Raw Series

This is where we reprogram our brains and transform our definition of beauty. Together we will turn our so-called insecurities into beautiful stories and learn to love ourselves regardless of what the world tries to shove in our faces. There is no scale for beauty, we are all beautiful.. YOU are beautiful!

Show me your Raw love, send me your photo and story @randistic. Let's show the world how we've learned to love our stories despite it all. Let's transform the definition of beauty together.


In a world where the scale of beauty is more or less defined, where certain features are considered "imperfections", I've decided to not only shed the light on some of it, but to also take a micro lens and show it in its raw, naked state.
These are my dark circles, they are there when I wake up in the morning.. and they're still there when I go to sleep at night.
Some days they seek more attention.. When I don't provide them with enough sleep or when I don't hydrate them enough, they show up more intensely and demand some love.
They are part of me and I accept them just the way they are.
There is no such thing as "imperfection", only diversity and self.



These are my under eye wrinkles. They hug my eyes with fine lines to remind me of the good and bad I've embraced throughout my life.



These are my pores, they are here to breath in life into my skin... They are here to excrete negativity out of my body & I love them for that.


Yafa Ajweh

"I used to hate my dark circles and the bags under my eyes, especially after being a working mom to a one year old beautiful baby girl who hates to sleep. But I thought, why do I have to hide the bags under my eyes and why should I be ashamed of the dark circles that tell the story of my motherhood?
When I look in the mirror and see those beautiful circles, I automatically smile and think about my Ela and how much joy and happiness she has brought to my life. She is the reason I wake up every day and she makes my world full of sunshine even when it seems that like it's full of rain. My beautiful dark circles remind me of how lucky I am to have Ela."


Estar Ndagire

"One of the things i was teased a lot about back in high school was my legs. Everyone was constantly reminding me of how big they were, especially my knees. It was worse when i was smaller because everyone was always commenting on how they weren't proportional to my body size. But all that is behind me now. They are big, and it's okay because they are beautiful. And as it turns out, some tribes in my country believe that a woman with big legs is a "blessing"."


Takaya Uchida

"Been always bummed when I see myself up close in the mirror and I've tried quite a few things to clean my pores but they always come back no matter what. I guess this is me and I've learned to live with it"


Ramz Shalbak

"It is okay not to feel pretty everyday, it is okay to go out with your naked skin without being scared to be judged. Embrace your imperfections, be proud of what you are and what you have, be proud of the #raw version of yourself. So, here are my pores, wrinkles and dark circles with no filter."

Nsingwane Sakhile

"At the age of 7, I was teased about how my eyes are not the same size. I started to hate myself, I couldn't even look myself in the mirror.
In high school I didn't even like taking pictures because it would always show. One day I decided I'd have an operation on my other eye to make them the same size. 
I still battle with it sometimes,. But I have come to accept myself, and understand that I am uniquely memorable. I've had strangers tell me how beautiful my eyes are. At my lowest, I recall those compliments and the acceptance of the one person who has never commented or said anything about my eyes, my bf of 3 years."


Monica Mardirossian

"This is my scar. This is my permanent tattoo. A part of my body that reminds me of my strength; my spine. This is me."

Aniruddh Jain

"Height influences people's first impressions. A shorter stature is (incorrectly) associated with less masculinity and less power. This impacts many aspects of life: school, career, dating (especially), and probably countless others. But it's not too bad."

Rebecca Zissmann

"I've had a small belly for as long as I can remember. When I was a kid, I used to compare it to my dad's and be very proud to have inherited it from him. My sister was gently teasing me about it. Then I hit my teenage years and suddenly it wasn't cute at all. I became self conscious and wouldn't wear tight t-shirts or dresses. Now I am at peace with this belly of mine but there are still clothes I wouldn't wear unfortunately..."


Hiba Bseiso

"Have you ever hated your face that you wished you could cover it with a paper bag? I have always been insecure about my acne. I was insecure to a point that I was sometimes so afraid to leave my house, so afraid to be judged or looked at differently. I felt ugly and uncomfortable. I started wearing makeup four years ago as a way to hide my acne and to create a face that is “acceptable” for people to see, it became my everyday mask. I love makeup and I love wearing makeup not only because it enhanced certain parts in my face but because it empowered me to gain confidence.

