Joel Parés’ Powerful Series Examines What Happens When You Judge A Book By Its Cover

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Joel Parés is a U.S. Marine-turned-photographer who’s created a series titled Judging America that illustrates the prejudices we often have against people who are different from ourselves. As the old saying goes, “don’t judge a book by its cover,” and that’s what you’re liable to when you first see these stylized photographs.

Each image is broken up into the two parts – a stereotype of a particular societal group versus who the character actually is. The tattooed, gun-toting gangster turns out to be a Harvard graduate, a decorated stripper is a buttoned-up widowed mother of three kids, and more. You get the picture here – Parés is demonstrating that talented, incredible people come in all different packages.

“Many of us judge incorrectly by someone’s ethnicity, by their profession, and by their sexual interest,” Parés told PetaPixel. “The purpose of this series is to open our eyes and make us think twice before judging someone, because we all judge even if we try not to.” (Via Bored Panda)


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  • Maple

    I have a major issue with this series. The artist doesn’t allow the viewer to become aware of their own prejudices but rather shoves something he thinks we “should” be prejudiced about. If see a picture of ANYONE holding two handguns it will alter my opinion of them. I also think the first photos are a condescending way to guide us into thinking something about someone. Though I appreciate the artists message I think this his method is majorly flawed and exposes prejudices of his own.

  • John Park

    A little corny in execution.

  • hi

    what about a cop?