The flaw is seen as a unique piece of the object’s history, which adds to its beauty.”
Maryanne wants her girls and all woman to love their gold. When she shared her idea with the Julie and Lisa, they were on board. Maryanne is eager to see what “More Than” will become once other women add their voices.
A Texas transplant, Lisa Hargus lives in downtown Brooklyn and made most of her New York friends at a tiny coffee shop. In fact, she met her co-founders there.
The “More Than” project resonates for Lisa for so many reasons. Here are some: as a southern woman raised in the 70-80s (with those attendant codes, rules and laxities), as an actress (tasked with selling and constantly judging her own image relative to other very similar- better versions of herself), and also as a woman in her 40s (endeavoring to embrace her silver mane and smile lines...and frown lines and everything else).
She currently works in interior design and greatly enjoys the way creativity and planning can solve problems and bring joy. Having moved to New York as an actor, Lisa has lots of experience feeling uncomfortable looking at photos and videos of herself. She keeps up her SAG membership for the awards screeners.