"When you change your inner voice, your entire world changes."
July 7, 2015 1:53 PM   Subscribe

After seeing a young friend struggle with body image and depression, Florida-based photographer Natalie McCain was inspired to start the Honest Body Project, a series of portraits of mothers showing their beauty and imperfections to their children, paired with their stories in their own words. “My goal with this project is to help mothers everywhere learn to love their bodies and wear them proudly in front of their daughters,” McCain says. “Stop calling yourself fat. Stop shying away from being in photos. Stop body-shaming. Learn to love your body, and in turn, set a good example and start conversations with your children about how women really look.” A small number of images may be NSFW or triggering. Further details within.

Regarding the NSFW Warning
The people pictured in these photos are all wearing black underwear. Currently, a single photo essay shows a breast cancer survivor topless, post-reconstructive surgery. All other photos should be safe to view at work.

Regarding the Trigger Warning
Some of the photo essays discuss depression, loss of a child or physical/sexual abuse.


Approximately 30 women have been photographed since the project began 3 months ago. Hundreds have signed up since then. It's possible that some images will be posted in the future which are NSFW, or triggering for different reasons than those listed above. YMMV.


* Parents Magazine. Post text above is from this article.
* Design Taxi
* The Today Show
* Huffington Post

* The Honest Body Project on YouTube
posted by zarq (6 comments total) 22 users marked this as a favorite
This is fantastic. (Well, except for the AI misfire Google ad for "skin tighteners" at the bottom. Stay classy Google bots.)
posted by BigHeartedGuy at 1:58 PM on July 7, 2015 [10 favorites]

Awesome project, looking forward to it expanding and hopefully including more diversity of voice.
posted by durandal at 3:31 PM on July 7, 2015

I get a blank page when I click on the links in the "topics" sidebar. Just me?
posted by The corpse in the library at 3:55 PM on July 7, 2015

The topic sidebar works for me. But everything on the site does take a moment to load.
posted by zarq at 3:57 PM on July 7, 2015

When you change your inner voice, your entire world changes

From personal experience, this is so true.
posted by Ironmouth at 8:38 PM on July 7, 2015 [3 favorites]

I love this, thanks for posting. I don't have kids but have two nieces I love to pieces and I have such a bee in my bonnet about not letting them hear me, their Mum or Nanny say anything negative about ourselves. I remember when I was growing up my Mum and Aunts would always be on diets and talking about how fat they were (they weren't) and how that fed into my idea of what being an adult woman involved. Last night I was with my sister and niece and I told my niece how beautiful she was and she said "I know". My sister was laughing and saying how funny it was that kids do that, and I said "Yeah and it's a real shame people knock that out of you." She agreed, and then literally the next thing she said, as she passed a mirror, was "God I look like shit." It's such a reflex to be self-critical, and it's damaging to us and people around us. I struggle with body-image but I try to be compassionate towards myself because this body carries me around and lets me do things and I shouldn't be such a mean-spirited asshole towards it just because X part doesn't look like Y "ideal".
posted by billiebee at 6:37 AM on July 8, 2015 [5 favorites]

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