Beneath Your Beautiful Nov 2022

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Through raw and compassionate storytelling, Beneath Your Beautiful magazine sheds light on the subjective notion of beauty, inspires empathy, and creates positive change by challenging our biases and showing us we can find beauty anywhere we seek it. There is beauty in all of us: no matter our age, our talents or our looks. Encouraging people to see the light that shines from within rather than what we look like has a big impact. And by listening to others’ stories we can better understand our own.

To purchase a beautiful, printed version on premium paper stock:

2 Beneath Your Beautiful Magazine PUBLISHER | EDITOR | DESIGNER Hara Allison MAGAZINE PODCAST PHOTOGRAPHY DESIGN COPY EDITORS Elin Adcock Anne Capellen If you’re a mission-driven changemaker, dreamer or thought leader, we’d love to partner with you! Reach out to
70 34 78 42 72 40 4 28 30 68 26 90 60 Beneath Your Beautiful Magazine 3 Front cover: PHOTOGRAPHER Qasim Sadiq Back cover: PHOTOGRAPHER Mali Desha 86 17 50


I’m prejudiced by my ignorance and call myself nonjudgmental.

I’m immature and crack myself up, but am professional and respectful when necessary. I’m prude and vulgar.

I’m proud of myself and yet, always want to improve.

I’m vulnerable and stoic.

I’m giddy over compliments and sometimes suspicious of the motives.

I’m a product of my past, and know I can change the story I tell myself at any time. I’m generous and stingy.

I’m talented and completely ordinary; unique and just like everyone else.

I’m a dumb blonde, brainy brunette and red-haired siren.

I’m a very hard worker, and can also do nothing, all day long, quite easily.

I’m afraid of being hurt but more afraid of feeling nothing.

I’m important and invisible.

I’m hopeful and cynical.

I’m passionate and blasé.

I’m reliable and inconsistent.

I’m 55 and 35 and 15 and oftentimes 5 years old: I’m a young girl in my dad’s arms and a teenager at an art show with my mom and a little more grown up giggling with my sister, and older still, stroking my daughter’s hair and, older still, being kissed on my forehead by my darling husband.

I’m a constantly shifting haradigm.

Hara Allison is an award-winning designer and photographer, podcast host and magazine publisher. When not making art, she’s , playing tennis, loving her husband, Phillip, and saying “yes, yes” to life.

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Beneath Your Beautiful Magazine 5 PHOTOGRAPHER AND MODEL Hara Allison


Jason Jakober is a self-taught artist who enjoys creating images that are not constrained by the bonds of traditional photography.


Jason Jakober

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We are fallen Fallen - Imagine Dragons
And if the truth can be beaten and tied to a chairAnd made to say whatever we wantThen the words that we serve are nothing butours And our god is not god after allJeffrey Martin - What We’re Marching Toward

Some people feel the rain, others just get wet.

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Roger Miller

I have never known hunger like these insects that feast on me Hozier - In A Week

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Beneath Your Beautiful Magazine 11 Sometimes I wish that I could wish it all away Imagine DragonsWrecked
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“The whole point of taking pictures is so that we don’t have to explain things with words”
I am a grower of trees. Can you wait for me?
Jeffrey Martin - Grower of Trees
Something’s getting in the waySomething’s just about to break I will try to find my placeIn the diary of JaneBreaking
Benjamin -The Diary of Jane
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I know it’s never too late to make a brand new start Paul Weller - Brand New Start
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When you are stuck at home and thereis nothing on TV White Noise LXII
White Noise XVI White Noise XI

Until you can allow your own beauty, your own dignity, your own being, you cannot free another. So if I were giving one instruction, I would say: Work on yourself; have compassion for yourself; allow yourself to be beautiful, and all the rest will follow.

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The Beauty of Being Yourself

Julie Watts lives in downtown Spokane, Washington, and frequently finds herself a witness to both the weird and wonderful on her daily walk to her office. She owns a small law office with three attorneys, and when she isn’t working, she is dancing Kizomba, writing poetry, or learning the ropes of stand-up comedy.

A few days ago, I was sitting with a couple of friends who were discussing online dating. One friend was asking for advice on how to impress a woman he was interested in, and before anyone could respond he said, “I know, I know,” and rolled his eyes, “just be myself.” My other friend, who is known for her playful sense of humor, grabbed his arm in mock horror and said, “Oh, no, never do that! That would be a big mistake.” The conversation went on, but I was somewhat left distracted as I was struck by an observation.

The advice to “just be yourself” is typically used to encourage being honest with someone rather than adopting the posture of a person who might be more impressive. Comments in this vein typically revolve around a number of indisputable facts: you can’t keep up a charade forever, you’re more likely to be happy surrounded by people who actually like the real you, and ultimately, you might as well resign yourself to the situation of being who you are, because, as Oscar Wilde famously remarked, “everyone else is already taken.” While I have found this advice to be unavoidably practical, I’ve always been indignant about the word “just.” “Just be yourself.” As if the challenge is to content

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yourself with the poverty of JUST being yourself! JUST?! Okay, maybe I’m more than a little indignant. “Just” in this context is a four-letter word. It’s outrageous and unacceptable; let me tell you why.

