The Raw Beauty Project NYC is a multi-media project that shares photographs and stories of women with disabilities. By photographing these women, an otherwise invisible story of beauty and strength is being told. Debuting in New York City in September 2014, The Raw Beauty Project tells the story of various women and the daily challenges they overcome as they are faced with a disability. Women with disabilities have the opportunity to express themselves beyond the frame of their physical limitations but rather as beautiful, strong women. With support by the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, The Raw Beauty Project has helped to redefine certain societal perceptions of what beauty is. Actor Christopher Reeve was a quadriplegic himself who lobbied for individuals with spinal injuries and spinal research. The visual arts exhibit tours the country and as suggested by their website, encourages all to view the photographs and “embrace their beauty, own their power, and live their passion.”
Why is this called the “raw” beauty project? How does the video both explain what the project is and potentially change perceptions about women with disabilities?
What were some of the ways the women in the video define beauty and strength? How do these descriptions challenge societal norms?
Why are projects like The Raw Beauty Project important for visibility? How did the women who participated in this project say they benefited from being a part of it, and how did they hope it would influence those who see it?
What is the mission of The Raw Beauty Project? Do you think it is successful in challenging representations and perceptions of people with disabilities?