Firefighter, Mother, Breadwinner: 8 Pics That Show a Woman’s Beauty Lies in Her Strength

“People are talking a lot about body shaming these days – about what should be done or what is not ok, and so on. But do we think about the root cause behind all this? If we make our girls stronger when they are in the age group of 13-16, wouldn’t that be something that our society needs more rather than waiting for them to turn 25? You can’t expect them to be suddenly confident one day,” says blogger and photographer Pooja Kochar.

With this thought, the 32-year-old is using her power and influence as a passionate blogger to promote something she strongly feels about – that beauty is fearless, not flawless. She started her blogs named 30ish and PhotoblogHER about two years ago, and has been using them to raise her voice since then – sharing pictures that challenge body shaming and showcase the power in women through the work they do, the challenges they face and more.

“I combine art and activism to addresses the importance of a positive body image. Women by nature empathize and grow stronger by supporting each other; we have to learn to love ourselves as much as we love others. Every woman holds a universe of courage and determination within, I want to celebrate their commitment through photography,” she says.

For one of her projects, she visits schools in Mumbai and talks to young girls about the importance of positive body image, to tackle the problems of body shaming in the formative years. In an activity with these girls, she asks them to choose one word that describes them:

“They are very fearless and confident at that age, and most of the girls pick words like strong, brave, smile, etc. – all positive ones. And I always hope that they are able to keep this zest alive forever,” says Pooja.

After completing her MBA, she worked in the IT industry for 10 years, and then decided to quit her comfortable job to blog about the things that she strongly feels about. “You are beautiful not like the magazines, but because of the way you think, the way you love, the way you focus, the way you stand strong, the way you bet on yourself,” she concludes.

Here is a look at some pictures from her collection of beautiful visual stories of women – with their own struggles and victories.

Challenging Destiny: I am more than the way I look”, because real beauty is fearless, not flawless.

Challenging Destiny: I am more than the way I look, because real beauty is fearless, not flawless.

Fire Fighter: The first question I asked her was “do you have different duties because you are a woman” to which she promptly replied, “In a uniform, there is no man or woman, we are saving lives and work as a team”.

Fire Fighter: The first question I asked her was “do you have different duties because you are a woman” to which she promptly replied, “In a uniform, there is no man or woman, we are saving lives and work as a team”.

Fearless: Take everything that is bright within you and introduce it to someone; as privileged strong women we should take ownership and inspire the next generation to live fearlessly.

Fearless: Take everything that is bright within you and introduce it to someone; as privileged strong women we should take ownership and inspire the next generation to live fearlessly.

Motherhood: Every mother is fighting a secret battle, they put all their heart and soul into nurturing their kids, this image represents a special bond. A mother never stops loving her child, it is eternal and forever.

Motherhood: Every mother is fighting a secret battle. She puts all her heart and soul into nurturing her kids.

 Waiting For Monsoon: Aee (mother) is the only earning member of the family, her husband died leaving 5 children and a barren land. She stands strong to raise her children and provide them with two basic meals a day. This image portrays her stark reality and strength of character.


Waiting For Monsoon: Aee (mother) is the only earning member of the family. After the death of her husband, she is left with five children and a barren land. She stands strong to raise her children and provide them with two basic meals a day. This image portrays her stark reality and strength of character.

Geeta walks 2 kms one way to reach school every day, her mother insists on her becoming a teacher and living a life of dignity and strength. This is the story of many girls who wish to lead a better life and make a difference.

Geeta walks 2 km one way to reach school every day, her mother insists on her becoming a teacher and living a life of dignity and strength. This is the story of many girls who wish to lead a better life and make a difference.

Power: Girls don’t decide to hate their bodies, we teach them to. When girls hold back due to beauty related anxieties, our society misses out. These fiercely intelligent young girls defined themselves with words like strong, fire, power, smile, beautiful. The most striking quality is that they are completely unafraid and beyond inhibitions.

Power: Girls don’t decide to hate their bodies, we teach them to. When girls hold back due to beauty related anxieties, our society misses out. These fiercely intelligent young girls defined themselves with words like strong, fire, power, smile, beautiful. The most striking quality is that they are completely unafraid and beyond inhibitions.

Shakti: Durga embodies energy and change, her raw erotic power and passion can be disturbing and not so very lady-like. Her Shakti holds the entire prakriti/universe together, every woman has a little bit of Durga within. If we were given the same respect, there would be no crime against us.

Shakti: Durga embodies energy and change and every woman has a bit of Durga within. If we were given the same respect, there would be no crime against us.

Pictures and captions by Pooja Kochar.

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