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The Stripped Project: Part I

Posted Nov 17 2010 4:57pm

The Stripped Project

Mission Statement:

The Stripped Project exists to provide a fair representation of real beauty in hopes of repairing the damage done by the skewed depictions of the human (especially female) form in traditional media.

Note: Thislinkhas nudity, and if you do not like to see full body nudity, please do not click on link.

For everyone else, I want you to look at thelinkfirst, scroll all the way through the pictures and see how this website makes you feel, how you relate (or not) to the pictures. Note your initial responses. I want you to do this before reading my post, because when I posted this first on twitter I was amazed at other people’s responses to this because what they were saying was exactly like my own response. This week I will post two guest posts on how two of them responded and their feelings after seeing this project. I felt like I connected with the pictures, and with other people on their responses to this project.

I came upon this website and was blown away. I am constantly talking about body image, size acceptance, self acceptance, self-love, and the need to stop criticizing our bodies. I do recognize for me, this is a journey, every day is different, and while I always counter the voice saying negative things about how I look, I have never had a moment like I did when I saw this website. It was life altering. Here are a few of my immediate tweets showing a bit of my state of my mind:

  • <3 Stripped project showing nude male & female bodies. Variety of sizes. Actually said “those r my thighs” in joy
  • I just loved how seeing those bodies in nude form made me accepting of my entire body. Like I am beautiful in whole.
  • I just felt like apologizing to my body!!! I really connected to it
  • This has really brought tears of joy to my eyes.
  • I just want to cry. I love this so much. I feel a lot of self-love and kindness after this.
  • Just stopped me in my tracks. Really overwhelmed me. In such a huge life altering way
  • I am so grateful for the experience of self-love, body acceptance & beauty life altering moment. Words can’t express how I feel right now

I saw within these photos, myself. I saw love and beauty. I saw diversity and bodies in natural forms, unedited, photoshopped, and in full glory. I know how much the ideal body types in the media affect people, and understand how photoshopping can drastically alter our perception of what bodies look like naturally, but I don’t think it was until this moment where I fully understood this issue. I don’t see nude bodies often, and don’t see many unaltered bodies either in such a stream of photos. I see magazines, TV, commercials, and know we need to fight the ideals and change the paradigm. Upon seeing this stream of photos, I felt connected to my body. I could see it in entirety, and see that I was beautiful. I didn’t see the parts of me that needed to be changed. I saw my thighs and immediately apologized to them for all the criticism over the years. I said I was sorry for all the self hate, the criticism of my body, and had a moment of peace. Honest PEACE. This is VERY similar to my response to theExposed Movementwhich I absolutely LOVE as a movement for bringing this self love and acceptance to the forefront as well!!

This peace with my body has lasted through the week and weekend, even during a hard weekend of challenging situations! I was able to hold that feeling of body self-love. And have looked back to the website over and over in amazement at how beautiful bodies of all shapes, sizes truly are! It has empowered me and ViR’s mission to really fight the paradigm in our society. I think size acceptance is SO important. I watched the “What Would You Do” and it was on judgment of heavier people carrying certain foods in their grocery cart. While I knew they were actors, the mom and daughter, I was so upset at some of the fat hate and judgment on these actors. I was horrified and upset. I think fat hate, judgment on body types as being healthy or not based on weight alone needs to be stopped. It hurts everyone, especially the children who see this, internalize the messages, and carry these messages into their perception of self and self body image. It has to be changed. For this I am grateful for the wonderful FA advocates, and body image activists fighting these messages on a daily basis.

I have no problem with nudity, and think this portrayal in nude forms beautiful and empowering. I felt I finally could SEE myself outside of my internal voice and negative self talk I sometimes struggle with. I felt pure joy, with no need to even fight any voice, because there simply was no voice saying anything other than “love”. I didn’t for once have any thought of “I wish I looked like x, y or z.” I was happy with who I am, what I look like, and realized just how mean I had been over the years to my body. For me this website I am truly grateful for and would like to thank Gaby Loisel for creating#TheStrippedProject. I welcome you to join theirFacebook pageas well.

I want to see more representations of bodies, unaltered, unedited, because I think it is important to see what natural bodies look like. They do NOT look like what people look like in magazines. I can’t express how life altering this project was for me when I first saw it. It brought me to a full stop. I think the more natural bodies I see, the more I can self accept what I look like. I know people may say “you shouldn’t base your self perceptions on what others look like!” But that isn’t my point here. My point was, when I stared at the photos, I saw acceptance, and NOT comparison. I felt centered and beautiful with who I was because I felt those people were beautiful and brave, and I too looked a lot like many of those people, and finally could step outside of my self perception and see it from the outside.

Tomorrow and Wednesday I will be posting two more responses on this project. Look forward to a lot of body loving this week!

How about you – what was your first reaction to seeing this project? What feelings did you have?

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