Imagine that you’re locked inside a dark box with no way to access the outside world. You are provided with a printed read-out of specific information and just enough light to read it. The feed continuously reports the external temperature, light wavelengths, detected air molecules, and other data.

It also provides ongoing information about your internal vital signs, such as your heartbeat, your digestion, and your respiration. It would be difficult to ascertain from the data what was really going on in the world outside, and it would be even harder to figure out how (or whether) you should do anything about it. There would be no way to convert that sterile data into a sumptuous, multi-dimensional experience of walking home on a crisp fall afternoon with the scent of yesterday’s bonfire hanging in the air and the lingering feeling of butterflies in your stomach from having roasted marshmallows with someone special. And yet you know how, and in fact, you do it every day.

The brain’s capacity to take in sensory information and create an experience is an ongoing mystery. Philosopher David J. Chalmers calls this “the hard problem” of consciousness. As science progresses, we obtain ever-increasing information about how our brains function and why brains care about what they care about (e.g., pursuing survival, seeking reproduction, responding to traumatic experiences, etc.), but none of that information tells us why it feels a certain way to be conscious. Why is there a “what it’s like to lick Velcro”, or forget something important, or grieve a broken heart? We don’t know.

Physical differences in everyone’s DNA ensure that every brain works a little differently, and our unique physical brains assimilate the information we acquire with every passing experience and use it to create the next one. As a result, each new experience reflects not only the sensory data of the moment but all of the experiences of our past. With every passing

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“being yourself” is an activity that recreates who you are over and over again

moment, we are recreating ourselves, over and over. We are generating a new part of the known universe that is wholly unique in all of time and space. That seems like a big deal.

This really hit me several years ago, during a trip to Belfast with my mother. We had been planning and saving for months, but as soon as we got there, I became very ill. Much of our trip was spent trying to figure out Northern Ireland’s health care system and scouring drugstores for needed medicines. In addition to feeling ill, I felt awful about ruining the vacation we had been so excited to take. We were there for a conference, and I was also strangely embarrassed to be “skipping class” like some kind of delinquent wimp. I was frustrated, and I found myself grumbling, “What is the point of even being here?” Eventually, I realized that “the point” was the same as it had always been. I had come because I wanted to find out what it was like to be me in Belfast at a conference with my mom. My being sick was not actually stopping me from doing that. My circumstances were asking me to find out what it was like to be an exhausted red-headed attorney from Spokane, Washington, struggling with pain at a conference in Belfast with her

mother in October of 2019. That was the mission, whether I chose to accept it or not. I was the only one who would ever have that experience, and it was up to me to determine what it was like. The world was what it was, but by bringing my particular brain to that particular situation, I would create a rich, new experience that could exist in no other way. I could make that discovery and share it with other people, and if I didn’t, no one ever would. “Being myself” in that situation, even when it included things I didn’t enjoy, meant creating a part of the universe that couldn’t exist without me, and it meant doing it my way.

To me, this act of creation and exploration is the real truth about “being yourself.” Regardless of what task you might perform - go on a date, finish a project, get through Thanksgiving dinner without a fight, “being yourself,” you are creating the experience and exploring what it’s like, which then becomes part of who you are. In a gorgeous plot twist, “being yourself” is an activity that recreates who you are over and over again, thereby ensuring there is always more to explore.

“Being yourself” is not “just” anything. It’s everything. «

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20 Beneath Your Beautiful Magazine PHOTOGRAPHER Kristen



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Kristen Ryan is a hobbyist photographer who has a weakness for pretty light. She is a wife and a mother to a wonderful family. They enjoy spending time outdoors finding any new adventure they can. Kristen loves seeing the world through her children’s eyes. It brings inspiration to her photography. She loves to create moments that take her back and give her those same feelings she had when she clicked the shutter. There is never a moment too small to capture or an adventure too trivial to pursue. Photography has taught her to see the beauty in her every day and not to overlook even the smallest of moments. She loves to share that joy with others.

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Life is a journey

Photo by Paolo Bendandi
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Birth is a beginning And death a destination

And life is a journey:

From childhood to maturity And youth to age;

From innocence to awareness And ignorance to knowing;

From foolishness to discretion

And then perhaps to wisdom.

From weakness to strength or From strength to weakness

And often back again;

From health to sickness,  And we pray to health again.

From offence to forgiveness,

From loneliness to love,

From joy to gratitude,

From pain to compassion,

From grief to understanding,

From fear to faith.

From defeat to defeat to defeat

Until, not looking backwards or ahead,  We see that victory lies not At some high point along the way But in having made the journey Step by step,

A sacred pilgrimage.

Birth is a beginning And death a destination And life is a journey.

