10 Moms Bare Their 'Perfectly Imperfect' Bodies to Show How Beautiful Postpartum Can Be (PHOTOS)

neely ker-fox

After popping out two kids, Neely Ker-Fox experienced a rude awakening: "I no longer recognized my own body," the Columbus, Georgia mom admits, adding that her second birth landed her with an umbilical hernia and stretch marks that were hard to shake. "The days would ebb back and forth between grieving my physique to battling to find strength in the fact that I’ve grown two babies in this body."

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Hoping to reverse this negative mindset, Neely turned to her passion -- photography -- with a new series called Perfect Imperfections. Her goal? To recast mom's physical "flaws" as beautiful.

In May during the weekend right before Mother's Day, Neely posted a call-out online for volunteers, and 16 women showed up at her studio -- most with their kids. In the space of two 12-hour photo sessions, Neely photographed herself and the others baring their stretch marks, cellulite, and other "blemishes" for the camera.

From there, these photos -- which Neely promised wouldn't be altered to look "better" -- were posted online. And the response from viewers and the photo subjects themselves has been overwhelmingly positive.

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"There have been countless emails and messages sent not only to myself, but to the participants thanking them for being bold and brave, and in turn wanting to tell their own stories," says Neely, adding that she hopes to photograph more subjects in the future. To her, this project has proven something she's always known.

"I truly believe that photography and art have the ability to heal," she says. And while moms may benefit, so can many others. "Obviously women are more apt to be the victim of body shaming, but we as humans all have insecurities and we are all scarred, imperfect and flawed in some way," she points out. "Standing on the other side of this first endeavor into this project, I’m convinced people of all ages, genders, and races struggling to find acceptance of their bodies could benefit from this. As humans we are all vulnerable."

Check out her photos to hear what some of the subjects have to say about the experience.

Isn't what the mom said in #11 spot on?

 

Image via ker-fox photography

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