Mothers are the beginning of all life as we know it. As you sit here and read this, if it weren’t for your mother and the masterpiece and miracle of life, you wouldn’t be here.
My mother is woman far stronger than her 5′ 3″ frame would lead you to believe. She is a woman of character, of integrity and of power. She is the calm and the storm. She bestows the wisdom she’s gleaned from jobs she’s had, places she’s lived, classes she’s taken, her daily Bible study and her own mother.
My mother is a school teacher. Homeschooling the brood of us starting in the early 90’s before homeschooling was cool. Before it was just another adjective to tack on to being a vegan, yogi, vegetarian, pacifist, green-peacer, democrat, republican, communist and the list goes on and on. There are 10 of us. I am the oldest at 29. My youngest brother is 14.
My beautiful mother is also a grandmother, having passed on teachings and precepts to my younger sister who blessed the world with my beautiful niece.
My mother is not to be taken lightly. My mother is a fighter. Not just a fighter, but a winner. She was raised in a U.S. Navy family and if that wasn’t enough she married my father who was one of the finest of America’s enlisted fighting men; a United States Marine.
There comes a time where a trade of needs to happen. Our mothers protect us from the time of conception until we’re grown. Our mothers will stare down dogs who don’t understand personal space, they protect us from physical harm and sometimes will cause their own injury to protect us in our fragile, child-state.
The trade off is us assuming a protective role for our mothers. Protect them from loneliness, protect them from hunger or cold if that is the case, protect their minds. Ensure they know how wonderful they are, how much they are appreciated, how beautiful they are.
There is a piece, written by: Andri Antoniades who found a woman who glorifies motherhood to the degree it warrants.
Photographer Jade Beall never believed she lived up to traditional standards of beauty. And so when she snapped a semi-nude self-portrait of her un-retouched post-partum body, and published it on herFacebook page, she was somewhat surprised at how popular the photo became.
Not only were users liking and sharing it, but Beall was flooded with requests from other women asking her to photograph their post-partum bodies as well. And so she did.
Since then, taking these pictures has turned into a mission for Beall, one that she hopes will help “redefine beautiful.”
In a recent interview with HuffPo Live, she explained, “I just want to empower…other women to feel authentically irreplaceable.”
The women she’s so far captured on film have become part of a series she named A Beautiful Body, which Beall hopes to turn into a published book, backed by the help of her Kickstarter fund.
Airbrushing the reality out of women’s bodies has become so much the norm, reality isn’t often seen, let alone celebrated. Even supermodels are Photoshopped into standards of total perfection that can’t be met in reality. The problem is pervasive enough that last year 14-year-old Julia Bluhm petitioned Seventeen magazine to show just one non-airbrushed photo each month. The fact that just one was considered “revolutionary” speaks volumes.
But Beall’s work is the antithesis of that commercialized woman’s body. Here, stretch marks, C-section scars and rounded bellies are the marks of a woman who’s grown life inside of her. They’re brandings of power, but when the rest of the world airbrushes them from view, they’re treated like badges of shame.
Beall’s mission is to change that standard of beauty from one that’s exclusive and based on illusion, to one that includes actual women and is rooted deeply in reality.