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“There is no
To learn more about Jessica , listen to See Beneath Your Beautiful podcast Episode 53 28 Beneath Your Beautiful Magazine
Photos by Hara Allison

Jessica Bonar


Jessica’s laugh can be heard from down the hall or across the room. It’s loud and boisterous and makes you smile when you hear it… especially when you know how hard she’s worked to feel that kind of happiness; when you know what she has overcome to find joy.

Jessica will tell you that “self-made misery” is her #1 offender, but she is a comeback kid. She clawed her way out of addiction to become a loving mother, only to get sucked back into “The Pit” by alcohol. Now a respected, independent, feisty, businesswoman in her community, she embraces that she is a deep feeler and explores life with a vulnerability that creates connections of depth and breadth with people of all walks of life.

Jessica will be the first to say she “took a meandering path to happiness,” to be sure. Along the way she has been a keen observer of her life and that of others. People are drawn to her through her willingness to be open and painstakingly honest about her passion, her failures, her triumphs, her pain, her happiness and her joy. She inspires people, but most importantly, she empowers them to take action in their personal and professional lives.

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Kathleen Cavender 30 Beneath Your Beautiful Magazine H Halcyon alcyon
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Kathleen Cavender is a selftaught fourth generation artist. Her obvious love for light and color has caught the eye of many private and corporate collectors. Among them, Gonzaga Jundt Art Museum, Northwest Museum of Art & Culture, Boeing Corporation, British Petroleum, as well as the SAFECO ® Insurance Company of America, have added her work to their collections.

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Born and raised in Spokane, Washington, Kathleen Cavender’s work has been exhibited in many Northwest galleries as well as Chicago, San Francisco, Washington D.C. and Los Angeles. She has won many prestigious awards including the 1999 Artist Trust GAP Grant Award. Her landscape oil paintings were featured at the Florence Biennale 2007 in Florence, Italy.


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Ikenchukwu Solomon, popularly known as Solomon Iken, born and working in Nigeria as a hyperrealist artist; graduated from Babcock University with a B.Sc in International Law and Diplomacy.

Since 2017, despite his degree, Solomon is a full-time pencil artist, specializing in realistic portraits through the medium of graphite and charcoal .

In the category of Hyperrealism, he seeks to achieve a logical expression of the human essence.

He loves to draw faces and capture emotion with great attention to detail and all that makes a countenance!

Solomon’s art is borne out of errors, and, in his mistakes, presents an opportunity for perfection. He draws inspiration from life experiences (especially his own) and in most cases anything that acknowledges the presence, the essence of and appreciation for life, happiness and beauty (as expressed through facial emotional gestures and body postures of drawing subjects).

pencil artist

34 Beneath Your Beautiful Magazine ARTIST Solomon Iken

Drawn to inspire personal examination of one’s character or reputation in contrast to the past. A retrospect .

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Mmiri (Water), as inspired by the significance of water’s tranquility in our being.

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A drawing of a beautiful man, Thomas Williams Hiddleston .

A drawing inspired by the joy of laughter. With my mother as muse, I thought to depict one of the purest sights of genuine happiness: one that even the viewer can feel.

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A drawing of a beautiful man, Thomas Williams Hiddleston.

Wild Dream , as inspired by the fierce desire to pursue one’s dream. In the eyes you see one’s despair, sorrow, darkness, doubt, anguish, turbulence, pain, fears... but best of all, a hope for a better tomorrow.

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Jennifer Goodacre’s goal as a photographer is to capture the beauty as things are. To her, there is no need to change or pose a person to create an image. Her camera is there in the exact moment a person shows who they are and that is the magic she’s continuously chasing.


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Beneath Your Beautiful Magazine 41 PHOTOGRAPHER Jennifer Goodacre MODEL Kaila Harris


Grace O’Connell

Posing for nude photos was not a concept that would have ever crossed the mind of a younger me. Raised in a decidedly Catholic household, I was far more Madonna, as in the Virgin Mary, than Madonna, the “Like a Virgin” rockstar. The thought of stripping down to nothing but my birthday suit for photos in front of strangers was terrifying.

When I first confided to a friend my plans to pose naked in a photoshoot for my 60th birthday, they thought I had lost my mind! This struck me as hilarious… my mind was fine, it was my body I was worried about!

Many of us, myself included, morphed into couch potatoes in the early days of the pandemic. In my case, I’d suffered a bout of pneumonia followed by what the docs now believe was an early case of COVID. Let’s just say being sick gave me more than enough permission to spend extra time cozying up on the sofa, having a nightly threesome with Ben and Jerry while loosening up on my healthy holistic lifestyle.

It had been about 6 years since I decided to stop hiding behind the camera, and instead, to step in front of it. Over that time, I’ve learned a great deal about how to rock a photoshoot. The main difference between this shoot and those? Lots of clothing. A

photoshoot without any artifice to hide behind is an entirely different story.

Carrying a bit more cush on my tush than usual, I had a mere 60 days to whip myself into shape. I bid adieu to the ice cream twins and said hello to Kacy Duke, the celebrity fitness trainer in the Netflix hit, Inventing Anna.

