Photographer Jade Beall promotes body positivity through simply captured yet visually powerful portraits. We were previously awed by her revealing The Bodies of Mothers: A Beautiful Body Project, which highlighted women’s postpartum bodies and was published as a book. After its successful Kickstarter launch, she sent a survey to the series’ followers and asked what they’d like to see next. The overwhelming response? The bodies of seniors.
Beall then began her quest to find subjects for her new project. Many older people shied away from the camera, hesitant to put themselves online and film. Eventually, the photographer turned to her friends Gerry, 75, and Darwin, 70, who said yes. “I knew exactly what I wanted to do,” Beall explained to Upworthy. “I just wanted a really simple embrace.” It was all that was needed to show the beauty of the couple’s love. They’ve been together for over 20 years—through many of life’s ups and downs—and say their fondness for each other has only grown. “Like fine wine or good cheese,” Gerry told Beall, “we are more fully ourselves and more full of love in our 70s than we ever were in our 30s and 40s.”
The elderly portraits symbolize the larger mission of Beall’s photography, which is to feature all types of people. This inclusive approach champions wrinkles in skin or scars down the body, seeing them as equally worthy of praise. “I refuse to accept the wide spread (mostly western) human belief system in regards to what is beautiful,” Beall wrote on Instagram. “Why do we accept to believe that one thing must be more beautiful than another? Why cannot we embrace a million-billion definitions of beautiful?”