Only five weeks after giving birth, Jade Beall took a postpartum photo with her newborn son and posted it — unretouched — online. The photo received thousands of likes and shares on Beall’s Facebook page.
She realized then that she had done something beautiful: she had inspired people.
“The photo was of me with my son, breastfeeding, just holding him completely bare, both of us,” she said.
“I had rolls in places I never had in my life, I had dark circles under my eyes, I was raw, and I didn’t photoshop any part of the photo to make me look different than I actually did right then.”
Once the photo went viral, mothers wrote to her in droves, requesting to be photographed as well.
Beall’s response to all these women was not one word, but four: A Beautiful Body Project, which is a photographic movement aiming to flaunt one truth about motherhood that our society has taught us to hide.
The Arizona-based photographer discovered that she could encourage mothers to love their bodies, and in this way, celebrate what motherhood is truly about.
Women who used to hate their naked bodies, calling themselves “wrinkly” and “fat,” are now learning to embrace the beauty in their true selves.
The photos — featuring raw, gorgeous women alongside their personal “body image” stories — are being compiled into a book, which will be subsidized via a crowd-funding effort and with help from volunteers.
This project, now a collaboration between Beall and hundreds of women, exposes mothers for what they really are:
Tigers who have earned their stripes.
ll images by Jade Beall Photography