I have one major recommendation if you have any desire to follow in my footsteps. The first order of business is to assemble a team to help you along the way. This can be comprised of a group of your most loyal supporters - your fiercest friends. In my case, I assembled a talented and trusted professional team for this project. Along with my trainer, I enlisted the skills of an award-winning photographer and a top celebrity makeup artist. Kevin Steele, the American Express Travel Photographer who has graced the pages of National Geographic, and Jessica deBen Polish, makeup artist to the stars and The Walking Dead both agreed to take me on. With my spirit on fire, it was time to get in the best shape of my life!

Fully expecting to feel camera shy, I was surprised to find myself confidently strutting around the set with nothing on but my birthday suit. 60 years in the making, scars, cellulite, peekaboo veins and all, my skin and I were ready for this!

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Thankfully, my perfectionistic 20-year old former self hit the road, and my 60-year old self was fully present to enjoy the experience.

Choosing a photographer who knows how to create an ambience that’s relaxed yet professional is key in laying the groundwork for drop-dead images. It is critical to select a photographer who makes you feel comfortable.

One final tip: the camera is going to pick up on what’s going on inside of you! There is no way to hide… the camera will replicate your energy. If you want to look relaxed, you must feel relaxed. If you want to exude

sensuality or sexuality, you must feel it in every fiber of your being.

I enjoyed every single moment.

It’s taken me 60 years to learn to love myself. I’m still a work in progress but I sure love myself a gazillion times more at 60 than I did at 20 or 30!

This is a wonderful secret I have learned after talking to thousands of women all over the world who have reached the years of midlife and beyond. We get to relish these years, loving life and the skin we’re in! If not now, when? After all, what’s beneath your beautiful?

Cheers, Beauties!

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To learn more about Catherine , listen to See Beneath Your Beautiful podcast Episode 31
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46 Beneath Your Beautiful Magazine MODEL Catherine Grace O’Connell PHOTOGRAPHER Kevin Steele MAKEUP ARTIST Jessica deBen Polish
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Healed and integrated

My father is in the back of the courtroom. Sitting on a wooden bench in the corner, he is hunched forward, shaking and his skin is flushed red. He looks totally out of it. His eyes never look at me. Who knows where his mind is, as he stares at the hardwood floor. My mother leans over and tells me he’s high on drugs.

His mother is sitting next to him. I haven’t seen either of them in over a year. It’s been that long since he disappeared, or rather, since he stopped paying child support and ran off to evade responsibility for me and my four siblings. God knows why they decided to show up today, to my trial.

Stacia Aashna is a trauma informed life coach, certified in internal family systems for individuals and couples. She is also a licensed clinical hypnotherapist and meditation teacher. Stacia’s childhood challenges inspired her to seek a more meaningful life and she helps others to do the same.

In an effort to protect children, the courts require that all family members are notified, but in an absurd twist my grandmother dragged my father, high and unfit, to my hearing. This experience is already traumatizing. I am twelve years old and am suing a camp and my elementary school for their mishandling of an accident I was in, which left my left leg severely injured.

When I am on the stand during cross examination, I can’t stop crying. The sight of my father fills me with fear. This man, my father, had scared me my entire life. His rage, his alcoholism, and his abuse took away everything that should have been normal and made me into a hyper-vigilant person. Here, once again, he has stunned me and left me almost defenseless.


My mother is no more help and tells me to stop crying. She cannot see my fear and she cannot understand my tears. She is afraid that I will be perceived as trying to manipulate the court. I try to stop crying, but I can’t. There’s more happening than anyone can see.

Here, I was vulnerable and forced to take the stand and publicly acknowledge that I was scarred. All in an attempt to win money; a tragic adult game I must play

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learn more about Stacia , listen to See Beneath Your Beautiful podcast Episode 66

because my father has left us with nothing. What I want is not money, but love and protection.

Eventually, we would win this case, which was a small feat that unfortunately didn’t leave me with much financial reward and did nothing for the emotional damage I endured.

For a child who grows up in abuse and poverty, isolation and doubt are constant and debilitating. I was constantly bracing for impact — the impact that left my leg disfigured was more than just physically scarring. This was the story of my childhood: a series of traumatizing impacts, which left me scarred and trying to navigate life with little support.

These scars lasted. They stayed with me, and even when I tried to hide them, in time, they would become clear in my relationships and, especially, my work life. My traumatic past was still so alive in me. I had trouble identifying and sharing my feelings. I had trust issues, and I experienced horrible panic attacks and flashbacks.

It was by great fortune that I found a therapy modality that changed my life. When I finally became fed up with feeling out of control and depressed, I was introduced to Internal Family Systems (IFS) by my therapist. Through this

modality, I learned how to heal myself.

I learned that it’s normal for parts of us to get stuck in the past, but that we can also locate those parts in our psyche and integrate them into the present moment where we can connect to a calm, conscious presence within.

In therapy, I went back and retrieved my child self from the courtroom. She was thrilled to be rescued by me. Despite the poor parenting I received, I learned that I could, in fact, re-parent myself, which is what I became committed to doing.

