Brave Women In Wheelchairs Set Out To Redefine The Beauty Standards For People With Disabilities

The power of beauty lies within.

How can a wheelchair-bound person look sexy?

Ten photographers and twenty beautiful women unite to prove they do look like this everyday. It's our problem we don't see it. 

Photography project titled #RawBeautyNYC invites people to question their perceptions of disability by showcasing portraits of physically challenged females who are nonetheless powerful, sensual, and gorgeous like the rest of us.

The initial idea was to create a photo exhibit showing disabled women as sexy and beautiful and raise funds for The Center of Independent Living.

Their mission was to inspire people to create new perceptions, transform stereotypes and breakthrough personal obstacles by expanding awareness of women with physical challenges.

The whole project was started by six women: Shelly Baer, Vanessa Silbermanto, Ginny Dixon, Susan Solman, Sabrina Cohen and photographer Wendy Crawford (image below). 

After onboarding twenty brave models to showcase what they call 'their own brand of beauty, sensuality and empowerment', Crawford did a series of photographs along with self-written biographies by women who are bound to a wheelchair due to various circumstances.

The project aspires to show that beauty, sensuality, and confidence don't come from the physical body.

Women in photographs are dynamic, provocative and fierce as to show that no wheelchair can hold them back.

"I feel the beauty of a woman is how she feels on the inside, which will in turn radiate on the outside," Aimee says.

All the inspiring biographies of women sharing their incredible journeys through life are listed on the #RawBeautyNYC website. Here is one of the most heartwarming stories by Kitty (image below):

"Christmas Eve 1986, I was working at St. Patrick's Cathedral and Mother Theresa was going to be there for Midnight Mass! While eating Mother Theresa came up to me ... She looked at me and said very calmly, "My dear, I do not think you are leading the life you were born to live"! Three weeks later I slipped on ice, fell down the stairs and broke my back! My life changed in an instant," Kitty wrote in her biography.

"I feel like I am a groundbreaker, a woman who is filled with a multitude of expressions and has elegance and integrity."

Watch this video to see more behind-the-scenes footage from the photo shoot:

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