Must-See 'A Beautiful Body' Photos Celebrate the Shapes & Scars of Real Moms (PHOTOS)

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jade beall photographyPhotographer Jade Beall of Tucson, Arizona, did more than just show off her work when she created "A Beautiful Body" project. She captured motherhood on film, didn't use Photoshop, and filled women everywhere with confidence. We are beautiful -- whether or not we have stretch marks, c-section scars, or skin that just isn't as tight as it once was. We created life and our beautiful bodies housed that life. What could show more beauty than that?

Her work is inspiring, makes us realize what beauty really is.

Beall says on her Facebook page:

Thing is, these labels "skinny" and "fat" have no meaning for me. I photograph that which moves my heart: Sacred life in all divine shapes. May we always remember that no matter our shape, most likely because of how we have been taught how to think and perceive ourselves and others, we do not love our physical temple as much as our bodies deserve. May we re-learn how to think: we are divine and our sisters are too. May we offer love and support so that we may heal from these energy draining un-true stories of un-worthiness. We are ALL worthy to feel BEAUTIFUL and HAPPY. We all have known pain. Let us hold hands and celebrate each other!

I'm reaching out my hands to hold yours virtually.

a beautiful body project

Sometimes we women need to reminded that beauty is everywhere -- it's within us and it is us. That c-section scar is the loving pocket our babies came out of. Those stretch marks are like tiger stripes we earned. The so-called body ideal needs to be banished.

More from The Stir: 10 Ways Motherhood Makes You Feel Young

This all started when Beall, who is a mom of one, got such a great response from her own self-portraits of her postpartum body that other women wanted to be photographed as well.

The book "A Beautiful Body" serves to rid women of that self-loathing too many of us have. It's to help us overcome that shame we feel for not bouncing back to our pre-pregnancy weight fast enough. We don't need to fit into some sort of skinny mold. We are women. We are mothers. We have bodies that come in all shapes and sizes, some decorated with scars, and every one beautiful.

Beall's Kickstarter campaign for A Beautiful Body Book Project exceeded its goal! The book will happen. And I cannot wait.

What do you think of these photos? Does it help your self-confidence? Do you think mothers are too hard on themselves when it comes to their postpartum bodies?

 

Image via Jade Beall

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nonmember avatar kaerae

Here we go again.. first it was "REAL women have curves," now "REAL moms have stretch marks. Newsflash: Only half of all women who have babies get stretch marks, and real women come in thin AND fat. Why do you have to make such a stupid statement to make yourselves feel better?

nonmember avatar ashjo

Glad you like your stretch marks, so glad this REAL MOM didn't get them, I think they're hideous!

LadyB... LadyBespin

Love this! Especially love how the children were included in some way in each photo - a connection that women fail to make when we are so judgmental about our appearance. Our bodies grew life, nourished and protected it. Having battled body image issues my whole life, it was only after birthing my children did I appreciate its strength and the role it played in producing such wonderful human beings.

Mothe... MotherGrace

My favorite is 100% the breastfeeding photo! How beautiful and comfortable they are with each other (even though, let's admit it, she's hurting without some back support!)

nonmember avatar Guest

I think these are great. Although I think the black and white really helps. I am quite happy with my postpartum body after 2 kids. No stretchmarks or loose skin. I did not breastfeed so my breasts are the same. I need to lose about 10 lbs and I will be completely satisfied.

lobus lobus

Yeah I didn't get stretch marks or loose skin...I think I'm a "real" mom last I ckecked lol. Although not breastfeeding to "save" your boobs is selfish. ^^^

Flame Bridesdottir

No where in the article is it stated that "real moms have stretchmarks." Why are you making stuff up kaerae and ashjo? Do you just need something to feel snippy about today?

jalaz77 jalaz77

Ashjo-what a nasty comment. I didn't get them either but they are not hideous. Ouch. I can tell you are ignorant and have zero experience in life. Yea you're a mom, I hope your 'motherly' instincts kick in when you teach your children that stretch marks are hideous. Idiot.



These pictures are great. I love the female body, it can stretch in so many directions and still look amazing!

jalaz77 jalaz77

Oh btw girls breastfeeding does not affect your boobs afterwards...age and pregnancy do. I have breastfeed all my kids and they bounce back to where they were when I was 25. At 25 is when I noticed my boobs weren't as perky as usual, didn't have my first child until 28 yrs old, but my boobs go back to where they were. Now if you were morbidly obese and lost a TON of weight, that will affect your boobs as well but not breastfeeding. If your boobs changed after breastfeeding it was because of pregnancy and your age...hate to tell ya ladies.

Choco... Chocodoxies

"We are beautiful -- whether or not we have stretch marks, c-section scars, or skin that just isn't as tight as it once was. We created life and our beautiful bodies housed that life. What could show more beauty than that?" - Where in that statement does it say anything about having stretchmarks makes you a "real mom"? Making $hit up to stir up drama is childish. 

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