In March, I was delighted to be a part of a RAW photo shoot. I had heard of this amazing movement, and had seen girls posting no makeup selfies. On a day to day basis, I don't actually wear very much makeup, but for work, and shoots, its a WHOLE other story. To be honest, as excited as I was to be apart of such an important project...I was a little nervous. No makeup, no filters, no photo-shop? As a professional model, those are some scary words.
RAW's mission is to "Help women find a deeper level of confidence, self love, and acceptance, so we can shift our focus from the superficial to the accomplishing the unimaginable"
I walked up to Vancouver Urban Winery, where my photo shoot was to take place, and as soon as I met Erin, the founder, and Chris, the photographer, I instantly felt more at ease. Before we started the shoot, we all sat down and chatted a bit about what beauty means to us, the struggles we've all been through with our appearance, confidence, and self image, as well as our histories. It helped to get to know each other, and I found out WHY Erin decided to start this amazing project! (for more information on that, please check out the RAW website, link below).
Also at the shoot was Natalie Langston from Novus TV. My shoot (as well as her own) was filmed for a local television station. Natalie was a delight to talk to as well, and doing the shoot with someone else, helped put my mind at ease. We were both girls that were used to being made up for work, and we had the same anxieties and fears about being in front of the camera with absolutely no makeup, and completely vulnerable.
When it was time to step in from of the camera, my nerves went through the roof. I tried to think of all the reasons why this project is so amazing, and how happy I was to be a part of it, and suddenly, my fear went away. Chris and I worked together extremely well. He made me laugh, we had fun, and after the first few snaps, I completely forgot that I had no makeup on (in fact, it didn't even matter), and I just eased into the shoot, feeling happy, laughing, and above all, feeling beautiful.
The shoot was short (only about half an hour), but when it was over, I felt AMAZING! For as nervous as I was the night before, I felt so free and liberated. I let my TRUE beauty shine through on this shoot, which is something I had never been able to do before. This wasn't just about my hair and makeup and the clothes I was wearing. This truly was RAW.
I got home that morning, and was on a cloud. I felt so free...so happy...to honored to be part of such an amazing movement. My boyfriend and I talked about my experience for a few hours, which led to a conversation between us about beauty standards for both women AND men. Later that evening, my parents came over for dinner and the whole family had a conversation about beauty standards. It was amazing to hear different opinions, share my own, and discover some new ideas. And isn't that the whole hope of RAW, to start a conversation?
A few weeks later, my interview questions were sent to me. It forced to to dig even DEEPER! It took me a few days to think of my responses, and critically think of what I wanted to say, what I wanted to put out into the world.
To say being involved with RAW was an amazing experience is an understatement. I have always believed in true beauty, body positivity and loving ourselves, but being a part of RAW forced me to think harder about what inner beauty REALLY means.
Read my in depth RAW interview here
Visit the Raw Website: www.rawbeautytalks.com to read the other inspiring interview, and learn how to get involved.
Photos by Chris Thorne Photography