Arizona-based photographer and body positivity advocate Jade Beall seeks to provide an alternative to the heavily airbrushed images of women presented by mass media through her series The Bodies of Mothers: A Beautiful Body Project. The project, which has been published as a book, portrays women in a raw, honest way rarely seen on the covers of magazines or on TV screens. Untouched by Photoshop, the beauty of these mothers’ bodies is depicted in every wrinkle, scar, stretch mark, and fold. Thick or thin, tall or short, young or old, these diverse women bare their so-called “imperfections” proudly as signs of their love, labor, and life.
Beall was inspired to embark on a life journey of empowering other women through photography in part due to a history of discomfort with her own appearance. Pregnancy and giving birth to her son Sequoia ultimately helped her reevaluate her own feelings of self-worth and respect for her body. Through her images, she hopes to make everyone feel worthy of being called beautiful no matter what they look like, and to celebrate diversity above all else.
According to the Huffington Post, Beall offers these words of wisdom to pregnant women who may be anxious about childbirth: “Your body is a masterpiece and deserves to be praised by all humanity! You are exquisite and if your body changes a little or a lot after birth, celebrate your change! It’s an honor that thousands of other women can only dream of having. Relax into your perfection and be kind to yourself! Being a mother is challenging enough without despising our beautiful and powerful bodies.”