Tell me something.
When was the last time you saw an image of skin markings that looked just like yours?
When was the last time you saw an image of breasts that looked just like yours? An ass that looked just like yours? Scars that looked just like yours? A belly that looked just like yours?
Unless you're a celebrity look alike and have real time Photoshop (like, a program that follows and moves with you) I'm going to guess that for the majority of us... it's been a while. It's been a while since we've (or maybe we've never) seen our body positively represented within that overwhelming flood of images that fills our social media feeds, televisions, and magazines.
It's time to change that.
Nearly everyone had something to personally gain from the experience; it was the ultimate test of self-trust. They bared all to defy a lifetime of being told that their bodies were less than camera worthy. And defy they did. Every time the shutter clicked, triumph was theirs. God, it was moving.
But they also bared all for you. They undressed because they wanted to share their curves and angles, smiles and frowns, firmness and softness, strength and fear... with you. With the world. With everyone who wonders if they are alone in their physical form.
We all know that what we see in the media isn't the whole story. It's not representative of all of us. And because of what we see (or rather DON'T see) we start to believe that we are the only one with our particular stretch marks. Our uneven boobs. Our scarred legs. Our asymmetrical nipples. Our belly shape. Our body hair. Our what-ever-it-is-that-you-don't-see-on-display-any-where-else... Rarely do we see our beautiful and complex combination of body parts that makes us magnificent.
And when we feel alone in our body, we feel as though we are not enough. When the truth is: you are MORE than enough. And you are not alone.
So much of the female body that we see is pushed up. Pinned down. Sucked in, tucked in, and airbrushed. It's only presentable state is when it's altered, and so when we look at ourselves in the mirror (naked, untucked, and vulnerable) we say "My body must be wrong."
Your body ain't wrong, friend.
Liora K and I hosted The Expose Project last week to offer a medicinal photography opportunity (steps towards healing through terrifying naked poses while a hundred women clap and cheer!) and also to offer YOU more images that perhaps reflect what you might see in the mirror.
98 bodies, untouched. Real, and raw, and more gorgeous than I can put into words. I'm so in love with them ALL.
I was in awe when I saw the final images...each and every body is so magical to me. I've flipped through these images time and time again, every click deserving it's own breath. I see it. I see the beauty. I see the vulnerability. I see the power.
Will every person reading this post see their body and shape represented here? Definitely not, and I regret this. We can't represent 7 billion people with one shoot in a small city like Tucson though I wish more than anything we could. But we can show that our bodies differ in every way conceivable and are somehow wonderfully simialr... That we're not alone, and that we are all fucking perfect, just as we are.
You can view more images here, if you'd like. I'd recommend it.
You can also read this recounting that made me cry.
I want do this again. And again. And again, until we all feel represented. Until our powerful beauty becomes a blur. Until everything we hide is exposed, including our inherent worth no matter what shape our bodies take.