“I began this book project unknowingly: After shooting some self-portraits with my 5-week-old son Sequoia accompanied by a blog about my newly-round post-Birth body, I was flooded with emails by mothers wanting to share their Incredible, Inspiring, & Sometimes Painful stories with me. It was then I realized I had to tell their untold stories, that a body of work begged to be created! Through Photographs & personal essays from these courageous mothers all over the country, I hope to offer a powerful healing tool for Mothers everywhere. Since inception, 1000’s of women have volunteered & the project ‘A Beautiful Body Project’ was born. Together we can redefine our culture’s idea of a beautiful woman. I have photographed and humbly listened to hundreds of stories now: Anorexia; childhood bulimia; a woman being told by her mother she was too fat to be a ballerina. Self-hatred; self-inflicted-suffering; Feeling unsexy because she perceived her nipples as imperfect; feeling unsexy because she lost too much weight after breast feeding; Feeling like there was something deeply wrong with her because she had only lost 5 pounds 9 months after the birth of her 2nd child; Sexual abuse; teenage & young adult drug addictions due to self loathing because she never felt beautiful; breast cancer after the birth of a long-awaited pregnancy; loss of a baby at birth with a wrinkly tummy & un-suckled breasts to remind her everyday of what might have been”.
“There are so many stories shadowing mothers in our culture. We are, however, also tremendously blessed with vast amounts of freedom as American Women: we are lucky to be able to shape-shift concepts and ideas in our country. We have the ability to choose to feel worthy, to believe we are beautiful and to act as women who wish to share beauty and joy in this world as an inter-connected community of people seeking a beautiful and peaceful life. It is my hope in 2013 to find a publisher for this book of powerful photographs & stories in order to inspire thousands of other mothers who are eager to feel validated by witnessing this exploration of vulnerability as a collective”.
Decadent, extravagant, obscene: the great Czech photographer Jan Saudek together with Sarah Saudek – his model, wife and muse. Jan Saudek was Jewish and having been born in Prague, he lived through the horrors of deportation during World War II. On returning to Prague he was forced to work in secret, hidden in a cellar, where he developed dreams and fantasies whilst living under a rather grey and pragmatic dictatorship. In the seventies he began to “correct” his black and white prints tinting them with watercolours. In his exclusion this “underground man” created an art of dreams, beautifully sad and light: erotic in the most spirited and interesting way. The works of Saudek, are as fascinating and mysterious as Prague itself and have made him one of the greatest living authors. A pillar of twentieth century photographic history. The surreal world of Jan Saudek is a room with plaster peeling from the walls, which filters the infinite. The flesh of the annoyingly imperfect bodies, once exposed to his eye and brush are fashioned in to the unique and extraordinary, which only art can give to the underworld, by touches of melancholy and beauty. For her part Sarah Saudek tells of infinite decadence of femininity, that is impossible to contain or restrict with a moralizing interpretive palate.
Translated from Jan Saudek: la bellezza dell’imperfezione ~ Fotografia Artistica Blog G. Santagata
See also: Jan Saudek: the imperfection beauty
“I have medium-large labia. I have meaty outer lips, & long thick inner lips. And my inner labia are different sizes. I love my labia. But some women don’t love theirs. Many women see unrealistic images and listen to misguided opinions and think their labia should be neat, small & invisible to be “normal”. This blog is all about fighting that view, by showing how perfectly normal and beautiful large labia are. Really they’re nothing special though, the average woman has them! Anyway I’ll show you mine & feel free to submit yours”.
Our Breasts “celebrates the beautiful diversity of natural breasts, of all sizes, shapes, colours, ages and races. Breasts are such an important and integral part of what makes us feel feminine, sexual, and real women. By showing how all women are different, and uniquely special, as a gender we will be able to challenge the beliefs around what makes breasts beautiful. And in turn, we will be able to help women feel better about themselves. Help show the beauty of all women by contributing your breasts to this project”.