I found out about this project from another blogger on a Facebook loop and wanted to briefly introduce you to the A Beautiful Body Project. If you have read my blog for a minute, you’ll know that I am often
disgusted frustrated by the images from the media and otherwise that are fed to us daily about womanhood, and specifically, about what makes a woman beautiful. In discussing the motive behind this book, photographer Jade Beall allows each woman to share her ‘personal journey with what beauty and feeling beautiful in a culture that alters over 90% of all media means to her.’ [bold and italics mine] Consider these additional facts about women and those images:
- Many fashion magazines are targeted at young women, ages 18-24.
- The women appearing in the magazines are often 13-19% below a healthy, expected weight (Hendricks, A. & Burgoon, M. (2003). The Relationship between fashion Consumption and Body)
- Studies have shown that, bombarded with media pictures of thinness, women come to view this as the standard of beauty, despite the fact that this thin standard cannot be achieved by the average individual. (http://voices.yahoo.com/womens-body-image-media-2077993.html)
- Over the course of the last 60 years the women used in mass media, particularly for advertising, have lost their curvaceousness and become much more slender. (http://voices.yahoo.com/womens-body-image-media-2077993.html)
- The dieting industry alone generates 40 billion dollars per year in America. (Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/96389
This information does not even scratch the surface of the data available that specifically addresses young girls with distorted images of what is billed as “sexy.” I wrote more about this dynamic when I talked about my own girls and the distorted images of beauty that are constantly flashed before them. As the mother of two daughters (3 children overall) who dance for hours each week, I experience first-hand what the ill-thought-out words of a parent living somewhat vicariously through her svelte daughter can do to a child who just wants to be a teen–not a model, not a star, just a teen.
I should warn you that the images within this site contain partial nudity. You might consider the human body art, or something else; I’ll confess that I don’t know about posing with our kids at their current age without all my clothes…and a jacket…and a head or hip that gently conceals what the years have done (lol). However, what I love about the project is that it steers 180-degrees clear of the bag of goods that we are typically inundated with as the definition of beautiful, especially once we birth children. In any case, happy viewing. Know that, regardless of the skin you are in, you are beautiful.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. (Psalm 139:14)