Their purpose is to gradually change the world’s perspective and standards of beauty.
And one way of doing that is through an exhibit showcasing women with “raw beauty”. Wendy Crawford believes that true beauty is measured not by physical appearance but by confidence, uniqueness and strength. This stunning young woman had her chance of becoming a model at the age of 19 but then an accident occurred. She was on the way to the airport for her first international modeling job when her car was hit by a drunk driver. The accident rendered her a quadriplegic.
But despite this, Crawford did not stop pursuing her dream of becoming a model. What’s even more amazing with this brave lady is her passion to help other women. Today, she is the co-chairwoman of the Raw Beauty Project New York City and the founder of an online magazine, mobileWOMEN.org, which is for women wheelchair users.
Raw Beauty NYC is a visual arts project created and designed to inspire and encourage people worldwide to create new impressions and perceptions about women with varying capabilities by expanding and increasing awareness of the struggles and hardships these individuals face. The project also aims to transform or change stereotypes that discriminate against wheelchair users, especially female ones. Another goal of the project is to help these women overcome personal struggles and obstacles for them to live life to the fullest.
The project held an exhibit which featured 20 beautiful women living with various physical abilities who were photographed to showcase their sensuality, empowerment, beauty and strength. The public got a glimpse of the lives of these strong and incredible ladies through biography and photography. By experiencing the exhibit, people were able to get an idea of how these women overcome challenges in their everyday lives. The Raw Beauty Project exhibit showcased the lives of women who have lived their lives with meaning. Among these admirable and brave women are:
Sara Tabor – She'sa paraplegic athlete with the NY Rangers sled hockey team.
Michele Boardman – Not content with merely existing, today Boardman is a counselor with muscular dystrophy who is dedicated to helping other people.
Christy Cruz – Cruz's cerebral palsy and lower spinal damage from infection did not slow her from pursuing a degree in education and joining a national wheelchair basketball competition.
How these women overcome challenges and made breakthroughs as they live their lives are truly amazing. Who they are and what they did and are able to do define the real meaning of Raw Beauty.