The Body Project

 

The Story

The Body Project popped into my head one night late 2013 while having a discussion with friends about the phrase “body positive.” We came to realize that “body positive” has been a phrase connected solely to the "fat acceptance" movement.

I wanted something all-encompassing, something that spoke for all women struggling with their bodies or their body image in a society that bombards us with visuals of what a body should be. I believe body positivity is awesome as long as all women are included. I want body acceptance and Self-love.

I immediately knew I needed to do this project. What followed were stories from women all around me–-friends, friends of friends, and family.

From January through September 2014, I photographed around eighty women who wrote affirming messages on their least favorite body part/parts for their photograph. They were so incredible, brave, and beautiful. Many stepped out of their comfort zones to share their insecurities with the world in order to positively affirm themselves and perhaps begin healing.

Some women found the strength to finally discuss their eating disorder with their doctor, some simply felt uplifted by the loving community of women involved, and others felt inspired enough to finally share their stories and release thoughts they’ve held onto for a great deal of their lives. Women who came into the sessions nervous or scared often left elated, light, and strong. 

All candids by my awesome assistant/second shooter Ariana of Capturing Photography.

The Mission

Our mission is to create awareness about body acceptance and Self-love in a society where beauty standards and body-type bashing are so prevalent. What began as a way to promote those ideas within myself, my friends, and family has turned into a much larger statement/mini-movement on the importance of women empowering other women and embracing who we are as individuals. It’s about trust and vulnerability. It’s about inspiring these ideas, not only within ourselves, but within each other beyond those closest to us. 

The Result

These women uplifted, inspired, supported, and loved one another throughout this project and created something more amazing than I could’ve ever dreamed. They took a stand against society’s standard of beauty that has been instilled in our minds since forever. They remind me to stay strong.

While you witness this exhibition of brave women, I ask you to love your body and Self. It won’t hurt, I promise. Begin with us.

Interested in participating? We'd love to have you!


Publicity

These images were displayed at the Whitewater Arts Alliance's Cultural Arts Center fall of 2014. You can view candids of the gallery night here. A small gallery was held at UW Waukesha in the Diversity Center that you can read about here.  From these powerful images, I’ve developed a book and magazine (that you can purchase below!) of the images paired with each woman's story or memorable quotes from sessions. A woman who participated in the project also performed a dance in honor of our mission at a RAW: natural born artists event (an indie arts organization that specializes in spotlighting local Madison, WI area artists in all genres of art). Show Simone support by watching this video and sharing or commenting with your love and thoughts!

There are ideas rolling around in my head regarding future projects under the umbrella of The Body Project, possibly developing something for men. All I know for certain is that this is the beginning of something incredible.

Visit our blog to read some featured stories and personal entries OR purchase the book or magazine below!

Interested in participating? We'd love to have you!