Beautiful Squamish 

Calendar focuses on Squamish women

"That is who I am and that is something to be - celebrated.” Sabrina Horak on what it was like to be photographed  by a river near Squamish. Photo by Lorne Warburton.
  • "That is who I am and that is something to be celebrated.” Sabrina Horak on what it was like to be photographed by a river near Squamish. Photo by Lorne Warburton.

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 Centre.

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.”

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