All the photoshopped Sports Illustrated and Victoria Secret models you see in any given magazine have NOTHING on these five beautiful Indian ladies featured in the following fashion photo shoot. Sorry not sorry, Kate Upton.

Rupa-1

Rupa, Rita, Sonam, Laxmi and Chanchal are all survivors of brutal acid attacks. Acid attacks are common occurrences in India – approximately, 1000 people, mainly girls are attacked each year. Assailants use acid as a weapon and throw them in the faces of their victims with the purpose to maim, blind, or kill them. These attacks are vicious and the acid is easy to obtain. 22 year old Rupa dropped her surname when she disowned her father for supporting her stepmother after her stepmother threw acid on Rupa’s face. For years, she hid her disfigured face in shame. Until now.

“I always wanted to be a designer but after the attack there was a pause in my life. I was so insecure and embarrassed by my scars, I used to cover my face with a scarf. I always hung onto my dream but I never knew that one day it would be possible and I would be launching my own label.”

Rupa-3 Rupa-7

Rupa-9 Rupa-10

The five beautiful ladies have posed for a fashion shoot wearing designs from Rupa’s new clothing collection, Rupa’s Designs. Teaming up with “Stop Acid Attacks,” a charity  who helps survivors acclimate back into society and helps them rebuild their self worth. Photographed by Rahul Saharan (who donated his services to Chhoan, a support center run by the charity), these five ladies have decided to no longer hide their faces and live their lives with their head held high, in dignity.

[REWIND: FASHION SHOOT FOR LEILA HAFZI AND SANDNES GARN | BEHIND THE SCENES IN NORWAY WITH ERIK ALMAS]

Rupa tells Daily Mail, “It was a wonderful shoot. I’m a very shy girl, but Rahul made it easy and comfortable for us all to face the camera with pride.” Rahul has worked with the charity for over 2 and a half years and said, “I kept telling the girls “don’t let others tell you what beauty is, you yourself are beautiful, every woman is beautiful.” He is planning on setting up an exhibition with proceeds going to help survivors.

This photo shoot is my tribute to all the brave women across the globe who have gone through this gruesome torture. I’m glad that I could do my part in supporting them.

Rupa-2 Rupa-4 Rupa-5 RUpa-6Watch an interview with Rupa below:

You can find out more about the charity, Stop Acid Attacks, check out their website.

To support Rupa and her dream to set up a dress shop and become financially independent, check out the BitGiving page or the IndieGoGo page (if you’re in the US).

You can connect with photographer Rahul Saharan via his Facebook.

CREDITS: All photographs shared by Rahul Saharan are copyrighted and have been used with permission for SLR Lounge. Do not copy, modify or re-post this article or images without express permission from SLR Lounge and the artist.

[via Daily Mail UK]