Written by Orana Velarde
The Body Positivity Movement pushes the boundaries to crush the stereotypes of beauty and perfection. It’s not uncommon to hear of women suffering from self-doubt. Is their ‘body’ pretty enough, nice enough, small enough, too skinny, too fat? The Body Positivity Movement wants to blur these perceptions and excessive societal stigma. The movement hopes to empower self-love and acceptance.
What is Body Positivity?
When we talk about body positivity we are referring to the idea that everyone’s body is as perfect as any other. Everyone’s body is beautiful in its own right. A body with stretch marks is perfect, a disabled body is perfect, a body with a skin condition is perfect.
What body positivity is not, is disregarding one’s health to imply that their body is how it is and to leave it at that. Every person’s body is different. A person might try hundreds of diets with no success, sending them on a spiral of self-doubt and low self-esteem. Being unhealthy and unconscious of our bodies is not the right attitude in this sense.
The message behind the Body Positivity Movement is being comfortable in one’s body. Embracing it, flaws and all. If eating healthy and exercising make no difference in someone’s body shape, that’s fine! That person is healthy and beautiful just how they are. Weight loss is not the only way of getting healthy or improving self-image. The premise is about health at every size.
The Body Positivity Photo Shoot by rawpixel
Here at rawpixel, we strive to offer photography and imagery to represent real people. Body positivity empowers real women and we wanted to join in the conversation. We want to send a positive message through beautiful visuals. Body positivity comes in many shapes and sizes. That is what we are trying to show with these photos.
Our creative team partnered with talented photographer, McKinsey L. Jordan. The plan was to create a beautiful set of images focusing on emotional self-confidence.
McKinsey is a kick-ass female photographer currently living and working in Los Angeles. She is a strong vocalizer for female empowerment and avid traveler. Along with her assistant and the rawpixel team in Bangkok and London, she put together an all-female group for a day of photos in LA.
The photoshoot took place in two locations; a photography studio in the city and a beach close to Santa Monica. The art direction for the shoot included the visual composition of the models’ beautiful natural bodies, a vibrant yellow background, and cut fruit. The photos were photoshopped minimally for color and vibrancy but skin and body shape were not adjusted at all.
We asked McKinsey about how things went during the shoot. She told us that throughout the day the women involved were sharing their own stories about body image and self-love. Even though you see the models in the images looking confident, they are not free of self-doubt. Empowerment is all about breaking through that barrier and being your true authentic self.
Have you ever heard of The Citrus Scale? It’s a fun way of measuring breast size by visual comparison to fruits, particularly citrus fruits. McKinsey chose to use the fruits to cover bare breasts showing how just as the fruits are diverse, so are body types. In the photo shoot, we see avocadoes, melons, and grapefruits used in fun situations. In some photos, the fruit covers the curvy models’ eyes or used as props close to their faces.
The fruit slices were also used as a way to give the models a physical appearance of health and confidence. The fruits are all similar in color to the background in the studio, creating a positive ambiance.
What We Hope to Achieve with the Body Positivity Shoot
With this photo shoot, we want content creators of all walks of life to help women around the world feel good about their bodies. Lots of bloggers and publications are already using these images to visualize their articles and stories. We would like to see more people using these photos to promote a positive body image.
The shoot includes two sets of images. In the studio, the models are in the nude and in their underwear. All private parts are covered but not the curvy bits. The other set of images was done on the beach in summery dresses and bikinis. Each set of images has a different look and feel but the message is the same.
“Feel confident in your body, don’t be afraid to show it.” This might mean that you wear that short sleeve dress instead of the long sleeve one. Or it might mean letting your hair loose instead of keeping it in a bun. Confidence presents differently for everyone, you just have to find your own way. Talking to other women about it can help a lot. Looking at these photos together and sharing personal stories can really open up old fears and replace them with new courage.
We want to see body positivity bloggers and activists using the images for their content. We would love to see the #bodypositivity and #rawpixel hashtags used in your Instagram posts. McKinsey, the models, and all of us at rawpixel want to empower women to feel comfortable in their own skin. We want to provide you with the best images to visualize your stories. We understand that putting yourself in photos doesn’t make you comfortable yet.
After publishing the photos on their public Instagram accounts, the models received shaming and bullying comments. As you can see, no one is free from the taboos of being “too fat”, “too curvy”, “too skinny,” “too short,” and the list goes on and on. Celebs, artists, singers, actors and lots of public people are always getting those types of comments. Just look at those clips when they read hate tweets about themselves.
It’s because of this, that we need to keep sending the body positivity message out into the world. Everyone is beautiful, everyone is perfect. Find your own personal way to be healthy and try and stand proud and comfortable with your body. Also, be respectful of other people’s choices and don’t shame them for being their true self.