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?