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Raw Beauty Project Transforms Stereotypes of Women with Disabilities


Donna R. Walton. Photograph by Paul Morse for Raw Beauty NYC.

The Raw Beauty Project NYC celebrates the stories and photographs of 20 women living with physical disabilities and shows that true beauty is not defined by a single look. A collaboration between mobileWOMEN.org and the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, the Raw Beauty Project was exhibited at ACA Galleries in New York in late September and is now being displayed in a nationwide tour. In addition, the project’s website continues to transform stereotypes and raise awareness of women with disabilities.

Along with participants who are living with spinal cord injury, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, cerebral palsy, and other disabilities, three amputees are featured as part of the project. Tracy Schmitt is a quadrilateral amputee, and Katherine Crawford and Donna R. Walton, a former Amplitude contributor, are lower-limb amputees.

The photographs are meant to depict empowerment, beauty, and/or sensuality, providing a revised portrait of what it means to be a woman with a disability today.

For more information about the project, visit www.rawbeautynyc.com. To read the participants’ stories and view a limited selection of photographs, click on the MODELS tab. To watch a 5-minute video, visit www.youtube.com/watch?v=7_3REkm-msY.

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