It’s hard living in a world that is obsessed with outer-beauty, but what changed in me now is that I have the power to see myself in a different way, behind my imperfections and behind any beauty criteria set by any society, I learned to accept and love myself the way I’m, I reached a point that I no longer care how people see me or how they judge me. I’m just as beautiful as I am with or without makeup.

I chose to share this image, hoping that any girl who have any redness, black spots, scars, or acne problems to see behind these imperfections, to not let this small spot or this small pimple to change the way she feels about herself, to not let this scar affect her in any way and to not see herself any less beautiful."

Wafa D'haouady

"I was thirtheen when my father took me to my first ophthalmologist appointment because I kept getting headaches and couldn't focus in class. I was the first child in my family to wear eyeglasses and the first student in my class to dare wear them in public.
In my first day with eyeglasses I was mesmerized; for the first time in months I could see clearly however my classmates didn't like my new equipment. They bullied me and called me names like: the blind or the nerd!!! Even now people still tease me for my nearsightedness, but guess what! I kept telling them that I exchanged my eyesight for cleverness or that it adds to my nerdy look. And when I am tired of their insensitive remarks, I just ignore them!
Last month I replaced my eyeglasses with eye contacts and now people keep telling me how big and scary my eyes are, and that I should get back to wearing eyeglasses. It is a never ending story.
People should learn to be more sensitive to nearsighted persons!
Don't ask me how many fingers you pulled, if I sleep with my glasses on and never take off my glasses to try them on!"

Zainab Zaheer

"People always had an opinion about my freckles. They were everything from cute to "strange brown pimples" to "sad marks on my beautiful fair skin". I always loved them, but I was sold foundation to help cover them up, skin creams to bleach them out of my skin, and told that it was okay, I was still pretty. Still pretty? I think I'd much rather be freckled-kind, freckled-strong, freckled-intelligent."


Clare Pemberton

A mole is a collection of cells that produce pigment. They can appear at birth or pop up over time. In the second grade, I remember a classmate teased me by sticking pencil lead into a mound of blue-tac, and called it “your mole”. Despite the overly-airbrushed ‘beauty’ ads these days and the laughable expectation to have consistently-coloured skin all over the body, I’ve really grown to love this ‘beauty mark’ and all of the other ones and wouldn’t cover them up for anything!


Amanpreet Kour

My biggest insecurity throughout my teenage years was my "hairy" body. Hairs on my legs and hands were clearly visible and people would pass negative comment about my legs. I wasn't able to do anything about it because in my community i.e "Sikhs", are not allowed to cut our hair or shave. All the other girls would have clean, shaved, so called "pretty" legs and then there was me. I remember how much I loved winters only because I was able to hide my hairy body under my sweater or stockings. But, now I've matured enough to understand that I am beautiful the way I was born and the way I am. And I am amazingly in love with every inch of me, be it my pimple scars, my fat body, or my hairy legs.
I love it ALL.

Ward Palestine

Ward, Palestine

It's easier not to be yourself in a community that praises carbon copies. Since childhood I felt that there's a difference between me and boys my age, we were all still kids wanting to play and seek adventures. But when most boys were playing soccer I'd be that one "boy" who's picking flowers and when most boys went straight to the cars section at the toy store I'd take a moment to look at the Barbies. Of course I'd end up buying a car too because I used to feel like that's what I'm supposed to buy and because as a kid I felt like I need to fit in. Even though I was that young I knew my dad would be disappointed if I got that barbie.

Growing up I struggled to be more "masculine" because I needed to feel normal and for the sake of my safety, I had to pretend to be interested in what guys my age are into, I even had to pretend to like girls.

After all that I've learned to love myself and be myself unapologetically, as much as possible. This is who I am and I'd rather be comfortable with myself while people are uncomfortable with me than be uncomfortable with myself because someone ignorant thinks it's wrong to be this or that. I identify as Gay/Queer I don't really like labels but I use these terms to make it clarify to people who don't know much about gender and the orientation spectrum.

I have great friends who love me and accept me for who I am, I hope that one day I'll live in a community where no one feels like an outsider because of their gender, race, orientation or ethnicity. At the end of the day we're all humans trying to get the best out of life, because there's no take two in life.



