Empowering Portraits: Raw Beauty Project Tackles Stereotypes

October 20, 2014

By Laura Brauer

Helmut Newton once said that his job as a portrait photographer was to “seduce, amuse and entertain.”

The Raw Beauty Project has an equally ambitious aim: to “redefine beauty by challenging stereotypes, celebrating courageous stories and breaking down barriers for the millions of women living with physical and sensory challenges.”

Their tools of choice: photography and biography.

In cooperation with the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation and mobileWomen.org, the Raw Beauty Project recently unveiled a series of portraits at the ACA Galleries in New York featuring 20 women with a range of disabilities, including spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, spina bifida, and cerebral palsy. The portraits were taken by a number of accomplished photographers who have rallied to contribute their talents to this good cause.

Funds raised by the Raw Beauty Project go to the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation which funds research into spinal cord injuries.

You can get a behind-the-scenes glimpse at the Raw Beauty portrait shoot in the video below. Tiffany Mueller of DIY Photography also has a nice write-up on the project, which is looking to conduct new sessions in other cities in the near future.