In an age where getting back into “shape” has become a craze and all celebrity new-moms do is post pictures of their post birth bodies on Instagram, posing naked during or after pregnancy is not even the last thing that most women would want to do, however, for a courageous few, it can be empowering.
Now a new book reveals the truth about women’s bodies after they have had children, complete with stunning photos (see pictures and video below, some may be NSFW) and wise words from the mothers featured, all of whom explain how they learned to love their changing physique.
And it certainly doesn’t pull any punches. Stretch-marks, saggy tummies and loose skin all feature in A Beautiful Body Project: The Bodies of Mothers by Arizona based US photographer Jade Beall.
According to experts, birth has a huge impact on a woman’s body and many feel their bodies are no longer the same afterwards. But many of the women in Beall’s fascinating book say that having their photograph taken helped them to reconnect with their bodies and overcome any negative thoughts about their perceived imperfections.
Beall, says she suffered from poor self-image all of her life, but that it was only after she become pregnant that she began to love her body. After giving birth she once again fell into a trough of self-loathing and became obsessed with losing weight.
But when she posted a nude self-portrait online that showed her breast-feeding her baby son it went viral and was shared around the world. Thanks to the huge media interest in her project, Beall then decided to create a series of photos showing ‘real’ and inspiring women of all different ages, shapes and sizes, saying that she hoped to inspire future generations of woman to embrace their beauty just as they are.
Even-though Beall didn’t have the money to carry the project out on her own, and even considered dropping the whole thing to concentrate on her job, her husband Alok Appadurai suggested that she tried to raise funds through Kickstarter. After uploading a video she created about the project, she was astonished to find that people pledged $60,000- three times what she had asked for – and she had got a further $20,000 in pre-orders for the book.
Now her book, which was edited, proofed and produced by neighbours and volunteers, will be published May 11. In the preface, Beall writes: ‘We joyously present you with this revolutionary concept and global bodypositive and self-love movement: that one need not be photoshopped to be beautiful.
Check out the talk she gave at TEDxTucson 2013 her project below:
Check out the book on Amazon as well