Raw Stories – @gemmaadby

Sharing Raw Stories is a way for us to connect, acknowledge the beauty, strength and perseverance involved in every journey. We hope these stories enlighten, inspire and encourage you as you walk your own path and help you to know that you are never alone.

What is your Raw Story?

 

My name is Gemma and this is my story,

I was born with a missing left forearm and have hidden it all my life…up until the start of this year. I was tired of hiding it under clothing or buying clothing to cover up my arm. It became a habit of hiding it, something I’ve done my whole life, something that was part of my nature. In January, I had the realisation that I let it control my life and stopped me from being me. I’ve always been scared of what people think, what they would say, I hated people staring, I hated people looking at me like I was weak or less than…. But I allowed them to think this by covering up my arm. So I went out, I bought the sleeveless dresses that I’ve always wanted to wear, I started an instagram to promote body positivity, I followed beautiful people on instagram with disabilities similar to myself and I felt the confidence that I never had. As I hid myself away from the world I wasn’t able to see the community behind disability, the strong empowered men and women fighting for diversity in the fashion industries and the millions of people with disabilities that are out there. Its a shame how society perceives disabled people, how there is a stereotype around the word that is very negative that allows every person with a disability to feel insecure and powerless. Its a shame there isn’t enough diversity in fashion and media industries so that the younger generations have someone to look up to as a role model.

24 years I hid my disability from the world, I always believed I was given my disability for a reason and that’s to make a difference. I am now an Ambassador for an amazing charity @modelsofdiversity supporting diversity in the fashion and media, I am now a disabled model in the hope to get more disabled models out there to inspire the younger generations, I will continue my instagram in the hope to inspire others and most importantly, I will never hide my disability again.

 

📸: @anyaphoto_

Raw Stories – the0nlyariana

Sharing Raw Stories is a way for us to connect, acknowledge the beauty, strength and perseverance involved in every journey. We hope these stories enlighten, inspire and encourage you as you walk your own path and help you to know that you are never alone.

What is your Raw Story?

 

Living with Epidermolysis Bullosa, or better known as EB has brought to me scars that affected the way people treated me. It affected the way I felt coming back home from a day out, feeling like I’d never be able to fit in. My skin is as fragile as a butterfly wing, I can easily tear my skin with the slightest touch. My skin blisters everyday due to the lack of collagen 7 that holds the two layers of skin together. Because of the seriousness of this condition, most of my body is wrapped in bandages. Scars and bandages have been part of my daily life and although it’s gotten me into the darkest mindset, it’s now motivated me to speak out and let the future generations know that it’s okay to look “different” amongst societies norms of what’s beautiful and what “is not.” It is important to break the beauty standards by sharing our truth. By portraying scars and physical differences as something powerful and beautiful. Our unique bodies are not something to be ashamed of but rather proud of as they have brought us to where we are now.

the0nlyariana

Raw Stories

Sharing Raw Stories is a way for us to connect, acknowledge the beauty, strength and perseverance involved in every journey. We hope these stories enlighten, inspire and encourage you as you walk your own path and help you to know that you are never alone.

What is your Raw Story?

 

Living with Epidermolysis Bullosa, or better known as EB has brought to me scars that affected the way people treated me. It affected the way I felt coming back home from a day out, feeling like I’d never be able to fit in. My skin is as fragile as a butterfly wing, I can easily tear my skin with the slightest touch. My skin blisters everyday due to the lack of collagen 7 that holds the two layers of skin together. Because of the seriousness of this condition, most of my body is wrapped in bandages. Scars and bandages have been part of my daily life and although it’s gotten me into the darkest mindset, it’s now motivated me to speak out and let the future generations know that it’s okay to look “different” amongst societies norms of what’s beautiful and what “is not.” It is important to break the beauty standards by sharing our truth. By portraying scars and physical differences as something powerful and beautiful. Our unique bodies are not something to be ashamed of but rather proud of as they have brought us to where we are now.

the0nlyariana

Raw Stories – arielleestoria

Sharing Raw Stories is a way for us to connect, acknowledge the beauty, strength and perseverance involved in every journey. We hope these stories enlighten, inspire and encourage you as you walk your own path and help you to know that you are never alone.

What is your Raw Story?

I think that this journey of listening to, loving on and coming home to these homes we have the honor of calling bodies is honestly less about positivity and more about gratitude. Somedays, we will not always feel positive about our homes, some days we will feel nothing, some days we will just exist and not acknowledge only flaws or only goodness we will just-be. I think that’s the goal of this body “positivity” journey and the point of it – less negative self -talk and more that leads you to holding yourself a little closer and being thankful that you have what you have and learning to embrace the wholeness of who you are.

 

Photographer: @karenmarieco

Raw Stories – topmodelc_

My name is Carlene John. I am a 30 year young Brooklynite and Vitiligo warrior. Vitiligo is a skin disorder which causes melanin loss in the skin, but in “losing” melanin I found myself and a true purpose. Instead of it holding me back, my skin disorder made me determined to push through the many barriers of conventional beauty. It is my motivation to pursue an art I am extremely passionate about. I began modeling at the age of 17 and have grown tremendously over the years in crafting a walk I can call my own.

 

Photographer: @Garren.Pryce

Raw Stories – jacqueline____montanez

Sharing Raw Stories is a way for us to connect, acknowledge the beauty, strength and perseverance involved in every journey. We hope these stories enlighten, inspire and encourage you as you walk your own path and help you to know that you are never alone. What is your Raw Story?

 

It’s one of many beautiful days today and I find myself reflecting on life and really acknowledging the journey and along with it, the maturation of the woman who stands before me in the mirror. It has been 20 years that I have lived with Vitiligo and with it, has bestowed immense growth. I can’t say those years came and went with the breeze. In fact, the majority were quite trying and haven’t completely come to a halt and so I’ve certainly had my share of insecurities. I’ve had people stare, which continues to this day. I’ve had people not want to shake my hand. I’ve even had people laugh. Those situations were at the time, crushing and disheartening; but I am stronger now because of them and in the best way possible. The experience of living with Vitiligo has definitely been humbling and honestly, I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I’ve come to learn that it’s okay for people to stare. Some people are not educated on mental health or certain conditions that exist in the world. So, I believe it’s my…or more so, it’s our job to walk in faith and with confidence and to bring enlightenment to those around us and also on a grander scale. It’s okay to ask questions and discuss issues. That won’t always be easy either, but it’s a way of growth with a bridge to compassion and empathy. I’ve come to learn to love myself and accept my beautiful imperfections. They are me and we are all perfect. Today, I can stare back at the woman in the mirror with bright eyes and an open heart. I am a Mom and a wife. I’m a friend and I’m a daughter.  I am me and I need to be a light and an honorable example for my children and whomever or wherever else I can shine my light on. Let us be brave and let us be raw.

@jacqueline____montanez

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