Break The Mould
Canadian photographer Julia Busato recently shared a new project on her Facebook page titled the "Mannequin Series" which shows naked women of all ages, shapes and sizes posing behind mannequins. The idea behind it was to remind people that beauty is not defined by one set of standards, and that we don't have to fit society's mould of the 'perfect body'.
Since adding these images on Facebook they have been shared over 220,000 times with women across the world praising Julia and her models for their bravery and for the message behind the images.
But some people were not happy.
Many accused Julia of promoting an "unhealthy lifestyle" and celebrating obesity, while others got offended by the fact the models were naked.
The images got reported and eventually Facebook blocked Julia's access to her account, preventing her from responding to people's comments, and being able to use Facebook as one of her income sources.
Now, I don't know if Facebook has restored her account or not, but that's not what I want to talk to you about. I want to talk about BODY IMAGE.
News flash - we don't all look the same.
I know this is shocking information for some and I realise that everything around us is telling us we need to look the same, but this little thing called "nature" kinda has a different idea, so lets just deal with it.
While many people truly believe that being a UK size 8 is the only way to be healthy, I personally feel that's a whole load of bullshit.
Now, I am not promoting an unhealthy lifestyle and saying we should all get really fat and never hit the gym, but what I am saying is that we need to be tolerant and accepting of everyone, totally regardless to what they look like.
This may shock some people - but healthy comes in many sizes.
My personal stand on this whole topic is that we spend far too much time thinking about our looks. I mean, who the f*ck cares for crying out loud?
We are so used to saying stuff like "you LOOK good today", "you LOOK tired", "I like your hair", "that's a nice dress", "you've lost weight", but what about asking people how they feel, or what their passions are, or telling them how happy you are to see them (regardless of how they hell they look)?
And when did it become such a deep belief that only those who look a certain way can truly be happy and as for the rest of us slobs it's what - a life of misery?
Piss off already with that lie.
Where would we be without diversity? Without being different? What kind of a sad world are we striving to live in where one size fits all and only one look is acceptable?
NO THANK YOU.
I want to look in the mirror and see wrinkles - they remind me of my life, of each time I laughed and moved my face for heaven's sake. I like having a massive c section scar, it reminds me that my body made children and that we survived what would have once potentially killed us. I like having a big mushy belly - it reminds me that I enjoy life and my kids think it's soft and lovely to put their heads on. And I love walking down the street and seeing people of all shapes and sizes with their perfect imperfections that make them who they are, so please, please, for the love of god can we just stop trying to fit the "mould"?
And finally - happiness comes from within.
Yeah, I know, I just said the biggest cliche ever, but it happens to be so true and I will keep saying it till I am blue in the face if I have to.
We live in a world that feeds off people's insecurities. There are industries that rely on us hating ourselves, doubting ourselves, wanting to look differently and be "better". From diet pills to plastic surgery there are billions of dollars to be made which is the only reason this idea of having a "perfect body" even exists.
We are all beautiful and I strongly suggest we work harder on improving ourselves on the inside rather than the outside because I doubt any of us will look back on our lives when we are 95 years old and think "wow, I really wish I had bigger boobs".
Love life, love each other and love yourselves just the way you are.
And dear Julia - thank you for being so brave and giving women the stage to show their true beauty, and thank you for reminding us that there is nothing more beautiful than being ourselves.
Image credit: Julia Busato Photography To view the full series visit www.facebook.com/Julia-Busato-Photography