It’s no secret that the diversity we see in the world is rarely reflected in the imagery created by the top fashion and beauty brands. And it’s not for lack of beautiful brown faces ready to strike a pose—a fact that Glenford Nuñez (above), 30, seeks to expose. The Baltimore-based photographer, whose work is on display at the National Museum of African American History & Culture, has started a photo and video project aptly named #WhyNotMe—raising that question and ultimately pushing the issue of inclusion. 

“You photograph what you see around you and the things you care about,” Nuñez says. “My mom is a Black woman. My sister is a Black woman. These are the people I love, so I want them to be depicted in the best possible light.” He is on a mission to capture at least 100 aspiring Black models to affirm that our beauty—inside and out—is worthy of praise.

Check out some of his work below! 

This feature originally appeared in the July 2017 Issue of ESSENCE Magazine.