Ashamed and Embarrassed That Her Daughter Posed For This Project

2 Posted by - July 18, 2013 - Weight

A Beautiful Body Project

I photographed a gorgeous woman named Paula recently for A Beautiful Body Book Project and not one day had passed before I received this heart-wrenching email from her.

Paula’s Story:
I had to email.  I just got off the phone with my mom and told her about my photoshoot with you for this project.  She was horrified.  ”Is this something my friends will see?” she asked in fear?  ”Yes” I replied, “If they see the book or the project information online.”
“So this is online as well?!?” with even more disgust in her voice if that was even possible.
“Yes” I again replied, “and has received international attention.”
She proceeded to tell me how absolutely repulsed by obese women she is.  She shared a story about how once in nursing school, she had to work on an obese woman and was so repulsed she would only eat salad and hard boiled eggs for a month.  She then shared that she was so disgusted by her own body since gaining weight that she had refused to be naked in front of anyone, and had completely stopped dating or entering into any kind of a relationship – all because she was so disgusting.
I said, “Isn’t that kind of the whole point?  My body is amazing, and it’s mine.  It is the map of my experiences and existence.  Why should I have to be disgusted by it because I am carrying more around than anyone else?”
She couldn’t say she was proud of me, only ashamed.  And embarrassed.
A Beautiful Body Project
You are doing good work and I am proud to have been a part of it.  I knew walking in that my photo (I am pretty sure I am the largest woman you’ve photographed in the all-together for this project) would inspire a lot of criticism.  But hopefully, by me standing strong and proud being who I am – someone won’t be quite so hard on themselves.
Thank you for being who you are, and doing what you do.
Love to all –  Paula
Paula is an incredible woman.  She is the proud mother of several beautiful children.  Her husband adores her.  He loves his wife and tells her she is beautiful.  Paula is very involved in helping other women feel empowered.
I stand my ground:  I think women need to empower other women to feel beautiful.  Period.  There is a lot of controversy around weight and that people like me should not be promoting/praising a so called “unhealthy lifestyle” which I have learned is another way to shame a woman with a non-thin body.  The thing is, true, wholehearted health starts with self love, not shame.  One must feel empowered before she makes the next step towards the future.  We must not shame each other.  We must inspire one another because with the gracious offering of support towards one another, healing occurs. I choose healing.   Do you? -Jade Beall
A Beautiful Body Project

4 Comments

  • Morgine Jurdan June 3, 2015 - 6:38 pm Reply

    I am SO PROUD of you!! I would have too if I had money to travel to get photographed. My mother and sister would never talk to me again if I did this. They are so ASHAMED of how I look. My sister told me to never sign my letters with “Love, Morgine” because if I loved myself, I would lose weight! I have been dieting for 55 of my 65 years and finally stopped recently! THANKS SO MUCH!! YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL in every Way! Thank you for not allowing your family to “define your beauty and self love.” I hope this site helps ALL women love themselves more!! You ROCK!!

  • Terri June 5, 2015 - 11:53 pm Reply

    I’m so happy that you are able to find your own beauty and inspire other women. It’s amazing to me that think about all of this and I can’t really describe to you how liberating it is to have come across this site and the brave women like you who are making it. The thing is, almost none of us seem to be happy with our bodies, no matter how thin or fit or fat we are. In the current way media images portray women, none of us is good enough. Even supermodels aren’t good enough; they get photo-shopped too. The rare, few women I’ve known who sort of meet the unrealistic ideals of our time suffer total breakdowns when their looks begin to deteriorate with age, since the media has made age ugly too. We really need to stop this craziness for future girls and women, that they might be able to know the self acceptance and self love we’ve all been robbed of. Thank you for being so brave and so generous.

  • Carrie June 10, 2015 - 4:39 pm Reply

    Looking at Paula is like looking at myself and I’m not repulsed! I follow you on Facebook and seeing these bodies of real women every day has completely changed my perspective. I’m not shocked by seeing a natural looking body anymore. I hope as your work becomes even more widespread, others will start to see what is beautiful about all of us.

  • Rosa September 2, 2015 - 3:30 pm Reply

    Paula, thanks for sharing your story and your experiences map!! I’m proud of you, it’s completely inspiring to met women like you! you’re beautiful and now the whole world knows!

    Paula, gracias por compartir tu historia y el mapa de tu vida! Estoy muy orgullosa de ti, es completamente inspirador conocer mujeres como tu! eres Hermosa y ahora el mundo entero lo sabe!

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