Through this commitment, I live more fully in the present, where I have peace, safety and the confidence to live my life authentically. And as I sit here, no longer so fragmented and lost, I feel integrated and so much more healed. I can feel the changes in my body and mind. I don’t live in denial of my past – rather, I sit with it in truth, and I can also feel the strength that living through these experiences has given to me. What was once such a burden has been transformed and my scars are no longer painful and raw. I have found the love and protection I was seeking, right here within me. «

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I’m Rick Clark and I’m the founder and executive director of Giving Backpacks, a local nonprofit in Spokane, Washington. We fill backpacks with necessities and resources, from food items to new socks, and we distribute them to those experiencing homelessness in our town.

There were three of us… born and raised in severe poverty by my mother. My dad left when I was one, and was never involved in our lives. On welfare, we spent a lot of time in lines: government cheese lines, food bank lines, clothing bank lines, Christmas Bureau lines… it was what we did to survive. We learned about “the system” early in our lives, and knew that, whatever we “needed,” the Community would provide. It’s a great thing to have a community that does that, but if that’s all you’re learning, then, by the time you become an adult, you don’t really have any of the tools necessary live independently. To compound our problems, the lack of having a “father figure” to provide valuable

life lessons added even more complexity.

My strongest memory is the feeling of hunger. I remember very vividly the feeling of being hungry day after day, all day long.

Budgeting food stamps was not my mom’s forte, so, about halfway through every month, not only would we be completely out of food stamps, but we’d also be completely out of food. Feast or famine. That’s how we lived. Every month we would eat pretty well for two weeks and then we’d, literally, starve for two weeks. I developed the skill of inviting myself over to friends’ houses for sleepovers because I knew that the chances of them eating dinner together would probably be much greater than my chances at home.

Though very young, I learned that being proficient at “dumpster diving” was very advantageous. Knowing dumpster locations behind grocery stores, where they threw away bread products and donuts was critical. When you’re a hungry kid, food is your focus… and it plays mind

games with you.

Would I eat today? Where would I eat today? And what about tomorrow? My grades suffered because I was hungry. My attention was on food and survival. It’s impossible to focus on math and science and grammar when the only thing in your head is, “Where will I get my next meal?” School was not a priority. Everyone in my family quit school. Like my sisters, I dropped out of high school at age 17. My grandma and grandpa graduated from high school, but no one in my family even ever gave a thought of going to college or other training. No one in our family was ever upset or unhappy about it; It was just what we did in my family. That was the cycle. Once I dropped out of school, I started having kids… got back on welfare… and the cycle started all over again. This led to three or four decades of absolute struggle. With poverty comes domestic violence, drug and alcohol abuse and mental health instability. A lot of bad

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stuff emerges from just being poor. Much of the time four of us lived in a one bedroom apartment with my mom and the miscellaneous boyfriends she brought home… each trying to be our “stepdad for the month.” Their drinking would lead to fighting because there was never any money.

We would end up, all of us, just sitting together in a one-bedroom apartment, which always led to more fighting.

And all that trauma, year after year after year, generated many mental health issues.

I thought that, once I got out on my own and started having my own kids, I was just going to escape all that and be my own person. Unfortunately, it was the same thing. But now, all of a sudden, I’m responsible for these little children.

Fast forward four decades… 7 years ago, and several months behind on my rent, I’m “squatting” in a trailer out in Medical Lake, Washington. I don’t have a car or a job. My third marriage was on the rocks, so my wife wasn’t even living with me. It

couldn’t have been worse.

And, as much as I’d love to sit here today and say that that was the first time it’d been like that, it wasn’t. When you’re in the “Cycle of Poverty,” that’s your life. There are some wins and a whole bunch of losses… and then you have a few wins, and it’s just a struggle. I don’t know how else to explain it, really, but I remember the day in March, 2015.

do something.

With about $10 to my name, I got on the bus into Spokane. It went down to the Plaza, where all the buses converge.

I learned how to dumpster dive at an early age

I was so upset with myself, I sat crying. I was getting older, and I realized that I was running out of time. I didn’t wanna be “that guy” at the end of his life. Everybody liked me, but I just always needed help, you know? And so, I remember screaming to myself that day, “I’m not going out like this!” I really felt like I was at the end of my rope.

I didn’t know if there was a purpose for me to be here anymore, but I had to

At the Plaza, I went upstairs, because I had about 12 minutes until my next bus would arrive. I see a young, homeless man sitting right outside of the convenience store. Two things stood out to me about him: First, he was about my oldest son’s age, and that really, really bothered me.

And then second, the condition he was in was awful. I’d seen and experienced homeless people my entire life. I’d been one of them. But his hair was matted and his teeth were broken. He didn’t have shoes on his feet, and he was extremely dirty. He was one of the people everyone in the Plaza avoided. People simply walked away.

I was in such a bad

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frame of mind because of my own situation that day. I thought, “You know what? I’ve got nothing to lose. I’m gonna go talk to this guy.”

