How many times have you caught yourself judging every “flaw” you see in your reflection since you’ve had children? It happens to the best of us. Photographer Natalie McCain decided it was time for women to see how much more they are than their bodies. She photographed mothers with the hope that their stories and images would inspire other moms to see how uniquely beautiful their bodies are — flaws and all.
McCain’s “Honest Body Project” is a series of images along with quotes pulled from her conversations with her subject. What results is a reminder that our bodies have carried us through so much — and deserve some kudos for that. McCain told The Huffington Post, “The portraits show their joy, their beauty, their imperfections, and their love for their children. Paired with their stories, it paints a beautiful, honest picture of motherhood.”
McCain includes all types of bodies in her project, to remind us that everyone has insecurities — whether they are a size zero or a size 18. Allowing women to tell their stories along with the photos reminds us that we are so much more than the mere image the world sees. Our bodies carry us through some amazing events, and rarely do we stop to just say “thanks.” We are so good at tearing ourselves down. These photos remind us to give thanks, too.
“Ever since I was a little girl, I wanted to be a mother. I didn’t grow up dreaming about a big white wedding. I grew up dreaming about being a mother. I grew up dreaming about breastfeeding and wearing my babies. Having my sons were the best days of my life. They have changed me for the better. I love deeper. I love them like I never knew my heart could love.”
“I am most proud of my belly. It may not be firm and tiny like it used to be, but it has grown and carried 2 beautiful baby boys. Growing a child is a miracle. I’ve grown 2 of them. How amazing is that?!”
“I think what changed my view on my own body is when my daughter was born. I am determined to show her that no matter your body shape, you are only as beautiful as your heart is. I want her to learn that true beauty comes from within.”
“When I was little I remember pointing to my mother’s stretch marks and telling her how beautiful they were because they were purple and silver – like fairie skin! She did not find this amusing. Looking back I wonder how a more positive reaction by my mother could have impacted my own body image.”
“Are there things that I would change about my body if I could snap my fingers? Absolutely. But this body is mine and it gave me this beautiful boy. It is nourishing and growing the kicking being inside of me. How can I shame something that can do that?”
“My cesarean scar is well-loved and I’ve chosen to view it as a positive, as my daughter’s door to the external world. I’m forever grateful for it as it’s what brought her to my arms, my breast, my heart.”
To see more, visit The Honest Body Project.