Sunday, December 14, 2014

2014 -- week 31 of #projectlife -- the expose project

last year, i had the amazing fortune to be invited to participate in one of the most moving and powerful events: a body love photo event for jes baker's book proposal. being surrounded by so much love and acceptance was unbelievable -- women of all shapes, sizes, and colors, got together, exposed themselves, literally, and loved each other's beauty and vulnerability.

this year, jes and liora hosted the event again, calling it the expose project. again, 96 women met in downtown tucson, took off their shirts (and sometimes their panties) and bared all, taking pictures for themselves. pictures that showed their vulnerability and their strength. pictures that showed them that  despite what society would have us believe, their beautiful bodies are stunning and spectacular . pictures that showed every wrinkle, stretch mark, and dimple, and made it a celebration, something to love, rather than to fear and feel judged about. pictures that every human should see, and take, because everyone in the world has body image issues, even though our bodies are beautiful and unique and special, and we shouldn't be shamed into thinking otherwise.

and then the event went viral. within two weeks, there were over 70 articles written about the event from all over the world. for a hot second, we were all crazy famous; we appeared in cosmopolitan and women's health (i'm the cover photo for that article!) and we were the ambassadors for body love and positive body images. and the weight of that was staggering and terrifying. we didn't walk into this experience thinking our bodies would be up for public display, that's not why we did this. but i'm glad they are, because although i have body image issues just as much as the next person, it helps to see bodies that haven't been retouched or photoshopped and know that they are beautiful and spectacular and should be praised.

¡viva la (body love) revoluciĆ³n!

side note: since it was important that everyone felt comfortable being photographed, this photo project was strictly for women, but i would love love love to see a project like this for men too. the body love revolution is not something that needs to happen just for women, it should be for everyone. emma watson, in one of the most poignant speeches i've heard in a long time, talks about the need to come together, men and women, to make change, and she's right. don't let the body love movement be a female one, let it be for everyone.

read jes and liora's thoughts on this year's expose project here and here, respectively, the articles from around the world here, and about last year's experience here

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