Jade Beall, an Arizona dance teacher and photographer is redefining beauty one honest, revealing, non-airbrushed click at a time. Her new book, A Beautiful Beauty Project – The Bodies of Mothers, is a collection of images that celebrate mothers’ bodies – pregnant, just after birth and years later.
After gaining 50 pounds in pregnancy, (Beall said her acceptance of her body was at an “all time low”), and suffering from postpartum depression, she snapped a semi-nude self-portrait of her un-retouched post-partum body, and posted it to Facebook.
To her surprise, the photo resonated with a lot of women. She was flooded with requests from other women asking her to photograph their post-partum bodies as well.
As she explains, the photographs played a powerful role in her own self-acceptance:
Taking photographs of hundreds of women, strangers most of them, has allowed me to really love myself. Looking at every line, every detail, every roll, every bone, well, you can’t deny it. The diversity is amazing and that is the truth. I couldn’t have predicted that taking those photographs would be so healing for myself.
This project is particularly refreshing at a time when women are being barraged with post-pregnancy selfies playing up on who gets fittest the fasted, (remember this controversial post?).
And Beall’s message is clear – being a mother is hard enough:
It’s about changing how we think about our bodies and how we think about other women. We’ve been fed this really destructive lie that if we don’t bounce back after birth, that we’re failures and we’re no good. That needs to change because being a mother is absolutely hard enough.
Her goal is to show a more honest, less damaging story about motherhood.
I just want to empower…other women to feel authentically irreplaceable.”
You can book a shoot with Jade or pre-order the book just in time for Mother’s Day.