I had an idea and I've wanted to do it for a while, so I gathered some brave ladies together and shot a nude body positivity project!
I know, I know. OMG nipples! Etc.
My goal with this project was to keep it very simple and unposed with zero skin retouching.
I do wish I had more diversity for this project, but it was a difficult thing to gather women willing to allow their nudes on the internet. Especially unretouched and unposed.
However, I believe I want to make this an on-going project. So, if you are reading this and want to be a part of this on-going project, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject "BODY POSITIVE"!
As a boudoir photographer, I want women of ALL ages and ALL sizes to feel beautiful and confident in this very moment. We only have ONE body. We should LOVE it at every stage!
Our bodies are unique to us.
Our bodies tell the stories of our lives.
Some bodies carry babies.
Some bodies birth babies.
Some bodies nurse babies.
Some bodies grow.
Some bodies shrink.
All bodies get injured somehow.
All bodies age.
All bodies change. All. The. Time.
ALL bodies are BEAUTIFUL!
You are beautiful the way you are RIGHT NOW. It's okay to want to lose or gain weight. It's okay to want or get plastic surgery. It's okay to want scars removed or covered up somehow. It's okay to do things that make you feel more comfortable with yourself, but that does NOT mean you HAVE to change or that you shouldn't love yourself and feel beautiful the way you are now. Stop looking in the mirror and picking yourself a part. Start looking in the mirror and telling yourself that you're the beautiful, confident woman that you ARE!
Do. Not. Allow. Other. People's. Opinions. Affect. You.
I know that is easier said than done. Believe me, I GET IT. Some people are cruel and live to tear others down. That's why I have such a passion for what I do. I've been there. I've hated everything about myself in the past.
My forehead is too big. My lips are too small. My freckles are ugly. I'm too pale. My eyebrows are too thick. My boobs are too small. I'm too thin. I'm too this or I'm too that.
These are the things that ran through my head daily growing up. Mostly because of cruel people.
I covered my face with bangs and freaked out EVERY time the wind blew. I even thought my now husband would think I was ugly if he ever saw my forehead. We started dating when I was 14. I am now 23. I plucked my eyebrows until there was barely anything left. I changed the things that I could and hated the things that I couldn't.
THEN my body changed after I had my daughter and changed a little bit more after my son. Stretch marks, loose skin, weight gain, muscle separation, changing breasts, etc. I would be LYING if I said I didn't struggle daily with loving this new body. But I try. I try hard. You get so used to seeing yourself one way and then once it changes, you have to learn to love yourself this new way. I Get. It.
Self-love is work. HARD WORK.
It's a never-ending journey, really.
We grow and we change and we have to continue to learn how to love ourselves everyday.
Just promise yourself that you will try!
I asked these ladies WHY they wanted to be a part of this wonderful project and you can read their answers below.
"I wanted to be a part of this shoot because I am insecure about my body. Growing up, I was a skinny kid. I could eat anything and everything without a worry in the world, and now I have to watch what I eat. It is nice to know that I am not alone and that there are other people like me who are struggling with insecurities. I just want people to know beauty comes in all different shapes and sizes and that it is ok to be different."
"I wanted to participate in this session for many reasons but one primarily. I work with women every single day that are self-conscious to an unhealthy level and I spend a lot of our time together reinforcing that beauty comes in many shapes, forms, sizes and colors. I don't think that there is a single woman on the planet that isn't insecure about some part of her body- but the key to security is embracing the curves and quirks that are unique to us. There's no better way to say, "I believe what I'm telling you," than to strip down and be vulnerable myself."
"There are so many reasons for me to do this. I see too many women tearing each other down. For everything. Fat, skinny, muscles, hair, teeth. I want to raise my sons to be loving and accepting of all people. I am learning to love all of me, all the time. Not just when I feel pretty or skinny. My husband is a great source of support and loves me for who I am and I want to do the same. I am thankful for the opportunity to do this to help all women see their beauty."
"I wear makeup so little that when I do put it on I feel like I'm playing dress up. But I'm 46 years old and it's getting harder for me to accept my reflection. And I feel like I should want to wear makeup and color my hair and "keep myself up" because that's what all my friends do. Women seem to feel most vulnerable in their natural state, which is naked and makeup free. Naked and Afraid is cliche but it fits what I'm trying to say. And if one woman reads the blog and decides to spend less time in the mirror or dressing room and more time enjoying her own reflection, then these efforts will not have been in vain."
"I chose to do these pictures because we are all beautiful, no matter shape or size. Us women need to empower each other instead of bringing one another down. I have always been self conscious and I definitely came out of my shell today! Cheyanne is amazing!!"
"I wanted to be a part of this to show my daughters that they are beautiful. That every woman is. I also wanted to push past my boundaries and out of my comfort zone. I wanted the opportunity to be a part of something where women are building one another up. We need more of that in the world."
"I have health issues and I'm on 15 different meds and I can't afford all of them. I was with my ex husband for 21 years and I almost died and he lied and cheated. He would call me names and belittle me! I had to love myself. I lost 75 pounds and gained it back because I can't afford my medicine. But I want my daughter and all women to know that we are all beautiful just the way we are. It's not just our looks that make us beautiful. It's our hearts, our minds, our passion for life, and how we treat people. I also want my son not to be a sexist pig! I want him to see the beauty in every woman and treat everyone with love and respect."