“Beauty Through Damage” photo projectJan 07 09:34
I love anything that in one succinct moment can wipe away a stereotype like a smudge on a mirror, and the power behind a striking photo can do just that. That is why Beauty Through Damage, a work-in-progress photo project by Rei Bennett, is a collaboration after my own heart. Beauty Through Damage highlights the beauty that exists in women with bodily imperfections.
Rei Bennett, the photog, is a cancer survivor from the U.K. (Derby to be exact). The project idea came when she was contacted by Cat, a latex and lingerie designer (Kitty Kreme designs) who was injured in a car accident a few years ago. Cat had the initial idea to do the shoot after her right leg was seriously damaged (several of the ligaments had to be removed), leaving her to need to use a brace or crutches to walk.
Cat, like so many women with disabilities before her, must have felt what we did after our injuries, when we had our feminine identities challenged: Frustrated, annoyed, determined. I mean, Cat was a fan or corsetry, and all things girly, long before her injury. You can’t just give a huge part of yourself up (if you can help it) just because a car hits you.
Making a statement to the world that we are still the same, and that the world unjustly perceives us, wells up in all of us. And photography is still one of the best ways to make this happen. These photos show that Cat is still the same fierce beautiful woman, with a penchant for latex, despite the presence of her new hardware.
And these photos are just the beginning. There are two more shoots lined up and they’re looking for more models. If you live in the U.K., they’re interested in collaborating with anyone who has scars or burns from an injury or a disease, overcame an eating disorder or with any other kind of disability. You can send them a message at their site here.
See all the photos: Beauty Through Damage
The inspiration for the project: Beauty Out Of Damage
Cat's blog: Latex, Lingerie and Life
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Tiffiny Carlson is freelance writer and writes the “SCI Life” column for New Mobility. She's also a C6 quad from a diving accident that occurred when she was 14 years old. A lifelong resident of Minneapolis, Tiffiny has been a writer in the disability community for over 10 years and writes for several publications and blogs, as well as her personal blog BeautyAbility. Her work has also appeared in mainstream publications such as Nerve.com and Playgirl.