The Eleanor Project {Charlottesville Photographer}

Squeal!!

The Eleanor Project is finally live!! This is a personal blog project for myself (the photography angle) and my awesome blog-writing friend Jen!

I was lucky enough to meet Jen through Twitter a few years ago. She is one of the most fabulous ladies I know and a source of amazing support when I was running (and facing any other challenge that’s come my way)! She inspires me nearly every day through her willpower and strength and I feel just lucky that Charlottesville has such an amazingly strong Twitter community that allows friendships to bloom from online meetings like this.

So, what is The Eleanor Project? Jen and I reached out to each other at nearly the same time about starting a personal project (great minds do think alike). I had just seen this page and we both wanted to find a way to empower women to see the beauty in themselves and each other. We came up with the name because we both think Eleanor Roosevelt was an incredibly strong woman (especially for her time in history) and love the quote: “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”

We want to change the perception of what beauty is. We believe all women are beautiful–no matter age, race, sexual orientation or size. We wanted to show women that there is something beautiful about each of them, maybe changing perceptions of themselves, but also each other. Since beginning the project I have noticed beauty in women I hadn’t seen previously. I’m not talking about physical beauty; that’s something I can’t help but see. I’m talking about true beauty, true power, the soul of someone–and finding it beautiful.

Since having a daughter 14 years ago I have tried not to talk poorly about my body in front of her. I want her to remain confident and love herself, which is often hard to do during this difficult time of adolescence. She’s 5′ 10″ and that’s not easy on a girl who is just now having boys catch up to her in height (and some even passing her). I knew she’d be tall–her father is 6′ 6″. It’s sometimes easier for a boy to be tall than a girl, so I wanted her to love herself early in life for the challenges she’d face later. She walks tall (most of the time) and is smart beyond compare (something I wanted her to really focus on) and she knows who she is. She’s not afraid to remove something from her life if it’s no longer serving her. I am in awe of her strength for her age. I didn’t learn that lesson until well into my 30s.

Jen has two daughters herself–of similar age to mine. They’re beautiful, strong, smart and funny young ladies who I was lucky enough to photograph nearly two years ago (seems like it’s time for another round soon!). I see in them the confidence I know that Jen has helped foster, something I wish I had had at the same age.

We both feel a sense of responsibility to show our daughters how to love themselves, be strong, make changes with things they don’t like while still loving their entire self. Through this project we hope it inspires other women to feel the same, and for those men who follow this project we hope it inspires you to help the women in your life grow in confidence of themselves.

At this time the project is focused on the women in Central Virginia, though that could certainly change. Each week we will introduce you to the amazing women we find in our everyday travels. And we didn’t forget to include ourselves. Jen’s post went live yesterday and mine goes live Jan. 4 (just in time for my ankle surgery). We’d love to hear from you about any women you find inspiring in this region we should chat with. We welcome comments, provided they are positive and supportive. Negative comments, however, will be deleted, as they are not in keeping with the spirit of the Eleanor Project.

One thought on “The Eleanor Project {Charlottesville Photographer}

  1. Pingback: Empowering and Powerful Women « snipewife

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