Jade Beall of the Beautiful Body Project Shares Her Story
In the quiet of her own home, on an uneventful Tuesday afternoon, photographer Jade Beall made a bold move.
She turned the camera on herself. Naked. And posted it online for the world to see.
“I didn’t even realize what I was giving voice to; I was just trying to make something beautiful of my own confusion,” Beall has said of her nude self portrait.
At the time Jade was struggling with post-partum depression AND dealing with her insecurities about her new post-baby body. Her image, struck a chord with women all around the world and soon women were emailing her asking her to take their photos.
“A Beautiful Body Project” was born.
Initially the project focused mostly on women’s post- partum bodies. But, Beall didn’t stop there, soon she began breastfeeding mothers and babies. “It wasn’t my original intention to photograph hundreds of breastfeeding women. But when you have brave and bare women with babies or toddlers who breastfeed, the children naturally, innocently and beautifully begin to, gasp! Breastfeed! So as our dear friend serendipity would have it, I found myself photographing those special connections more and more frequently, even though my initial passion was documenting the beautiful bodies of all mothers willing to share their bodies’ stories.”
Beall says she was inspired to bring women the message that, “This is who I am and it’s beautiful and I’m okay with it so I’m okay sharing it!”
“You don’t need to have nude photographs, but I do encourage you to love your entire body,” Beall said. “If we don’t love just this section, ‘Oh I just don’t want to see this section or I don’t want to see my wrinkes,’ or constantly not wanting to see how precious this whole being is — it’s hard to feel whole about anything else.”
One thing is clear in the messages of all of Jade’s work: our bodies are beautiful. Let’s give thanks for that this Thanksgiving!