Saw this on TakePart, and thought it was wonderful… so I needed to share:
Photographer Jade Beall never believed she lived up to traditional standards of beauty. And so when she snapped a semi-nude self-portrait of her un-retouched post-partum body, and published it on her Facebook page, she was somewhat surprised at how popular the photo became.
Not only were users liking and sharing it, but Beall was flooded with requests from other women asking her to photograph their post-partum bodies as well. And so she did.
Since then, taking these pictures has turned into a mission for Beall, one that she hopes will help “redefine beautiful.”
In a recent interview with HuffPo Live, she explained, “I just want to empower…other women to feel authentically irreplaceable.”
The women she’s so far captured on film have become part of a series she named A Beautiful Body, which Beall hopes to turn into a published book, backed by the help of her Kickstarter fund.
I love this and what it represents, especially since bodies are a vulnerable subject for us as we become parents. So much attachment to the body we once knew, and that body is changed and it creates panic. Little messages like this help us to appreciate the little miracles that come along with all that change.
In a world where we’re inundated with women who have flawless physiques that they spend hours training for, were genetically blessed with, and are told to bend over backwards until we look like them, these pictures give you a change in scenery, something to remind you that you’re not alone, some anomaly. These pictures remind you that there are other people in the world, whose bodies will be preserved in photos for all time, who aren’t those we’ve deemed “perfect” and airbrushed them to ensure their perfection.
Alas, it must also be stated that these kinds of bodies are also beautiful and worthy of adoration, admiration and praise even if they have never produced a child. Fat isn’t just “okay” simply because you have an “excuse*.” Your body is okay because it is your body. Plain and simple.
*Don’t be confused. I believe all bodies are beautiful, whether they be transitioning from one size to the next… or not. I don’t believe people should seek to lose weight out of shame or self-hatred, because the methods necessary for successful and permanent weight loss require one to learn a great deal of self-love and vulnerability… two things that are direct odds with shame and hatred.
Anyone seeking to lose weight should have access to empowering and supportive information that makes them feel good about themselves while they embark on the journey… not info that misleads them and makes them feel shame for not being skinny already.
I’ve meaning to post on your blog for a while now and this made me stop putting it off finally! This is beautiful, and links in with how I have slowly started to think and feel about myself. Over a decade and a half of hating how I look, how fat (which automatically meant unworthy) I thought I was, full of self loathing at not already having a perfect, skinny body…I’ve been on a journey of self-discovery since I came across your blog in late 2012 and much to my delight over time I have genuinely started thinking differently about myself. I no longer berate myself each time I look in the mirror, I feel thankful I have a healthy body which has remained so despite how badly I was treating it, and this attitude is directly proportional to my increasing fitness levels: it is so much easier do enjoy doing something coming from a place of love rather than disgust and anger. I run because I enjoy it, it is good for me. I have eliminated processed foods from my diet because they are bad for me and don’t help my body in any way. As I am able to run longer and harder over time I’m amazed at my body’s ability to change and adapt so much, starting from leading a completely sedentary lifestyle full of “I could NEVER do that.” So much better than “I have no willpower, I am fat and disgusting, I can’t eat these amazing sugary treats because I will become fatter FAT FAT FAT!” Thank you Erika, keep up the inspirational work x
What she said!
Today for the first time in my life I ran for twenty minutes non-stop. I cried afterwards, I’m happy, amazed and proud. Couldn’t have done it without BGG2WL xx
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