Because all mamas are hot in their own way. Photographer Jade Beall‘s new project “A Beautiful Body”invites mothers, both new and old, to celebrate their imperfectly perfect bodies. In a world of airbrushing, Photo Shop and self-loathing, how refreshing! In the coming year she’ll be hitting the road with her now five-month-old son, her partner and her dog in an RV, taking nude and semi-nude portraits of as many women as she can who are interested in participating (and there are a lot!). We recently asked her to tell us more:
Q: Why/how you decided to do this project?
A: I began this project because of a blog I had created using a collection of self-portraits I took of my new mama body. I photographed my postpartum body mostly because I had been accused by many women over the years in my community in Tucson, AZ that I only posted images on my photography website of thin “perfect looking” women. I was deeply hurt by these accusations as I honestly do not see women in terms of skinny or voluptuous, I see them as perfect. I see my sisters as authentically beautiful, irreplaceable and perfectly unique.
Since I had gained 50+ pounds during my pregnancy, I decided no better time than that moment to share my perfectly plump body with the world. I had no second thoughts about it. I drove my baby and my partner Alok to my studio and he helped me set up the lights as I was still recovering from somepretty bad stitches from giving birth 5 weeks prior. I took off my clothes and began photographing my naked body with tears in my eyes and hope in my heart that other women would feel better about themselves if they saw me stripped of all coverings while completely willing to share my vulnerability and what our culture would label as ugly.
Within hours of posting that blog, I received dozens of emails from women all over the country. They all wanted to tell me their postpartum story! It was then I understood that by being vulnerable one can offer the sweet medicine of self love and acceptance. By being vulnerable, one realizes we all share pain and we all know joy. We realize we are more similar than not. I began photographing more mothers, posted a few images on my Facebook page and that is when the emails began pouring in by the thousands from women who wanted to participate in my project, “A Beautiful Body”.
Q: Do you have a publisher for this project?