On Monday, January 13, 2014, a Vancouver-based organization launched a bold photo exhibition and movement. RAW Beauty Talks is working build women’s confidence and create a new standard of beauty. To that end, they’ve spent the past few months collecting unedited photographs of local women without makeup, sharing them alongside candid conversations and intimate interviews. If you’d like to see Vancouver women – and yourself, for that matter – in a new light, you may want to check them out.
RAW Beauty is Real Beauty
The RAW website’s tagline is A conversation about beauty, confidence & self-love. That’s a pretty accurate description of what you’ll find when you visit. While the photographs on the site are absolutely beautiful, what’s most noteworthy is what they’re not. That is, they’re very different from the images you see staring out at you from glossy magazine covers. We may know that the images on those glossy magazine covers are heavily edited and don’t represent real life. And yet, as we’re constantly inundated with these unrealistic images they leave a mark. As a result many of us – women, most especially – spend untold amounts of time and money trying to live up to impossible standards. When we can’t, we feel frustrated and filled with self-doubt.
“RAW aspires to see a world where women are valued for their brains and hearts more than for their appearances,” says Erin Treloar, founder of RAW Beauty Talks. “From my experience, the most beautiful people, moments and experiences in life are the ones that are raw. I launched this movement to help women feel more confident in their beauty so we can move on with our lives and start using our minds and hearts for more important things. My hope is that RAW will provide women with an opportunity to support each other rather than compete with one another, that it will offer women a chance to say, ‘I am beautiful, whole and perfect exactly as I am and I will not hide that truth.'”
Recognizing Your Beauty
In addition to the images and interviews on the site, you’ll find a blog and an Instagram gallery of images tagged with #RAWBeautyTalks (including yours if you tag it). There’s also a collection of ‘Words to Change the World’, featuring dozens of inspiring quotes like, “You were born to be real not perfect.”
If you could use a lift and a reminder of what real beauty looks like, visit RAW Beauty Talks online. When we’re focusing on wellness this month, it’s important to remember what’s real and what isn’t. We all deserve to be recognized for who we really are, and the beauty we already possess. This encouraging message from RAW Beauty Talks is one of the most important things we can hear – for ourselves, and for the children who are watching us every day. After all, if we want our little ones to recognize how beautiful they are, we need to start by recognizing how beautiful we are, too.
RAW Beauty Talks
Amber Strocel is a writer, aspiring math teacher, suburbanite, wife and mom of two. She believes in the power of the Internet to connect people, and she believes that numbers are the poetry of the universe. You can often find her knitting, sewing, volunteering, working in her garden, and sneaking chocolate when no one's looking. She blogs at Strocel.com and shares her photos on Instagram as @AmberStrocel.