Bold Beauty Project celebrates women with disabilities unique beauty through artistic and inspired means. With the creative lens of a photographer, disabled women’s oft-ignored sensuality is given the spotlight in a courageous, confident, and unabashed way. The project forces viewers to redefine how they perceive beauty and sensuality and especially embraces the self-confidence of the largely ignored and often miscategorized group of women with disabilities.
Beginning in 2006 as Uncensored Life: Raw Beauty, The Bold Beauty Project has continued to grow and fill mainstream media with a visual arts celebration of women with disabilities. But the focus is on those who felt isolated by a narrow depiction of beauty in the media and allowing other disabled women to seek their own raw beauty within themselves. As stated in their Miami 2016 exhibition catalog “Disability becomes beauty becomes art becomes change”. In a world where women are routinely pressed to meet ever-changing beauty standards perpetuated by constant advertisements attempting to sell the idea of ‘perfection’, it is refreshing to see a group boldly refusing to accept these limitations and declaring their unique beauty confidently. Body positivity movements are often not all inclusive, and this unintentional erasure of the disabled community left founder of the Bold Beauty Project Shelly Baer to create a space for women with disabilities to highlight and embrace their sensuality and unique beauty.
The Bold Beauty Project works on developing a community of ‘bold beauties’ and highlighting disabled women’s’ sensuality, allowing them to embrace their confidence and pride. Body positivity is important in a world with narrow beauty standards, and especially for women with disabilities, who are often left out of mainstream body positive movements.
Eva Ritva will present a panel discussion on beauty standards in our culture and within the disabled community. Models who have posed in these images will be able to discuss how this project has allowed them to explore themselves and grow in ways they previously thought unimaginable.