I hate it when people don't see anything except my external beauty. I don't mind receiving compliments on how beautiful I am, who doesn't like that! But it really confuses me when they don't see any other more important aspects of my character, my creativity, my sense of humor, my compassion towards others, my big forgiving heart, my decisiveness, my strong personality, my confidence, my discipline, my stamina, my modest spirit and my wisdom.

I want to be loved because of these personality traits not only for my beautiful face. Ever since I was a young girl, I've had women see me as only a beautiful wife for their sons because of my white skin and chubby cheeks, since these traits resemble beauty in my culture.

Ever since, I started to feel like a vase that everyone wants to look at. I feel like this issue concerns me in my relationships, all kind of relationships. I don't want someone to tell me how beautiful I am, I want somebody who sees my inner beautiful brain and heart.

This growing issue makes me feel unloved and unappreciated for who I am as a person and makes me ask myself questions like "What if my outer beauty changed, will they still love me the same?!"

It bothers me when beauty is a big deal for girls because we are more than just our external silhouette.



You know, people often judge things they know nothing about. Like for example how they judge my body hair without knowing that these hairs are simple marks left after the pills I had to take when I was younger. They judge my thin disgusting body without knowing how hard I find it to eat and how my body simply doesn't accept food like everyone else. They judge my short height without knowing that I had growth problems when I was younger.

They judge and knock out my sad memories, they judge the things I am and the things I've worked my whole life to accept. Im not sick, but their judgmental brains are. I love what I am, I love beauty and I find beauty in everything including myself. When they make comments related to my old sad stories it hurts the child in me.

Let your vision be gentle and watch what you say about what you see, for everything has a story of its own.

Dina Azouni

"I remember the first time I got a pimple. I actually liked how it looked, how it left a blemish, then a scar. It made me feel unique. Then reality hit and I felt ashamed as I suffered from acne. 
Today I accept my skin as it is. It made me who I am as a person."



"I have been a size C since I was 15 years old. In a country where sexist comments are common, I kind of got used to hearing every kind of comments about them in the streets, at social events, at uni. 
I learned though that girls can give the roughest ones. "Don't you wish you could fit in any t-shirt? They are massive now. Guys are just interested because of your boobs. You get what you want because you show them. you should get an operation." 
I even got a doctor's appointment, and the cost was high. I am no talking about money, but the recovery process.
I realized that there was no actual need to do this because I really liked them and wanted them as part of my body, I still do. 
I am confident that my brains and my personality provide me the opportunities, not my breasts. 
I learned to let them think what they want, because I love my body and I love them, they are part of me and no matter what stereotypes and people try to tell. 
Your cleavage doesn't say anything about your value."

Tareq Mahajneh

"I remember when I was 14 years old, a teenager, my nose grew bigger than normal. It used to be an embarrassment for me because everyone used to make fun of it. Five years later when I started college I realized that there are more important things to look at and care about in our lives. I learned that you always have to look at the bright side of everything, I accepted myself for who I am and did not care about changing myself because this is me. Actually I make jokes about my nose now and I'm not ashamed of it anymore."


Siba Khoury

"I am not the same me as yesterday. I am not the same me as this morning. I am not the same me as 10 minutes ago. I will not be the same me tomorrow. And that comforts me as well as scares me senseless!"


 "I have this birthmark on my left hand, from my wrist up to my shoulder. When I was young, I've had a problem dealing with people's stares and endless questions, and it got me all confused because honestly up until now, I don't know what type of a mark it is and neither do the doctors. But when I grew up and blended into the real adult world, I've realized that it's one of the things that define me, I felt I was unique. I embraced my birthmark. I fell in love with my birthmark. And every time someone asks me about it, I answer with a big smile from ear to ear, because no matter how different I am, I'm pretty sure that god has a good reason for it and I'm glad I'm figuring it out day by day as I grow older." 

Maya Lewins

"Self love is a funny thing. There are some parts of your body that you’re supposed to feel self conscious about, that people will call you vain for loving. Other parts of your body are perfectly okay to alter or brag about. Skin falls somewhere in the middle.
I developed anxiety and acne around the same time, and the two fed off of each other in a way. My anxiety would act up when my skin got worse, which prompted a borderline addiction to picking at my skin, which only doubled my vexation and made my skin worse. It’s never 100% clear, and genetics, seeing as both my parents still struggle with adult acne, guarantee that it never will. I have to work twice as hard to make my skin look mediocre, and it costs me a ludicrous amount.
I will never have perfect skin. I will never be able to look at myself in the mirror and not be greeted with some type of scar or zit or red mark somewhere. And I wish I could say that I was okay with that. But I’m not, and I’m not sure I ever will be. The best thing I can do now is bring my imperfections into focus, and get rid of this idea that you can either love or hate yourself."


