Women with Disabilities Like Multiple Sclerosis Photographed for The Raw Beauty Project NYC

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by Patricia Silva, PhD |

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Joy Nabors – The Raw Beauty Project NYC model living with Multiple Sclerosis

In a bold movement aimed towards empowering disabled women to stand against social stigmas, the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation partnered with innovative visual arts project, Raw Beauty Project NYC, to showcase a series of photographs of women with different disabilities such as spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, spina bifida, and cerebral palsy, to name a few. The exhibit took place at the ACA Galleries last Saturday, September 20. All proceeds of the show went to the Reeve Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to curing spinal cord injury by supporting novel research and helping improve the quality of life for people living with paralysis.

Multiple sclerosis, a progressively debilitating autoimmune disease that targets the protective sheath of nerves, is one of the showcased disabilities, as it is a disease for which there is no cure.

Joy Nabors, one of the projects’ models, was diagnosed with MS at age 25, but did not give up on her passion for dance. Many individuals, men and women alike, who are diagnosed with MS use it as strong motivation to live life to the fullest and inspire others to do the same, while giving back to the MS community.

Some of the most talented and esteemed photographers from all over the world signed on for this transformative project. They photographed 20 women with powerful, uplifting stories behind their disabilities, and helped them project a different standard of beauty.

One of the photographed models is a 19-year-old girl who sustained a spinal cord injury from a car accident. Wendy Crawford, a former model, has since then been determined to inspire other women living with disabilities to believe they are beautiful, useful, and not to shy away from society.

One of the photographers who signed on for The Raw Beauty Project, Walter Chin, previously worked with Crawford. When she invited him to shoot for the project, he jumped at the chance, saying, “We have let these stereotypes persist for too long and the only way to break the cycle is to show the beauty and bravery of women with disabilities. To me, this campaign is telling twenty stories of inspiration through the lens of a camera to encourage millions of women worldwide to join the Raw Beauty movement.”

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To get to know the project’s roster of photographers and their inspiring subjects, log on to www.rawbeautynyc.com.

The Raw Beauty Project may be finished, but there is another event that those in the MSS can join to support people living with multiple sclerosis. On October 25th, MuckFest MS Los Angeles Mud and Fun Run will be taking place in Prado Regional Park, Chino. Expect tougher obstacle courses, and a lot more mud to fall into with your friends and family. All proceeds will go to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Hurry before pre-registration closes!

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