Model: GABRIELA (GABY) NALVEN
My love of dragons all started when I was introduced to my bearded dragon, Athena. Athena is also disabled since her two back feet are missing. Athena, has given me the support and confidence to do things on my own. She and I formed a bond that will last forever.
After I got Athena, I wanted more, so my life with a dragon became my family of dragons. My dragons are my kids. I currently have four and we have shared so much. For instance, we went cross-country in an airstream. When I take my dragons out individually, it helps me have the confidence and the courage to not be scared. It helps me think of my babies and not what the other person is thinking or seeing when they look at me. Athena and Trevor made me the person I am today because I’m less shy and more out spoken.
When my aunt told me about the Bold Beauty Project…and I learned that my dragons could be part of it, I was definitely excited. The airbrushing, make up and photo session were an amazing experience. I have never done anything like it. This whole experience makes me realize that it is OK to be different. I am lucky to be able to express my feelings through my art and my love for dragons. I loved that they blended in so perfectly with the body painting.
I was so surprised and excited to be part of this amazing project, I would definitely do it again knowing that being different is OK.
Photographed by Lisa Navlen