Remember those Dove ads? They were a great start for body positivity. It showed women who weren’t Victoria’s Secret models standing, happily, in their underwear and posing for the camera. It was awesome, but as with any societal issue — it was just the beginning. We always have a ways to go. But it’s up to us to continue the journey, and I consider that to fall on all our shoulders, including mine.
I wanted to take it into my own hands and demonstrate that while those Dove Ads were great, they kind of only represented one race and one body type — curvy white women. Sure there were a couple different ethnicities and some people were more pear shapes than apple or whatever, but you get what I mean. It was appealing to one demographic, and that gets dangerous. Because when we take a societal issue, especially something that deals with self-image, and only apply it to one type of person, that means that we alienate everyone else. By doing that we become responsible for everyone who isn’t in that demographic’s feelings and self-esteem. Why can’t body positivity be for everyone?
It can, actually. It can be for athletic women, it can be for teenagers, it can be for men, it can be for transgendered people, it can be for body builders, it can be for all races, ages, and sexual orientations. And it SHOULD. Everyone deserves to love their body, and there’s no reason everyone shouldn’t get to. Down with insinuating body positivity is only for overweight women or for a specific body type. If you’re obese, curvy, athletic, or rail thin you deserve to love your body and feel good about it. What’s the best reason for preventing that basic human right from you? There isn’t one.
So I rounded up some volunteers who were willing to strip down to their underwear and we got together in the studio and Maura photographed us. I feel like it’s a much more accurate representation of the population, and I’m really thrilled with how happy everyone is.
After we did the group photos, pretty much everyone got really creative with props in the studio and took a solo picture. I am in love with them. They really demonstrated self-confidence and body positivity by being totally comfortable in their skin, adding unique props to their set, and leaning into what felt right to them at that moment. I can’t thank the participants enough.
Model: Ally Hunter-Harris
Model: Ben Payne
Model: Charlotte Hager
Model: Gino Abellanosa
Model: Provi Sharpe
Model: Jason Smith
Model: Odell Norman
Model: Meghan Fay
Model: Mary England
We’re fucking champions.
(And thanks also to Laura Stroh who is featured in the group photos but not as an individual shot.)
You might also be interested in my podcast where I touch on this issue AND that body positivity isn’t promoting obesity.
And don’t forget to check out my e-course on Body Positivity!
Photos by: Maura Housley