This Photographer Wants to #EmpowerAllBodies
‘You Are Beautiful’ Is a Global Campaign to Share Women’s Portraits and Authentic Stories
Over the weekend, we were thrilled to came across a couple of articles featuring different body positive campaigns. While we as a society are still combating complicated and deeply ingrained ideals of beauty that have been carefully cultivated into a booming industry, it’s becoming more and more common for women who are all kinds of sizes to push back against that one-definition ideal. The result is a countless – and ever-growing – number of body positive grassroots movements.
Join the movement; value yourself and help those around you do the same. We’re each too precious to spend huge chunks of our lives tearing ourselves down.
Even though the date on the original post tells me that this has been on the world wide web for several months now, I’m blown away. This is quite possibly the most body image positive thing I’ve ever seen, and it’s such a simple idea too! The pictures really speak for themselves:
Expose: Shedding Light on Collective Beauty
For years, this vitriol has left me puzzled and asking: WHY is this happening? WHY is loving yourself so controversial? WHY U SO MAD WORLD?
Well, I learned why and it’s because of a thing I like to call Body Currency.
It goes like something this: we are taught as a society that IF we achieve the ideal body that we see in traditional media (and not before) we will then obtain love, worthiness, success and ultimately- happiness. Which is what we all want, right?
Because the vast majority of our culture buys into this, we have millions upon millions of people investing everything they have into achieving this ultimate goal. The goal being- thinness which obviously equals happiness, remember? (Note: other body “goals” also apply here, like able bodied/lighter skin color/cisgender appearance etc.) SO, they spend their lives in a perpetual state of self-loathing (its called inspiration!) while working their asses off to become that ideal. We, as Americans, sink billions of dollars into beauty products every year. Between the millions of us on diets, we gift the weight loss industry and other weight loss products over $60 billion dollars as well. 14 million of us had cosmetic procedures in 2012 and yes, that number keeps growing. Perhaps we starve ourselves or maybe we just fixate on our calorie count like it determines our salvation. Maybe we make the gym our god. Whatever we choose individually, we as a country have made ‘fixing our bodies’ our main obsession and we let it consume our life. This happens for most of us whether we choose to acknowledge it or not. We live to give the quest towards impossible perfection (marketed as happiness) our all.
So THEN after all of this, when a fat chick- who hasn’t done the work, who hasn’t tried to fix her body, who doesn’t have any interest in the gospel we so zealously believe in, stands up and says: I’M HAPPY! …we freak the fuck out.
Because: that bitch just broke the rules. She just cut in front of us in line. She just unwittingly ripped us off. And she essentially made our lifetime of work totally meaningless.
I’ve seen several different timeline representations for “ideal” female beauty through the ages the past several months, though I can’t say that I’ve seen much consistency between them. And I’m not sure how I feel about them, either. On the one hand, there’s something to be said for pointing out that our one dimensional definition of beauty isn’t all encompassing and actually hasn’t been around that long. It’s definitely something to take into consideration from a health and body image perspective. But on the other, we don’t see matching videos for men. Should we take this as an indication that society’s definition of “ideal” male beauty hasn’t changed much? Or is it just that body type isn’t something of significance where guys are concerned?
Source article: http://tinyurl.com/lbcv9t9
This is rather an older article; I’m pretty sure I first saw it over a year ago, but when it resurfaced on one of the many outlets I follow I found it just as fascinating the second time around. This woman took an unaltered photo of herself and emailed it to 40 graphic artists from 25 different countries and her only instructions were to make her beautiful. It’s amazing how different each one is. Some added copious amounts of blush and eyeshadow, others changed the lines of her face, neck, and shoulders, or altered her hair or skin tone. One of the Indian artists actually removed her collarbones. The Morocco artist added a traditional head covering. Now while it’s understood that “beauty” as defined by these artists isn’t necessarily inductive of their region’s stereotypical definition, it does highlight just how open to interpretation the concept is. Every one of them is altered though; so what does it say about us that no one sent the picture back to her just the way it was?