By Vivian Moreau
Flipping through a men’s magazine this year Squamish marketer
Courtney Driver said to herself, “These chicks are so fake. This is not what
real women look like.”
She decided to embark on a project that would provide a snapshot
of Squamish beauty, a calendar filled with professionally-shot photos of local
women, with proceeds from sales of the calendar going to the Howe Sound Women’s
Driver, 26, approached 15 women from the Squamish area —
12 agreed to be photographed.
Sense of Self
is the result: a sensual, elegantly-rendered collection of local women, ranging
in age from early 20s to late 30s, shot by Pemberton photographer Lorne
Warburton and gathered together in a $25 calendar that goes on sale next week
in 10 Squamish businesses.
Most of the shots of the women, some fully clothed, some less
so, are taken outside: one woman looks through estuary grasses over an
elaborately tattooed back and shoulder, another does a handstand by a river, a
third lies on a roadway’s yellow line, another reaches for a rock hold.
Sabrina Horak, 26, is a runner and registered nurse. She picked
the river in Valleycliffe as the site for her photo shoot. She had no qualms
about participating in the project.
“I thought it was a great opportunity to take part because of
what the project encompassed and what it was meant to do, which was support the
local community and the Howe Sound Women’s Centre,” Horak said.
Doing a handstand by the river wasn’t a big deal for the former
nationally-ranked gymnast. Horak said she always feels compelled to do a
handstand whenever she encounters a particularly significant environment. She
said the experience gave her a different perspective of herself.
“Our worst critics can be ourselves, so to go through the process
of having your picture taken… and then see the end result, you look at yourself
in a different light and it is a continuous reminder celebrating our bodies and
seeing ourselves as whole.”
Four hundred copies of the calendar were printed and are
expected to raise $9,000 for the women’s centre.
Driver said mainstream media pushes unrealistic definitions of
what attractiveness is and that women should learn to recognize that beauty
exists close to home, in your neighbours and in yourselves.
“We are the ones that build this brick wall of what we think beauty is,” she said. “It isn’t until we get to see on the other side of that brick wall that we realize the beauty is us.”