Shapes of Motherhood
Body image, identity and the beautiful truths of our mothering bodies
'It's not that my body is suddenly flawed or un- beautiful..
it's just that I don't know how it's supposed to look anymore.'
I found I was constantly critising myself and my mothering body..
for the lines that spread across my entire belly and hips,
for my round soft tummy that separated and stretched during the first pregnancy, let alone the second and third,
for the clothes that didn't fit 'right,'
for my skin showing signs of being thirty year old skin instead of twenty year old skin
and for my tired looking eyes
And I realised that most other women I know are having those very same conversations with themselves.
And so I embarked upon a series of work that sought to celebrate every mother, her beautiful body and her unique story...
Through intimate and truthful images,
that don't shy away from the struggles and that revere each whole and unique woman.
And as I did, I saw women bloom and flourish before my eyes...
it's the most glorious thing to witness.
I learned that in fact most women aren't yearning for a ‘perfect’ body,
they just want to be truly seen and they want their voices and their stories heard.
They want to take up their space in the world, as unique and beautiful and whole people, without apology.
They want to step back from the intensities of their roles and see themselves,
as mothers and as women.
And so we talk. We talk and we drink tea, we laugh and we cry and I listen as they share their stories with me. I listen as I capture frames of strength, grace, courage, vulnerability, sacrifice, love, and all the many facets of motherhood that extend beyond her skin and size and stretch marks.
And when the images go out into the world, I hope that somewhere, in some small way, they may change someone’s mind a little. That perhaps the mother at home, in the depths of her mothering, looking down on her body may feel less alone. Maybe, she may see a little bit of herself in these women, and see that she isn’t broken either, but that she is normal. She too, is beautiful, stretch marks and all.
Are you interested in taking part in this project or keen to find out more? I’d LOVE to hear from you. Please get in touch here