Bayça Açıkalın

"This is the last scar I got on my body and it has nothing to do with drama.
It's a love story. For as long as I remember, I've had scars on various parts of my body. Sometimes they disappear and sometimes they want to leave some permanent marks on me, but they are always lovable.
Our body is a temple, a temporary home hosting our souls for a while that will eventually fade away. So in reality it no meaning at all except for being functional as long as our souls want to stay in it. 
Having scars while you are alive means that you really live, they remind me of so many stories. I used to have many tiny little glasses stuck on my face from a serious car accident, there's also a surgery scar on my belly that reminds me how strong I was as a little kid.
There has almost always been scratches on my legs or on my hands and arms because I love taking walks, hiking in wild nature or holding animals.
I broke my arms and injured my ankles so many times. That's the way we actually feel both the vitality and vulnerability of our temple. When I live too much in the city and don't have a fresh scar on my body, I do miss the feeling that is most familiar with “life”. I believe that well-cared, flawless bodies in the modern city life are the closest to fast depreciation. But scars, no matter where people carry them on their bodies hide meaningful, vivid stories. There's never anything to be ashamed of but rather much to be loved."

Isabelle Soifer

"I have struggled with bouts of acne since I was 16, sometimes worse than others. I have often allowed this skin condition to penetrate my core and cause me to feel lesser-than. Today I am siding with Randistic and not only accepting my flaws, but embracing them.
These scars, this acne, my flaws, show what I have been through, and I will persevere."



My skin is my biggest insecurity.

I grew up overweight and was always bullied for it, I was always bigger than others and always hid in the shadows. I felt like an embarrassment and avoided hanging out a lot because I didn’t want to cause a scene. Despite losing 30 kgs, I still look at myself sometimes and think: I’m such a ball of fat, no one at 18 should have soft saggy skin like yours.

On another note: I’m working on my social anxiety and trying to go to the gym without being afraid of being judged. And most importantly, I’m working on loving myself.


مجد شحادة

قال عشان أنا "أنثى" وفي مقولة إجتماعية أنا "إمرأة" لازم أشيل الشعر الزائد عن جسمي مع العلم أنه هاي المنطقة ما الها علاقة بنظافة أو ريحة، واذا "ذكر" في مقولة إجتماعية "رجل" شاف شعر ايدي بحد وصفه "بتصير معدته تقلب وبحس

 بالغثيان" بس هو عادي يكون طالع شعره وبتباها فيه كمان

 كتير عم بسمعوني حكي على الموضوع  وحدا من أصدقائي حكالي اياها بالحرف لما شاف شعر ايدي "قلبتيلي معدتي" وكان قرفان كتير مني وأنا زي أحّا ليه لازم أشيلهم؟ عشاني "بنت"؟



Not shy of my stretch marks anymore, it shows how unafraid we are of breaking and how capable we are of feeling.


Katherine De La Cruz

For most of my life I used chemical relaxers to straighten my hair. This is common for black women in general and as a Dominican girl, the beauty standards are insanely Eurocentric. My last year of highschool I cut all my hair off into a super short cut. As my hair has grown back healthily I have come to absolutely love my hair texture and with it embrace my blackness and place within the African diaspora.

Prarthana Jagan

Prarthana Jagan

I’ve had Vitiligo for 9 years. Seven out of the nine years I concealed my skin with stage makeup, extremely heavy concealers and foundations. Through school and for awhile in college, many of my classmates were unaware of my story and just thought I was the girl who wore a lot of makeup. 

I got bullied in school for standing out and for not having “normal” skin. 

Many of my friends also made many comments behind my back. 

I never had the confidence to show up anywhere without makeup. In fact if I had to stay over at a friend’s place or a relative’s I would sleep with my makeup on. 

At one tipping point in my life, I decided to be free and let people in. I started my own YouTube channel showcasing how I do my makeup to help other people with similar conditions. 

