We live in a world where nothing is as it seems, and this holds especially true in terms of the media. Every day, women are bombarded with thousands of images of heavily Photoshopped women that don’t look anything like them. It’s not wonder that they begin to feel insecure and imperfect. Fortunately, the University of Wyoming has three students that want to change that – by showing the different shapes of women with absolutely no retouching. Their names are Hannah King, Morgan Looney and Sydney Stein. In March, these three girls came together and founded “Real Women, Real Bodies.”
For the project, the three students photographed female volunteers and fellow students either nude or in their underwear to show just how diverse the human body really is. Looking at these photos, it’s obvious that women do not just have “apple”, “hourglass” or “pear”-shaped bodies. “Real Women, Real Bodies” shows that the female form cannot be limited into a convenient category – and maybe it’s time we stop trying to make it fit. The message of “Real Bodies, Real Women” is obvious: Your body is uniquely “you” and deserves your love. According to the group, its mission is to help women “love themselves for exactly who they are.”
The images have been shaded to protect the identities of the volunteers, and the project has yet to include models with disabilities, as they can be recognized more easily. However, the goal of “Real Women, Real Bodies” is to keep getting more diversity into its collection – eventually including men as well.
The “Real Women, Real Bodies” collection was first shown at a gallery on campus to prompt the student body to think about body image differently. The collection was widely successful.
As “Real Women, Real Bodies” has gained more attention, some have criticized the group’s name. The group’s founders want to set one thing straight: the inclusion of the word “real” does not mean that some women and their bodies are “not real.” The group explains:
“To us, ‘real’ is a word of empowerment. It is our hope that, through acceptance and encouragement, everyone will come to love their bodies and in turn will care for the body that they have. We as an organization work to promote positive self-image in women, reminding them that nothing needs to be nipped or tucked to feel or look beautiful.” [source]
Now that’s beautiful. To learn more about “Real Women, Real Bodies,” check out their Facebook page!