The Bodies of Mothers – Photographer Jade Beall talks about body image, photography and breastfeeding.
I became passionate about truthful, body-positive photography after the birth of my son in 2012. My body changed dramatically after his birth. The thing was, I had already lived nearly my entire life in self-loathing and subscribing to the idea that I needed to always change my body to be beautiful, to be worthy, so it was nothing new to frown in disappointment at my reflection in the mirror. But I was really done with valuing myself based on my fat rolls and the acne on my skin after giving birth. I decided to change that disempowering belief system.
I took a few nude self-portraits breastfeeding my newborn a few weeks after he was born. I was 50lbs heavier than I had ever been. I was sad, I was what the “old me” would have loved to hate. But I posted that self-portrait on my social media pages and on my website, and an entire movement came from that one moment I decided to get honest, vulnerable, and to start loving me.
“The thing was, I had already lived nearly my entire life in self-loathing and subscribing to the idea that I needed to always change my body to be beautiful, to be worthy, so it was nothing new to frown in disappointment at my reflection in the mirror.”
I ended up creating and self-publishing a book of photographs and stories called The Bodies of Mothers and I started a blog called A Beautiful Body Project. My images circled the world and I learned that post-birth body image was a worldwide epidemic. Today, you can google “A Beautiful Body” and you will see mostly my images because the Internet listens to what we choose to search.
A rad side project that came from photographing mothers and their babies and children was that I ended up taking a lot of breastfeeding images. It has certainly become a passion now, something that before I was a mother I never even knew would be so powerful and beautiful. These images I am sharing with you now are a collection that have happened over the last three years working with self-esteem with mothers and promoting self-love, and those tender and fleeting moments of breastfeeding.
Jade Beall is a self-taught photographer who specializes in truthful, honest images to promote self-love, self-worth, and body love.
READ MORE ARTICLES IN THE SERIES
Click titles below.
1. Celebrating Amazing Women + Addressing the Cultural Assault on Breastfeeding Mothers
2.Public Shaming for Breastfeeding Moms. Raising Awareness and Acceptance through Art.
3. Indecent Exposure – A Culture of Shame Against Breastfeeding Mothers