Check out this article on this project, ‘A Beautiful Body’ on the Sundance Blog.
I began this book project unknowingly: After shooting some self-portraits with my 5-week-old son Sequoia accompanied by a blog about my newly-round post-Birth body, I was flooded with emails by mothers wanting to share their Incredible, Inspiring, & Sometimes Painful stories with me. It was then I realized I had to tell their untold stories, that a body of work begged to be created! Through Photographs & personal essays from these courageous mothers all over the country, I hope to offer a powerful healing tool for Mothers everywhere. Since inception, 1000’s of women have volunteered & the project ‘A Beautiful Body Project’ was born. Together we can redefine our culture’s idea of a beautiful woman. I have photographed and humbly listened to hundreds of stories now: Anorexia; childhood bulimia; a woman being told by her mother she was too fat to be a ballerina. Self-hatred; self-inflicted-suffering; Feeling unsexy because she perceived her nipples as imperfect; feeling unsexy because she lost too much weight after breast feeding; Feeling like there was something deeply wrong with her because she had only lost 5 pounds 9 months after the birth of her 2nd child; Sexual abuse; teenage & young adult drug addictions due to self loathing because she never felt beautiful; breast cancer after the birth of a long-awaited pregnancy; loss of a baby at birth with a wrinkly tummy & un-suckled breasts to remind her everyday of what might have been. There are so many stories shadowing mothers in our culture. We are, however, also tremendously blessed with vast amounts of freedom as American Women: we are lucky to be able to shape-shift concepts and ideas in our country. We have the ability to choose to feel worthy, to believe we are beautiful and to act as women who wish to share beauty and joy in this world as an inter-connected community of people seeking a beautiful and peaceful life. It is my hope in 2013 to find a publisher for this book of powerful photographs & stories in order to inspire thousands of other mothers who are eager to feel validated by witnessing this exploration of vulnerability as a collective.
It’s time to redefine beautiful.
I am photographing for this project over the next year or more, into the summer of 2013. I will be traveling around the country (hopefully in an old airstream trailer with my partner and my son) to meet up in key locations to photograph a wide range of mothers. Women who participate (all mamas are welcome to participate, if you have a newborn or a 50 year old child) are added to a google calendar to make scheduling shoots easy. Mama’s who participate can choose to have their children included or not. Children will be clothed. Babies may be clothed or not, depending on the mother’s choice. I will also offer a Goddess Party with as many women as possible once we complete the photographing. Women who participate will also be asked to write an essay about their authentic relationship to their body pre and post birth and anything in-between. I will also provide some questions that people can choose to answer in their essay. The essays WILL ALL be edited. Participants must sign a release form for both the photography portion and the essay. PLEASE note that I am receiving so many emails it is taking me longer than I expected to respond to all of my amazing sisters!!! Please do not be offended if you do not hear back from me right away, I WILL get back to you
Participants will receive access to their photos once the project is COMPLETE. That is, you can HAVE THEM. You can SEE them before, but I need to keep them until the book is complete. You will also receive a book, of course. I want this to be sacred for you and I want you to have many images to remember the experience!
All Tucson based shoots for this project will be at my studio, The Movement Shala. Photo shoot days are booked for a few months out, so please contact me to schedule a time! Thank you!
THANK YOU for thinking about sharing your vulnerability. American mothers need sisterhood more than ever, in my opinion. We must unite to facilitate love for each-other and to praise one-another for their authentic beauty, their authentic parenting and their unreplicate-able story. I want to initiate a love revolution and inspire authentic beauty activism from the heart with you! For more inspiration about my, our, project, please visit this blog for more inspiration.
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