I can’t even imagine what my life would be like had I not approached that man that day, because it ended up changing everything for me.

I walked up to him and asked, “Are you hungry?”

Looking up at me, he was surprised someone was talking to him.

He said, “I’m starving.”

“Well, let’s go in this convenience store. I’ll buy you whatever you want.”

I remember… he bought a bag of Funions and a Mountain Dew.

I got a little package of donuts and a coffee, and we spent the next eight or nine minutes talking. He had just been dropped off in Spokane. He didn’t have any friends. He wasn’t acclimating well to the streets. In fact, the night before he had been beaten up and his backpack had been stolen. His shoes had been tied to his backpack.

And so I said, “If you can meet me back here in two days at the same place, same time, I will bring you a backpack with everything that you lost.”

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"People speak of hope as if it is this delicate, ephemeral thing made of whispers and spider’s webs. It’s not. Hope has dirt on her face, blood on her knuckles, the grit of the cobblestones in her hair, and just spat out a tooth as she rises for another go."

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He was confused and said, “Really? You would do that for me?”


I didn’t know how I was gonna do that, mind you, because I didn’t have anything either. But I gave him a hug and we went our separate ways.

I went on to Spokane Community College that day and I took the assessment test. I wanted to see if there was any way I could go back to school after being a high school dropout for 28 years.

I remember the lady said that I scored low; I knew I would, but she said, “Rick, people have scored lower.” That was all I needed to know. I wasn’t the worst student in the history of education.

There are big pieces of hope, like getting a job that you want, or meeting that special person.

But there are also little pieces of hope, like what that lady said to me that day.

Most people wouldn’t consider something like that as hope, but, to me, that’s the part that clicked in my brain, and I thought that, maybe, I could do it.

I had a couple hundred Facebook followers at the time. That night I wrote a post: “Hey, you guys. I’m a 44-year-old college student. Isn’t that exciting? And, by the way, I met this man named Jared, and he needs our help.”

I just put it out in the universe, and asked if

anyone would want to help me fill one backpack.

I went to bed, got up the next morning and saw that, while I was sleeping, my Facebook post had been shared hundreds of times with thousands of likes.

I’d never experienced anything like that. My inbox was just absolutely packed. Hundreds… not dozens… hundreds of people wanting to donate things. And so, we filled a truck full of everything you can imagine. We filled 25 backpacks the first 24 hours, and that’s how Giving Backpacks was created. «

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MODEL Rick Clark PHOTOGRAPHER Hara Allison Beneath Your Beautiful Magazine 59

New reality in the old city

Kyiv, Ukraine

These images were shot during my first visit to Kyiv, after the war started. What I saw really shocked me so much as the city didn’t look as usual, and the grey sky increased this impression even more. Tank traps on the empty weekend Kyiv streets, monuments covered with bags full of sand to protect them from destruction, the souvenir sellers seemed to be there only by habit. For me, photography is a hobby, which helps me not to be completely overwhelmed by war and pain.

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SFragments hore d

Steph Sammons’ road to creating art has been a long and winding one, and her work bears evidence of stops along the way:

• strong line-work from stints in drafting and graphic design

• vivid colors and sharp contrast from years working with visually impaired students

• the geeky subject matter of a former English major

• a reverence for joy, from my years spent crafting with pediatric oncology patients and facilitating art with at-risk youth and, finally,

• a love of magic, unconventional methods, and unorthodox materials, from my time in theatrical design.

Steph enjoys working with materials of all types, in two and three dimensions, but her most recent undertaking was an entire Alphabet of Mythical Creatures rendered in pencil and ink. She hopes to publish a book of these creatures in the near future.

This piece is inspired by the traumatic brain injury I suffered in college, when the car in which I was a passenger, got entangled in a rainy, multi-car, midnight pileup on a California freeway.

Before that car wreck, I was always “the smart girl” – an Honors-program double major on academic scholarship. The accident changed everything for me.

I am fortunate (and grateful) to have recovered from my TBI to the extent which I have, but I still suffer the consequences of that injury: blinding headaches, sickening vertigo, paralyzing fatigue, overwhelming depression and even seizures if I push myself There are huge gaps in my memory which I will never recover. I avoid doctors--but if I must visit one, I often experience flashbacks of being strapped to a roadside gurney in the pounding rain.

The title of this piece comes from T.S. Eliot’s masterpiece, The Wasteland: “These fragments I have shored against my ruins.” The red and pink periwinkle blossoms at upper left symbolize memory. The pocket watch stands for lost time—both time spent in recovery, and the memories, events, and relationships lost in the void. Its position, in the eye socket, conveys loss of sight— both literal, peripheral vision loss, and the inability to see my past or envision a productive future.

The neuron represents brain damage, and the reforging of synaptic pathways. The cracked, anonymous, plastic face symbolizes a fracturing façade: pretending to remember people and events, attempting to act the way the “old Steph” was expected to behave.