Today, I don’t look back, I don’t cover my patches, I let them out in the sun to breathe. 

I feel free. 

Many girls are insecure about themselves and I hope one day, you and I both can help little girls understand that being yourself is the highest form of beauty.



Throughout my teenage years I was on cloud nine, receiving compliments from everyone and getting attention from boys. I felt confident about myself because I was pretty. I was also top of my class which made thing even better. Growing up, I realized that this was all that people saw in me. They didn't see me as a kind, funny or strong person, but as the pretty one with brains only.

This has been affecting me for so long. I no longer love my personality no matter how much I changed. If people think I’m not more than that, then there must be some truth to it.

What makes things worse is that my friends are slowly drifting away. Everyone got used to me and are seeking more interesting and fun people. I feel like a boring person who's just there for them to talk their problems out with.I haven't opened up to anyone about this because I’ll either sound like a show off or like a distrustful person. 

I'm sorry if this has nothing inspirational like other posts, but its killing me inside.




"Puberty hit and so did my hair, i suddenly found my body disgusting at the age of 10. i started discovering ways to get rid it; i waxed it, i shaved it, i burned it, i tweezed it, and still.. It came back, stronger than ever. 15 years later and I'm still learning how to love it."

Ahmed Amin

"Everybody asks me about my dark circles when they meet me for the first time, do you do any drugs or you drink? And I have to tell them that these are just there due to several other reasons which include reduced sleep due to studies, social life, gaming etc.
Basically nothing that involves drugs or drinking.
It's fine at first but then at times it hurts because people have this wrong image about me. It's everyone's personal choice to do drugs or drink but asking this question in the first meeting or just having this thought which they might confess to you later on does sting a bit.
It makes me think about how I can remove them because I get tired of this 'thought' about me.
I'm grateful that I have the ability to tolerate a lot which is why I don't show my feelings about these issues to others and just reply to them with a smile. After all, a smile is all you need to start of a relationship."

Hadeel Aref

"My favorite season is Autumn. I think that's why my skin is always cracked into pieces, it's just trying to let everyone know that it's my favorite season. It's drawing an Image of the inner damage inside my soul sometimes. But with my positivity...I eventually learned how to accept the fact that I have very sensitive and dry skin unlike anyone else I know.
I now realized that I love my skin"


"My biggest complex has been my belly since I was a child. At the age of 12 I had anorexia for 7 years.. Belly dance helped me to learn how to love my belly and be comfortable with it." 



Megan Germain

"What do people see when they see me without make up? Maybe a spot or maybe a line, but for me, it's more than that. Someone sees me - no barriers. It's easy to feel more confident, more resilient with a coat of foundation and a few swipes of mascara. Make up is my shield, it's my "me" time - it's a thing that can slowly be removed when you've reached a certain level of comfort. So here I am, sweaty and make-up less after a workout - leaving the insecurities, taking away the mask. I'll trust you with this, because tomorrow's another day to "put on some lipstick and pull yourself together."


Dena Musfer

The moment that my brain couldn’t process the shock that my eyes were seeing, I went through trauma. I continued living in disbelief of my present situation, yet knowing that I have a new reality to wake up to everyday. Desperate for patience and hope, I had to accept my fate, believing that I was chosen to go through this experience for a reason, while at the same time searching for a new self-identity.

I fell in love with Waseem at the very early age of 14 years old, he was 16, and we met in middle school. We were very young, yet very mature and deep thinkers. I was madly in love with him for 13 years. Two of those years we were married. We never had a dull moment, and I could never get enough of looking at him. We lived somewhat a tough life though; every time we tried to make life successfully happen, a problem would come up. It’s as if we were unable to have a perfect life together. Yet, we were always grateful, and the love between us kept life beautiful.

Few years ago, our house was fully burnt down in an accidental fire caused by a neighbor. We lost so much that day, and were left with a destroyed house full of rubble everywhere. As difficult and costly as it was going to be to fix the house, Waseem had set it as a goal to bring the house back to its original form.

