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the beauty of different

July 9, 2010

On Monday, I mentioned Karen Walrond, the creative wonder behind Chookooloonks.

Karen inpires me with her words and her photography.  Humour, intelligence, and generosity come through in every thing she does.  Plus, this woman is a beauty – she has shining eyes, a way with colour that I envy, and a radiant smile that I have to imagine lights up a room.

Here’s a small example of what I mean: a while back, I sent an email asking Karen how she likes her Epiphanie camera bag.  She responded immediately, with a seriously funny note, and sent me this link.  Go there.  I’ll wait.  No, really.

See what I mean?

But it’s more than that.

A few years ago, Karen worked on a portrait project she called The Beauty Perspective.  Along with the portraits, her subjects answered the question, “What makes your life beautiful?”

The answers are about relationships – with partners, family, community, ourselves.  The answers are not about big/small/upturned noses, grey hair, freckles, big/small/pigeon-toed feet, round bellies, or flabby hips.

Karen – like most women – has been on her own lifelong journey to accept herself, to come to terms with her looks, her beauty.  She says that it took a very, very long time to stop wanting to be like everybody else.  But the day came when this statement was true:

I’ve learned viscerally,

deep in my soul


beyond a shadow of a doubt

that different is very



One of Karen’s missions is to redefine beauty.  To that end, she has a book coming out in September, The Beauty of Different.  In Karen’s words,

The idea behind the book is to illustrate how all those little quirks that make us different — the way we think, the way we look, the way we dress, the way we pray — are actually the sources of our beauty.

I can’t wait to read it – a combination of her essays and photography in a beautiful settle-down-with-a-cup-of-a-tea kind of package – to be inspired some more.

You don’t have to wait until September for inspiration from Karen.

Karen blogs weekdays, with beautiful photos and luminous words, here.

This is one of the trailers for the book:


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