These are my favourite paintings by talented painter Ruth Shively. There’s something about them that is just so special. The paintings give each of the subjects their own identity – it’s just so refreshing to see women portrayed as characters rather than objects of beauty. There’s an element of mystery in these paintings; each woman has a story, a history and their characters and individuality shines through – which results in such strikingly beautiful portraits without focusing on their bodies or any other things we feel the need to obsess over in order to feel attractive. They are all so wonderfully unique but equally beautiful, which can teach us so much about self acceptance.