This inspiring video about women and body image was created by myself and photographer Fernando Cuestas in 2012. It existed on my previous website before I was a psychotherapist, but I feel the message is important and am so proud of the women that participated that I am providing a new home for the video and it's accompanying text on this blog.
Published July 9, 2012
Struggles with body image affect women of all shapes and sizes. Body consciousness is not just about weight and shape, but it includes skin color, skin tone, hair, eyes, etc. It is made up of all the things so many of us worry about and try to hide or perfect before we walk out the door (or decide which pictures of ourselves we’ll permit others to see).
I love to see women who are comfortable and confident in their skin despite being a different size or shape than what our society markets as the ideal. I love seeing a woman who doesn’t lose her confidence or her great smile just because she has a blemish.
I don’t think we see enough of real women’s bodies (shapes, sizes, blemishes) in a positive context. Even amongst friends, we often hide what we think are our imperfections. I think that if we were exposed to more of what is real and natural, we would all be more comfortable and confident with ourselves.
When I began dreaming about putting a project like this together, I asked Fernando Cuestas if he would be interested in partnering with me. I had worked with him in the past and found that he has an instinctive ability to make a woman feel comfortable and confident in front of the camera. He also has experience in the fashion world, so I thought it would be interesting to incorporate his background into a photo shoot with everyday women - but to leave the images unaltered.
The women who participated in this project are women in my life who I find beautiful and who I knew would want to speak out on this topic. I invited many more women than are seen here (of various ethnicities, ages, and sizes) but not all of the women were available to participate. There were a few women who declined because they didn’t feel comfortable with their bodies. I don’t blame them. Society has not made it easy for us to step out into the world just as we are.
My hope for this project is that it will play a part in advancing a much bigger movement that is helping women to accept and be kind to their bodies. I don’t want any woman to miss out on experiences because she is ashamed of her body – whether that means going to the beach in a bathing suit or smiling at someone she finds attractive.
If you are impacted by this video in any way, please join the conversation in the comments below or tweet #mybodyfinally. If you want to make your own video, go for it. We need women of all races, ages, sizes, etc. to stand up!
Did you hear me?
We need you. We need each other. The more women who risk being confident in front of the world just as they are helps everyone.
Thank you to each of the courageous woman who participated in this project with me.