the beautiful woman project

The Beautiful Woman Sessions

"A consequence of female self-love is that the woman grows convinced of social worth. Her love for her body will be unqualified, which is the basis of female identification. If a woman loves her own body, she doesn't grudge what other women do with theirs; if she loves femaleness, she champions its rights. It's true what they say about women: Women are insatiable. We are greedy. Our appetites do need to be controlled if things are to stay in place. If the world were ours too, if we believed we could get away with it, we would ask for more love, more sex, more money, more commitment to children, more food, more care. These sexual, emotional, and physical demands would begin to extend to social demands: payment for care of the elderly, parental leave, childcare, etc. The force of female desire would be so great that society would truly have to reckon with what women want, in bed and in the world."

-Naomi Wolf, The Beauty Myth


When I asked Terisa why she wanted to do this session with me, she simply responded,

"I just turned 35 years old, and I don't think I've honestly ever felt more secure with myself and my body. And I want to remember exactly how I feel, right now. This is my birthday gift to myself."

My heart and soul goes out to all of the beautiful women out there who have worked hard to take their power back and to love themselves against all opposing factors. We aren't necessarily trained to comfortably embrace our sexuality; our wild, our fire. Being true and honest and unforgivingly authentic isn't always made easy for people, women especially. We are scorned for it; accused of being selfish or made to feel less-than because of it. I applaud you all, and I encourage you to answer those calls when they come.. you, your daughters, and everyone around you deserve that version of you. And if ever you want to document it, you know where I am. 



this is what happens when you let the magic in.

This post is long overdue. But I am one who functions on feeling and energy and the universe's directions, and the universe hadn't directed me to do it until now. This shoot happened at the end of August in Connecticut with my amazingly creative and inspirational sister-in-law, Ally Davis. Ally is a graduate of the New School in New York City. She studied dance, and is currently in the process of building her very own dance company, Visceral Movement. I asked Ally if she wanted to do this shoot with me, as I had been developing an idea for a photography project called 'The Beautiful Woman Project' which is a project focused on exposing the raw, undecorated beauty of women by photographing them without makeup on. I had this whole beautiful end of summer scenario in mind, and her being a dancer just added to the wild, imaginative, dream-like surrealism of the story; what happens when two creative mommies who have such limited time to themselves, leave the house at 7 am on a sunday morning to get into a field as the sun is rising with flowy dresses and dew drops on the grass??? Well, magic of course. I mean, it couldn't have been a more perfect shoot for launching my project.

But then what you ask? Well, life. A major lack of personal time. Finding out that our home was contaminated with mold and we had to move out. It has now been over 6 months and we are still not back.. (although we will be able to get back in within the next couple of weeks!! woo hoooo!). So I was waiting. I was waiting for the perfect time, the perfect moment, the perfect platform to share this project that is very very dear to my heart. The thing is though, sometimes that perfect time we are waiting for doesn't come.

I have always had the intention of sharing these beautiful images, but it wasn't until this past week when Ally shared one of them on her instagram, that she and I started talking about our next collaboration and I remembered how incredibly liberating and creatively invigorating that morning was this past August with her. We were free as birds, wild children.. not another soul in sight. It was just her and me and my camera and the warm warm sunrise. I remember her thanking me after we finished, because she had been feeling a lack of inspiration recently and she just felt so good afterwards. And of course, I thanked her because I was feeling the very same way.

I was asked recently by my friend, Allie O'Conner(co-blogger at Little Red's Well), my thoughts on creativity, as they are in the process of doing a 50 day creativity challenge (#scratchfor50). This thing that we are all blessed with, creativity, it's a gift. It's a delicate gift that needs to be acknowledged, nurtured, and respected. And when we give it these things, what it gives back to us is nothing short of magic.

So, I have been waiting to post these images to my blog talking about the beautiful woman project, but in the last twenty-four hours, I have realized that instead, I want to share them as what they are to me today, which is a reminder of what can happen if you let the magic in.

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