The incomplete fingerprint stands for an identity lost. The waves illustrate not only brain waves, but also nauseating vertigo, and the feeling of drowning. The bright yellow pills at lower left represent pain, depression, and suicidal ideation. The shadowy border symbolizes darkness closing in. «

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Regina Boston

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Took one day, one hour at a time. Leaned on my friends. Made my physical and mental health a priority. Built myself back stronger. Moved states (not an answer on its own). Let time heal the wounds. Lived in the present. Forgave myself for allowing what I allowed. Realized the only closure I truly needed was moving on. It wasn’t easy. I almost let it ruin the life I have now by resisting what I knew was a good thing because I was afraid. Thank God I didn’t!

After becoming a widow at 34, I learned to thrive in singlehood!

Started listening to my gut instinct!


Stopped making excuses. Owned my sh**. Took personal responsibility for my life, and massive action.

Begin driving into tomorrow by looking through the windshield instead of in the rearview mirror. That analogy came to me years ago when I was going through a regretful divorce I didn’t want. You can’t safely move forward when the past is your only view.

I conquered my fear of public speaking by competing in speech and debate in high school and in college, as well as roles in local theatre.

Sobriety. 

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Best thing I ever did for my childhood stuff is EMDR.

Making the decision to make things “All About Me” and that is not a bad thing or a selfish action. If you don’t take care of you how can you take care of those that need you.

Embrace it.


Stop repeating it.


Broken the pattern of generations of abuse.


BROOKE SKIDMOREWOOD Maintained forward motion.


Therapy! ♥


Focus on changing my patterns for betterment.


Stop dwelling on it. TINA SVOBODA

Keep smashing the present…


Trying to stay very conscious over decisions I make.




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PHOTOGRAPHER Belov Evgeny MODEL Sergey Alexandrovich 72 Beneath Your Beautiful Magazine PARALYZED BY FATE
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19 years ago Sergei Alexandrovich was paralyzed on one side. He has struggled with this ailment. Here he is, with his best friend, Rogue.

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Belov lives in Belarus, an Eastern-European country nestled between Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Lithuania and Latvia. His passion for photography began in his school days, although now that he is an adult and has a family of his own, the past three years of pursuing his childhood hobby has grown into a profession.

One of his greatest desires would be to share his past with his wife and daughter, looking through photo albums and remeniscing. This is impossible, as his house burned down with all of the family photos. This may be why he values photography and the creation of memories.

His goal is to give every person he views through his camera lens the opportunity to experience the joy of viewing, again and again, those very happy and intimate moments.

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78 Beneath Your Beautiful Magazine FACES ARTIST Marc Bodie
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Why are we so alone even with company?

The title was inspired by lyrics from a song, “Behind The Drapes” by Danish group, Mew. It really struck a chord with me: “his eyes averted, his lack of confidence, uncomfortable insecurities coming through.” It makes me think of the time before we understood autism, and we simply assumed it was shyness. My son has autism. Of course, anyone can feel like this.

It is always a hope that some people will be able to relate to my work in some way. I like to explore these awkward moments in my work as well as the subtle and more obvious emotions we can all face in life.

The media is fine line pens on synthetic Yupo paper.

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The here and now

As it is with many of my works, there is a feeling that more is needed in getting an expression, and I feel a strange need to scuff and damage the surface, tear the surface layers, rub through with fingers or scratch with a blade: a kind of destroying and then redoing, a push and pull until I feel it has reached an end. This piece is about containing the undercurrent of things with which we live in our minds, and while this is occurring, we must try to carry on regardless. This was done with fine line pens on glossy paper.

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Out the other side

I tried to capture the intensity, and also a kind of haunted shock, of what this character has endured. The sense of relief has not yet surfaced; the event may not be recent, but, perhaps, remembered and those feelings are coming back.

It is often said that we carry our lives etched on our faces, though I am interested in moments unwittingly revealed about ourselves. It could be an odd, sad expression or a glance with your guard dropped, maybe for a second, and we see the real person.

I try to convey the mood through the texture and sweeps of the strokes. It is not thought out, I just go into it and do what feels right. It’s akin to a writer saying that the book pretty much wrote itself.

There is a lot of finger painting… all these smudged dragged pen lines, etc. The contact is essential in what I do.

This was done on very glossy paper with fine line pens, and a small amount of white acrylic for the eye highlights.

Marc Bodie is represented by NoonPowell Fine Art in Notting Hill, together with other British and overseas galleries, such as the Red Sheep Gallery, Stockholm & New York. He regularly takes part in national and international exhibitions.

Marc lives with his family in a pretty village near Bath, England. In 2021, he became a member of The Bath Society of Artists after exhibiting and winning an award at the Bath Society of Artists Open Exhibition, where he was presented with an award by the Mayor of Bath and received best drawing prize this year.

His work is in many private collections all over the world and is regularly shown at various art fairs in Hampstead, Battersea and Cheltenham by galleries that represent him. He is also a member of The Cotswold Sculptors Association who have outdoor

sculpture exhibitions every year at such venues as Berkley Castle and Abbey House Gardens in Malmsbury.

