Divine Mothering: Lifting The Veil

3 Posted by - July 20, 2015 - Motherhood
A Beautiful Body Project | Liliana Beatriz

Photo by Liliana Beatriz

Divine-Mothering.com is a very personal project. I wanted to create something that would help others. I want to help empower women. The more I am exposed to women who feel in control of their decisions and their bodies and self worth, the more I see how it’s so desperately needed for women to realize that they have power. That we have a voice. That we need to be heard.

 

Being pregnant was eye opening for me. I felt like a human incubator. The entire process of maternity care and labor just felt wrong. Like somehow my body suddenly wasn’t my own and doctors and nurses had open access and a say. It was pretty dehumanizing to feel like something that should be so special and sacred, was being treated as this medical condition. And the more I looked at it, the more I realized that women’s voices aren’t being heard at doctors offices and in the delivery room. We are being shuffled around, told when the proper time is to give birth and how we should labor, how we should progress, how we should push. This all seemed ridiculous to me. That something so inherently natural was being treated like this abnormality. Something dangerous, scary, and just… It didn’t feel right.

 

From this experience I sought out women’s empowerment movements. I wanted to heal from this feeling of powerlessness. So this is how Divine-Mothering.com came about. I wanted to create a place where women’s voices could be heard and shared. Where our experiences could be validated. Not just labor or breastfeeding, but all experiences. I focus on motherhood because it is a very common denominator for women, but I care about sharing all women’s stories and voices. I have two young daughters, motherhood is where I am right now. I understand it.

A Beautiful Body Project | Liliana Beatriz

Photo by Liliana Beatriz

As a photographer I realized that I have a gift that I can use to help broadcast this message. In an age of social media, visual art has power. It grabs attention in a way that words can not. So once I realized that I could use my photography as a way to amplify our voices it really just took off on it’s own. Everyone falls in love with the photos. They can see what I see. They can see how beautiful they are from within. That love that mothers feel for their children, that feeling of being so content with the simple act of loving your child, that is what I am capturing in many of the photos. Women can feel pride in what their bodies have accomplished, they can feel beautiful as they are without giving thought to the stretch marks or pregnancy weight. There is a sense of freedom when you shed your clothes.

Hiding Women’s Truth

It’s like coming out of the closet, because we all hide the truth. We all hide under out clothes that slim this or that. Hide under make up that covers our skin. We hide the truth, and that is that women do not, they do not, look like what our society is idealizing as beauty. Those chiseled abs, those tiny torsos, those perky breasts, it’s simply not real. Most women, particularly mother with young children, are soft around the middle. Our breast fluctuate in shape and size with pregnancy and then breastfeeding. Our skin flares up with bumps and redness with the rhythmic flow of hormones. I feel like we are doing women a great disservice by not portraying realistic bodies. I’ve had women tell me “I didn’t know women could look like that.” Referring to some portraits of the portraits being shared. We, ourselves, had no idea what women’s bodies looked like postpartum. We haven’t SEEN them.

I am here to help lift the veil. I want women to look at these images and see themselves in them. I want them to see the world different, see beauty differently. I want the women who participate to realize how amazing they are, how beautiful they are, how strong they are. I want them to realize that deep within there shines a light so bright.

It is a huge honor for me to take these photos and meet the women. I feel like women are trusting me with something so special. Recently I had one of the participants confess that they were way out of their comfort zone and would like to see the blog post before it was posted. She had been very shy during the shoot, and mentioned a few insecurities. When it was time to post the blog, I was a mess of nerves thinking she wouldn’t see what I see, that she would miss the beauty I knew I had captured. But she immediately responded with how much she loved it. It felt really good to see her reaction.

A Beautiful Body Project | Liliana BeatrizA Beautiful Body Project | Liliana Beatriz

Photo by Liliana Beatriz

I feel more connected to the community. I’m meeting women, and getting to know them and their stories. It’s funny, I have never been good with names and faces, but these women, I remember each of them. I know that the short time I have with each of them is special and meaningful and real. So very different from the small talk we often find ourselves in when meeting someone new. It’s like peaking into someone’s soul for just a moment. It’s really special.

 

My goals are simply to continue finding willing participants. This project is truly and honestly being fueled by passion. I’m barely charging anything at all, because what’s most important right now is participation. As long as I can find women who want to speak, who want to share themselves, I can continue. I have a very unique opportunity right now where I find myself in a very willing community and I’ve had help and support from other local photographers. It’s really a combination of things that are making this project a possibility. I’m hoping it can grow. I’m hoping I can continue this work and further my vision for as long as I can.

 

This is important. It’s important to me, and it’s important for women.

 

 

This blog post has a bit of my personal journey as a mother http://divine-mothering.com/a-healing-pregnancy-birth-motherhood-stories-miscarriage/

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