We all grow up in a system of stereotypes, we all grow up believing that people are supposed to put other people in boxes – that’s how society works. We ain’t making the rules. But do we realize what this system does to us? No one can win with a losing hand.
Every human being has got a desire for individuality. You can be special, they say, but only within the designated framework. Trespassers will be shot. You better know your place. Choose a color, choose a dream, choose a love from the official inventory. Whatever it takes to make the box feel like home. Because it is home, isn’t it? Say it. What’s wrong with some compromises? For the greater good. For the sake of your mom, your friends, for the neighbour’s dog. Everyone’s gonna be happier, they say.
One thing they don’t say is that the process of maturing should be about constantly exposing, questioning and challenging the very stereotypes we’ve been taught to believe in blindly.
“WE LABEL PEOPLE BECAUSE THAT GIVES US POWER.”
On the surface, labeling might make handling people, their actions and reactions easier. A loud yes, they’re all like that requires way less effort than actually listening to what the other’s got to say. People feeding the deadly weapons of stereotypes falsely claim that the world is a place of simple choices. They are hurting people who are being labeled against their will, but mostly they’re robbing themselves of the opportunity of getting to know and understand others, the only way towards genuine happiness.
Do you remember the first time you chose confrontation over comfort? Getting yourself in trouble only because you decided that you deserve more than hiding behind prefabricated masks your whole life? We all took a beating for standing up for what we felt was right. And we took it with pride.
“IF YOUR’RE NOT A MAN, NOT A WOMAN THEN YOU ARE NOTHING.”
Pretending that something does not exist won’t make it disappear in real life. That’s not how it works. You can’t lock everyone into their little boxes forever. People evolve and grow and there is no way anyone can keep them hidden in a men-made cage. At our House of Love, our mission is to help people break free, step into the light. Because it doesn’t matter where you came from, what you believe in or who you love – every human being deserves to feel visible, equal and accepted.
“I WANT TO MAKE PEOPLE FEEL BEAUTIFUL WHENEVER THEY’RE AROUND ME.”
Respect is everything. For Container Love’s new editorial, we asked for wonderful individuals to let us into their lives. Chiderah, Isaak, Shayne and Kate, they all have been labeled many times by many people as many things. They all have got a history of going against people’s expectations, and doing everything to pursue happiness. They all have inspired us in the past to be braver and to stand up not only for ourselves, but for each other.
“IT’S OK TO OPEN UP AN BE VULNERABLE.”
The real world is not your safe space. Out there, you can hurt yourself. The reason you are keen to go back there is that wilderness is still the only thing that’s real. We wanted our interviews, our films and images to get under your skin. And the only thing why it actually does so, is that because it’s real. It’s lust for life, it’s a close look at some of the true faces of love. The bold, the beautiful and the unstoppable.
“FUCK THAT, THAT’S HOW I DEAL WITH IT.”
We take a great deal of pride in Love Has No Label. You can tell that everyone working on this editorial left a little piece of their hearts in it. These stories resonate with all of us differently: during the production there have been tears as we were brought back to times in our lives when the world seemed like a dark place. Hard times when we were closer to giving up than we’d like to admit. Yet here we are now, telling you a story definitely worth telling and definitely worth telling a thousand times more. Love gives you courage. Love gives you strength. Love strips you naked, washes you over and makes you reach the stars. Love is always for and never against. Love never gives up on people.
“LOVE IS UNWAVERING COMPASSION AND FORGIVENESS.”
Creative Director: Christian Ruess
Director: Ben Galster
Photographer: Andreas Knaub
Talents: Chiderah Sunny, Katja Grube, Shayne Stubbs, Isaak C
Art Director: Nadine Sahm, Babken Sakanyan
Copywriter: Tom Czibolya
Casting: Arabella Romen
Graphic Designer: Marss Mickeviča, Hendrik Wenzel
Director of Photography: Julian Landweer
Editor: Paul Anselm Koneffke
Colorist: Lutz Forster
Music & Sound Design: Gordian Gleiß, 86Tales
Supported by Iconoclast & Tim Augustin
Stylist: Katharina Willim
Hair Stylist: Hauke Krause
Make Up Artist: Fabienne Hoppe
Gaffer: Sina Blume
1st Camera Assistant: Philip Ratuschny
1st Camera Assistant: Belek Wunderlich
Camera & Light Rental: RGB Rental
Sound Recordist: Jonas Lechenmayr
Styling Assistent: Anne Büttner
Photo Assistant: Jochen Wochele
Project Manager: Robin Kulisch
Production: Studio Christian Ruess