One day, I woke up to the sound of him doing some loud construction work in the backyard. He was drilling into a wall with an electric tool that needed a professional skilled worker to use it. I was feeling nervous and uncomfortable that day, sitting upstairs in silence, as if expecting something terrible to happen. I kept checking on him occasionally, and at some point, have brought him a sandwich to eat and take a break. I remember him saying: ‘’aren’t you going to eat with me or keep me company?” and I roughly said: ‘’ No’’, and went back upstairs. Something was pushing me away, probably because I was unhappy with the risky work that he was doing. But, he insisted on doing it and was enjoying it.

A while later, I heard a very loud sound of destruction, I went panicking to look out from the window, only to find the love of my life trapped under a huge block of a wall. At that moment, my brain froze, and I felt paralyzed, I could barely make it down the stairs. I ran barefoot over all the rubble and metal sharp pieces covering our backyard, full of hope that I could save him. So, I jumped everywhere, still in disbelief yet trying to do anything to lift that wall up, because I could still hear him breathe…... But the wall was too heavy…. and I felt weak and helpless, but I couldn’t let it go, I couldn’t accept that scene, so I screamed as loud as I can, bringing my neighbors to the rescue. It took about 6 people to lift that wall up and an hour later he died at the hospital. And I went home to my new, unchosen life, full of bruises and bleeding wounds covering my legs and arms, forever scarring my body, reminding me of my weakness on that day and my strength for holding on till this day.

A month later, I moved to America to join my mother and siblings and start a new beginning. I decided to be my own therapist, because I believed I could. I wanted to give a try to anything that would give me the feeling of something to look forward to, and so I started oil painting.

I always wanted to be an artist, but never got the chance to be one while living in Palestine. Today my paintings have developed from a self-portrait to currently working on painting the Palestinian Heritage, as shown in the image at the bottom end.

I believe, although the past can be haunting at times, but life goes on. I find the only way to live life, is to go on with it, floating with the waves of grief instead of resisting them, leaving the past behind, focusing on living the present and holding hope for a better meaningful future. I’m positive that we can always find love and passion for life after a trauma.


Hana Sandouka

“People started labelling me once I’ve worn my hijab. I want them to know that freedom does include covered and modest women. It is my spiritual motivation and inspiration that makes my soul feel free.

Don’t judge!

I accept myself, you should do too.”



I used to care so much about covering my self harm scars but recently I’m learning to accept them. People have given me dirty looks whenever they see them but once a person came up to me & just cried because they wanted to be this brave. I’m doing this for her but it's still a struggle as you can tell since I'm choosing to remain anonymous.



I wish I felt good enough.

Ever since I was around 15 years old I’ve been the tomboy of the group. I used to take bullying comments such as being called "the dude" or "are you wearing your brother's shoes?" as compliments. I focused on my studies and never cared about fashion, makeup or any of that until I went to college. Such comments became annoying in a campus full of attractive women and a world full of Kardashians.

I learned how to do makeup by watching YouTube tutorials and started to be passionate about using it daily to satisfy my ego and receive compliments. But that was never enough, I was never pleased with my tall nose, my uneven ears, my dark circles, my smile lines, my tiny lips, my acne, my hair, my weight and the list goes on. But I'm also very afraid of needles and going under the knife.

In this century, the world defines beauty in one way: be a Kardashian. With that being said I realized that this would never end, the beauty trends and definitions will keep shifting and I’ll never be enough!

That’s when I decided to accept my beauty as is and embrace it. On most days, I go out bare faced with tomboy clothes and a bun. On others, I use makeup to embrace my beauty instead of sculpt a new one.

Don’t get me wrong, I sometimes still stand in front of the mirror and think about what I can change. But at the same time, I’m learning to accept myself by reminding myself that no one has the same features as I do and that makes me feel special. Each one of my features comes from either my mom or my dad which reminds me of my roots.



It hurt me when I gathered all the power in the world to seek help from someone who I believed cared for me. When I finally admitted to the first and only person in this world "I purge" I felt extremely selfish. How could I say that and worry the person who cares and loves me the most? But it hurt even more when they replied after a good laugh "that's like giving yourself a blowjob, and that's absolutely disgusting."

That was the only time I sought help. But that was also the time I realized that it's time to let go. At the beginning I thought that not being around them hurt me, but honestly nothing compares to the pain I felt when I was around them. Some people are toxic and that's why we have to accept the idea of letting those people go.

This person only made me realize how much love I have for the people in my life and that i will never stop being a good person because of bad people.