Are you beautiful like you?

What does beautiful mean to you? Can you say you are beautiful? I know I can. I've spent my life hiding and feeling ugly because I don't conform to any standard of beauty. But going through my journey and discovering my true self has taught me to see that beauty comes from within. It comes from experiencing life, both lightness and darkness, from accepting and loving yourself. It comes from being flawed and human and trusting that you are whole. It comes from living with raw openness that leaves you vulnerable to pain but also to joy and gratitude. It means you feel fully, experiencing all of life's richest pleasures and deepest pains. You stand in it with open palms, ready to receive, and show up unapologetically as your most authentic self. Beauty isn't skin deep. It lives in the soul and wholeness of our most vulnerable selves. I want to redefine beauty and show it for what it is because I am not beautiful like you. I am beautiful like me.

I want to knowif you have touchedthe centre of your own sorrow, I want to knowwhat sustains youfrom the insidewhen all else falls away. I want to knowif you can be alonewith yourselfand if you truly likethe company you keepin the empty moments. From “The Invitation” by Oriah

“Once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand. You can't become unreal again. It lasts for always.”

-The Velveteen Rabbit

Jenna

I am beautiful because…

I let the world move through me and am not afraid of my body and power. I hold the universe inside of me. I am made of stars and space.

Being raw means I have found the light inside of me and am practicing finding it as often as I can and letting it shine. I am healing myself and trusting that I have all that I need.

Sharece

I am beautiful because…

I shine in darkness. I go deep. I am a child inside.

Being raw means I am curious of where to go and I hold the divine within me.

Mary

I am beautiful because…

I am a survivor. I am strong, full of light and love. I see beauty in the world where there is darkness.

Being raw means embracing every flaw and still choosing to love on myself.

DJ

I am beautiful because…

I am willing to look at hard times as lessons that will eventually fill my heart and soul with more happiness. I’m trying to find the balance between accepting myself fully and allowing myself to grieve when I cannot.

Being raw means I am becoming proud of the woman I am today because I am queer, I am a woman and I am me.

Anne

I am beautiful because…

I am able to connect with myself and choose what is right for me. ⁣I see value in every human, and love and accept them wherever they are. This includes me.⁣

Being raw means I can feel the pain deeply, but keep pushing forward.⁣

Soleil

I am beautiful because…

I embrace imperfection and the strength and beauty in vulnerability. I radiate joy and live with intention and deep passion.

Being raw means embracing the person I am and becoming, knowing I am worth it.

Karen

I am beautiful because…

I am open, honest and willing to learn. I’m a survivor who bravely chooses to lean into softness.

Being raw means apologizing when I’m wrong, crying when I’m feeling, and standing up for what’s right.

Anne Marie

I am beautiful because…

I have been hurt and still choose to trust. I am not afraid to follow my heart. I have a calmness that others can feel.

Being raw means I allow myself to sit with discomfort and nurture those feelings.

Lisa

I am beautiful because…

I am stardust and sea water. The iron in my blood comes from the supernovas before me, whereas the salt and water from the oceans beside me. I am part of this magnificent universe and the love and light in me chooses to see the love and light in you.

Being raw means choosing a life where my faith is greater than my fear.

Lizbeth

I am beautiful because…⁣

I don’t see the truth outside of me. The answers and love are within myself. I can embrace my vulnerability and darkness and be present.

Being raw means I respect and love myself. To stay with joy, sadness, and challenges is hard but nothing is more important than connecting with being real.

Jessica

I am beautiful because…

The darkness of my past isn’t an anchor, but the spark to ignite the fire of who I really am. I show up as my real self without all the layers I’ve hidden behind in the past.

Being raw means I fully embrace my darkness to find my light and joy.

Kelly

I am beautiful because…

I allow for my own transformation to happen even when it’s uncomfortable and leaves me breathless, weak, disappointed and yearning.⁣

Being raw means I see the gaping chasm of depth between unyielding joy and overwhelming grief and allow it to stretch me wide open.⁣

Gabriela

I am beautiful because…

I am wounded and messy and fragile. I feel pain, the pain of others, the pain in myself. I believe in beauty and want to share the beauty and goodness I see in the world.

Being raw means I open up, I want to be seen and I want others to see me.

Audrey

I am beautiful because…

I felt powerless from sexual assault.
I believed I was weak, unlovable and not good enough.
I reclaimed my body and my power.
I am strong, lovable, capable and worthy.

Being raw means letting my inside shine outside.

Hannah

I am beautiful because…

I am soft and sweet.
I am hard and protective.
My heart has been ripped from my chest.
I embody pure joy.

Being raw means embracing the vastness of the in between, knowing it makes me who I am.

Kalanit

I am beautiful because…

My mother almost died and I found appreciation.
I was raped and I found gratitude.
I lost myself to others and I rediscovered my true self.

Being raw means finding the beauty in both the light and the dark.

CONTACT

Would you like to experience the RAW Project for yourself? Connect with me by using the contact form or emailing me directly at hi@judyleephotography.com.