Resilient Woman: Student’s project inspires, reveals truth of human spirit

There’s more to a woman’s beauty than her outer appearance; a woman can be strong, smart, funny, or anything in between and still be beautiful. Senior Rowdie Bright made it her mission to capture the inner strength and beauty of women with her photography project titled Resilient Women. Rowdie captured raw photos of female students, showcasing their personalities, strength, and natural beauty.

“I got the idea from an Instagram account called ‘Strong is the New Pretty’,” Rowdie said. “It’s basically this mom who started taking pictures of her daughters and their soccer team, and she creates this cool thing about finding beauty in strength, and I thought the girls at our school needed to come to the realization that what they do is what makes them beautiful, not just how they look or how they present themselves.”

To truly capture the idea behind this project, the portraits must showcase a girl’s personality and spirit. It’s difficult to reveal the inner beauty with a photograph, but Rowdie feels she has been able to accomplish this, especially with one photo.

“My favorite portrait is the one of Rebecca Adcock,” Rowdie said. “I made a big poster of all the portraits, and she’s the one in the middle. Her’s is definitely the one where I got all the lighting right, and it kind of changed the tone of the project from natural beauty to one’s personality and beauty.”

After participating in the project, senior Rebecca Adcock was also pleased with her photo and felt it was a unique way to exhibit her true beauty.

“I thought my photo was so cute,” Rebecca said. “That was my favorite picture that Rowdie took of me that day because I look happy and strong. I think it captured my happiness, like me just having a good time.”

Rowdie continues to take portraits of girls for the project and the one of junior Mackenzie Jones again demonstrates that girls are all beautiful by capturing part of who she is.

“I thought my portrait was a good representation of what happiness looks like,” Mackenzie said. “It captured the joy in my eyes and the essence of my happiness.”

In the project’s small beginnings, Rowdie didn’t expect it to rise to the popularity it is at now, but is happy with the way it turned out.

“I wasn’t expecting as big of a response as I got,” Rowdie said. “It was cool to have people come in and be like ‘hey, can I be a part of that’, and it took off within a week. It was cool to watch how much of an impact it made.”

Although the Resilient Women project surpassed Rowdie’s original expectations, photography teacher John Burrows always saw the potential success of the project.

“Rowdie started off with a completely different idea,” Burrows said. “It was still about girls and the idea of strength and everything, but as it evolved, the idea became more exciting. I expect everything Rowdie does to be great, and that’s what this became, something awesome.”