After Jen Davis, a Brooklyn photographer, saw a photo of herself and friends at the beach, she was inspired to document her personal struggle with body image in a collection entitled “Self-Portraits”. The series is an 11-year journey with Jen during some very intimate moments and familiar scenarios for anyone who struggles to love their body. I have and occasionally do have trouble loving my body and my weight has always been a struggle for me. When I looked through Jen’s photographs I could relate and understand every emotion she was portraying. I think it was incredibly brave for Jen to put herself out there like this, even when she knows others will condemn and ridicule her for doing so. The collection of “Self-Portraits” Jen has created are amazing and I encourage all of you to look through them. The pictures aren’t just about being overweight, the emotions conveyed are for any weight – for anyone who struggles to find the beauty within themselves. Below is some the Self-Portraits with Jen Davis explaining the feeling behind each photograph. pressurepoint Pressure Point: “I wanted to capture what it felt like to be judged for your body. That vulnerability of being on the beach and fearing those 10-20 seconds where you have to walk into the water and everyone can see you.” purity Purity: “I got out of the shower and saw the water droplets on my body and it was a very intimate moment. At that point, I was trying to understand intimacy and my own sexuality. My face isn’t even in focus here; it’s all about the flesh and water.” conforming Conforming: “My body is getting bigger and my clothes are tighter. Putting on pants was so uncomfortable. I wanted to see tension instead of feeling it.” 4am 4 a.m.: “I took this one night after going out with my friends who were all in relationships and I came home alone. 4 a.m. is a lonely hour.” fantasy Fantasy: “The guy in this photo is my roommate. I wanted to know what it felt like to have a guy desire me. Notice that I’m directly looking at the camera. I want to be seen.” untitled6 Untitled: “I’m doing laundry which is totally mundane but I’m actually exposing myself because I’m hanging my underwear, such an intimate item of clothing. It forces people to look at the large size, which contrasts with the pretty color and silk material.” untitled7 Untitled: “It took me a while to set up this shot. I took a beautiful setting – color, soft light and contrasted it with a body that’s not conventionally beautiful. The girl in the painting is even looking at me.” maxwellstreet Maxwell Street: “This was a food stand people would go to after class. I was trying to capture how uncomfortable it was for me to order food in public and have people judge me on the types of food I put into my body.” steveandi Steve and I: “This represents post-intimacy, a time when you’re supposed to feel relaxed and happy. But the expression on my face and the blanket I’m wrapped in expresses my discomfort.” untitled10 Untitled: “This photo series inspired me to change my body. I found myself wanting to live in a smaller body so I decided to get Lap-Band surgery and joined the gym. In this photo, I’m looking down at my body which is rapidly downsizing. I also wore white underwear and a white tank top which matches the stark, white walls. It’s very institutional and represents the body as an object.” untitled11 Untitled: “In the previous beach shot, I’m surrounded by my friends. In this new photo, I’ve lost quite a bit of weight and am surrounded by strangers which represent me being out in the world and functioning. I’m not covered up anymore.” untitled12 Untitled: “This is my new boyfriend Aldo. He doesn’t live in Brooklyn and this is us saying goodbye. It’s a very close and intimate moment. With Aldo, I realized that I was capable of love and acceptance. I had been searching for this in my life and in my work.”