Jade Beall is the latest Kickstarter success story. After the photographer mom published a few semi-nude postpartum self-portraits online, the overwhelming response led her to compile a big book of beauty: 'A Beautiful Body.' She photographed some 50 moms, stretch marks and all, in a bid to renew confidence in women’s bodies post pregnancy.
According to the article in the Huffington Post, Beall spent her teenage years loathing her body, feelings that resurfaced when she gained 50 pounds while pregnant with her now 16-month-old son Sequoia. Sadly, hers is not an unfamiliar story, as the majority of us aren't happy with what we see in the mirror once we become moms.
"We are facing an epidemic of women who feel unworthy of being called beautiful," said Beall, who doesn’t charge for the photoshoots. "Shaming mothers for not 'bouncing back' after childbirth can cause feelings of failure when being a mother is challenging enough and when a big number of us have already lived a life of feeling un-beautiful prior to giving birth."
The photos and accompanying personal stories offer a wonderful tapestry of women coming to terms with their motherly figures. For many of the moms, the exposure has been freeing. No wonder then that Beall describes her art as "medicinal," indicative of a society in need of healing.
The fact that her 100-page-plus book has far exceeded her crowdfunding goal of $20,000, Beall is now raising the bar for herself, setting even loftier goals that would include further photographic volumes—on themes such as aging, cancer, and eating disorders.
"My dream is to be a part of a movement of being kind to ourselves and to others and witness a generation of young people that no longer waste years of precious life on self-loathing like I have…" Beall said.
We loved this post by YMC member Jack Hourigan who wrote a gorgeous post about motherhood and stretchmarks. Read it!
Have you embraced your postpartum body? Would you ever consider posing nude or semi-nude?
You have to feel for the Duchess of Cambridge. Not only is she the most watched pregnant person on the planet (now that Kim Kardashian has given birth), already the British press is trying to give Kate unsolicited parenting advice, urging her to breastfeed publicly the royal baby.
“(We) need women with power and influence to get their milky bosoms out and feed smiling in paparazzi pictures. Celebrity is depressingly powerful in dictating trends,” wrote Beverley Turner in The Telegraph.
Jeesh. The baby isn’t even born yet, and already poor Kate is being pressurized to do this, do that. Becoming a mother is stressful enough. I say let her find her own way. With any luck she will breastfeed her child, but it is no one’s business what she chooses to do with her ‘milky bosoms.’
According to an article in Today Moms, Turner is a mother of three who nursed her own breastfeeding struggles, “calling it a brutally difficult process.” So you’d think she would know better.
Of course Kate must be aware of how important breast milk is for babies. I doubt this glaring fact could have escaped her. Turner clearly feels that a royal role model is what’s needed to stop dwindling rates of breastfeeding in the UK.
“We’re also rapidly losing any sense of normality about breastfeeding due to powerful cultural forces. Young mums are especially unlikely to breastfeed: it’s not cool; it’s not sexy and their boyfriends won’t like it,” Turner wrote.
Kate is due in mid-July.
My Little Pony (MLP) fans come in all different shapes and sizes. Perhaps its most surprising fan base consists of adult males, otherwise known as Bronies. According to an article in Toronto Star, these grown men buy all the merchandise, watch the show, and sometimes even step out dressed as their favourite pony.
Needless to say, the popular cartoon is aimed at young girls, so no wonder its emerging fan base feels largely misunderstood.
In fact, the Bronies even have their own convention, attended by some 4,000 last year in the U.S. Canada is set to run its own fan expo in Vancouver this summer, with another possible date in Toronto if fans have their way.
“...it’s not like any other kids show,” claims Alexander Blake, an 18-year-old computer science student, who estimates that he has spent around $400 on MLP merchandise. Bronies gravitate toward the show's gender-neutral storylines as well as its fantastic animation.
With the forthcoming release of the movie, 'My Little Pony: Equestria Girls,' Bronies have been flocking to early screenings in droves, yet their presence has not been embraced by all parents, who suspect their interest in the show of having a sexual subtext.
Louisiana psychologist Marsha Redden has been studying the Brony phenomenon, through interviews with 30,000 participants, many of whom are "single, computer-savvy men struggling socially." She believes the show provides friendship opportunities for these men, as well as escapism from reality.
“Each episode teaches a lesson,” says Redden. “It comes down to What Would a Pony Do.”
Is it weird or inappropriate for grown men to dig My Little Pony? Or are Bronies simply harmless, self-professed "nerds"?