Marc endeavours to have emotion at the heart of all his work, whether it is suggested in an abstract way, through posture or gesture, or perhaps even the texture of a piece, or more traditionally through the expression on a face/portraiture.

The inspiration that informs his work comes from many sources: novels, poetry or lyrics from songs and the natural world. He hopes to imbue his chosen means of expression, the male figure, with intense emotion and the influence of other sculptors who have made deep impressions on him: Michelangelo, Rodin and Frink, to name a few.

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Wednesday Addams

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Beneath Your Beautiful Magazine 87 PHOTOGRAPHER Hara Allison MODEL Indigo

From This Moment On

An internationally awarded, recognized and published children’s fine art photographer, Danielle Trina Roberts enjoys traveling for her work as much as she does working locally. She is a well-respected artist serving as an instructor and expert for Unraveled Academy, Finding North Photography Education, and The Milky Way Family Retreat. In 2020, Danielle earned her place as a ‘master’ artist for ClickPro Elite Photographers and serves as an ambassador for the National Association of Child Photography and as an ambassador for Lensbaby USA.

…At some point I decided to just throw that part of the story away. I ripped that chapter out and cast it into the universe. I’d had enough of it. It doesn’t mean that it didn’t happen… that it was not etched into some part of my existence. It’s that I was not allowing it to be a part of this story anymore. You see, I’ve started a whole new book. Thats right… a while back I decided I didn’t really like the story I was in. There were no soul-filled moments. There was no passion! There was no fire and no fuel remaining to keep trying to make a fire burn.

I fumbled through the entire story, back to the past, re-living moments, trying to find something that had never been. As I stumbled back and forth… through the whole story over and over… again and again. I decided I just didn’t like it! I didn’t want to be in that story anymore. So, I decided to put that story up on the shelf and begin again. I even changed that main character a little bit! LOL! Yep… I made her a better version of herself. I gave her a little boost of confidence! I allowed her to

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walk a little taller in this new story. That’s the beauty of it all. You can start fresh whenever you want! YOU CAN FRAME YOUR OWN TALE!

I kept some things from the old book –a lot actually. I tucked away some of the pages, with lessons I have learned, right here in my back pocket. Those pages are important and while they don’t need to necessarily be written into this new book, it’s nice to reference them from time to time!

When you figure out that you are ultimately in control of your story, of the pages in your book, you can choose how you act or react to circumstances in your path… in your past. When you stop holding onto things you can’t do anything about… when you start letting things go… when you stop letting your past define you… when you truly understand your power…. BECAUSE YOU ARE POWERFUL, THEN you can begin the process of figuring out who you’re going to be! You can truly live your best life, daily, full of happiness, full of love and full of passion. «

It’s really about moments And living Intentionally in them In each and every New moment

As it comes As if we have this Incredible chance to be Born again And again And again

I DO celebrate life And ALL That it has to offer EMBRACING ALL of the years That have brought Me to THIS PLACE However, Living intentionally From THIS moment on Is truly My formula for living MY BEST LIFE!

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This is Hannah Elkins-Adams. She is a wife, mom of 2 boys, a high school teacher and a greatly respected coach. She is in the middle of treatments after her surgery.

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Tammy Reynolds is widowed, a rancher and a photographer of all things beautiful, from scenery to people to sports. She’s been carrying a camera most of her life but became professional about 5 years ago. She also shot for MaxPreps, affiliated with CBS Sports for high school athletes.

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An internationally awarded, recognized and published children’s fine art photographer, Danielle Trina Roberts enjoys traveling for her work as much as she does working locally. She is a well-respected artist, serving as an instructor and expert for Unraveled Academy, Finding North Photography Education, and The Milky Way Family Retreat. In 2020, Danielle earned her place as a ’master’ artist for ClickPro Elite Photographers and serves as an ambassador for the National Association of Child Photography and as an ambassador for Lensbaby USA.

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Enjoying a wonderful, love-filled life in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Danielle loves capturing the magic of her beloved daugher on film. Because of her exceptional talents in children’s fine art photography, she is highly sought after by parents hoping for a little of that same magic with their own children.

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Adam Colwell is an enthusiast photographer located in Scottsboro, Alabama who specializes in wildlife, astrophotography and alternative/ horror model photography. He is a software engineer by trade, but as time has gone on, the creativity once inspired from the field has faded. That led him to pick up his camera to express his creative freedom in a new way. A YouTube-taught photographer, he and his wife like to travel as much as possible to capture new locations and moments. Other than his wife, his camera is his favorite companion.

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Beneath Your Beautiful Magazine 97 PHOTOGRAPHER Adam Colwell MODEL Caterina Lioncourt MODEL Aaron Taylor
98 Beneath Your Beautiful Magazine To purchase a beautiful, printed version on premium paper stock: Be a guest on See Beneath Your Beautiful podcast Submit your art + stories to Beneath Your Beautiful magazine hello @ beneathyourbeautifulmag .com

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