Meet Rachael Stirling. Wife. Mother of 3. Family Nurse Practitioner. Former Marine Hospital Corpsman.
She was the winner of a recent giveaway my close friend and colleague, Faizah Husniyah, and I offered to celebrate International Women’s Day and National Eating Disorder Week. To enter the giveaway, you had to nominate a woman you knew that encouraged, supported and cherished other people’s lives and journeys. All the nominations humbled us. But Rachael’s really stood out.
Nominated by her long-distance best friend Kaira (all the way from Michigan,) Rachael is known as a brave, driven, encouraging and supportive woman. Kaira wrote a beautiful letter detailing Rachael and explaining how meeting her had sparked positivity and inspired self-love and acceptance. During the Equivalence shoot, Faizah and I found ourselves listening to Rachael’s thoughts on body image and how our culture affects us. It seems so normal to put another woman down just to make ourselves feel better or feel threatened by another’s beauty. In reality though, we are all perfectly made bodies on a singular journey through life.
We’re honored to share a bit of Rachael’s story through a narrative of photos that document not just a woman and her body, but a soul celebrating the peaks and valleys of her journey. With her permission, I’ve published a selection of Rachael's photos and an interview with her.
Hair and Makeup by Faizah Husniyah
Photography by Kaitlyn Stoddard-Carter