Body image

This is where whether you are a mum or a dad, a daughter or a son really matters. Society places different expectations on us, yes, but our bodies undergo hugely different processes and experiences throughout our lives. Becoming a mother has a real, tangible impact on your body and how you feel about it.

As individual women, we all have unique feelings about our bodies, whether we are comfortable in our skin or have been trying to starve our thighs into submission since the age of 14 and/or just since the baby weight stubbornly refused to budge. I really like projects that focus on helping everyone, but women in particular, be at peace with our bodies. I don't want to know how much you weigh. I want to know if you are happy and if you are kind. 


The Beautiful Body Project


by Jade Beall

The Beautiful Body Project was founded by Jade Beall, a therapeutic photographer. Steering away from the airbrushed, photoshopped images of women we see in online and print media, Jade's photography focuses on the real body complete with stretch marks, scars, wrinkles and blemishes.

By Jade Beall

From her initial photographs in Tucson, Arizona of pregnant and postnatal women, Jade has created a global network of female photographers seeking to represent a truth about the female body. The Beautiful Body Project now includes older women, women with disabilities, women fighting cancer and eating disorders. Along with the images, Jade has sought to discover women's stories, highlighting the struggles, loss and sadness but also the joy and strength of endurance and transformation.

Lucia Maya and daughter Elizabeth Blue by Jade Beall

I think Jade's work is inspirational and I am delighted that I will be able to show these photographs to my own children. Look, this is what real people look like! And aren't they beautiful and strong? To hear more from Jade about how the project first started and her hopes for the future, read my Q&A with Jade Beall. There are also a number of ways to support the project.

On a personal level, you might want to submit your own body story and/or photographs. Reflecting on our own bodies and self esteem might help us all deal with some of the body hang-ups we have and also help us to avoid passing them on to the next generation. I wrote a piece called The hang-ups stop here when my three daughter old daughter started asking "How do I look?". I also wrote about diet shakes - we've all been tempted by quick-fixes!

You may prefer to support the work of the project through pledging your support to the movement, raising funds or purchasing the beautiful books, prints, posters or ethical T-shirts produced by Jade's Fed by Threads project. Volume 1: The bodies of mothers  was published in May 2014. 

by Jade Beall

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