Posted by: VoiceinRecovery | November 15, 2010

The Stripped Project: Part I

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: This link has 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 the link first, 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 the Exposed Movement which 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 their Facebook page as 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?

Source


Responses

  1. Kendra- Love this project and your post. My initial reaction was like yours- “There’s my stomach, there’s my boobs!”
    The one thing that made me uncomfortable was that they didn’t show their faces. I understand people wanting privacy, and this is to show bodies, not people individually, but our faces and heads are part of our bodies too, and I think it triggered my hatred for objectification.
    Still loved it though!

    • It was on my list to email the creator to see if I could get a comment on that part. My first thought was it was for privacy reasons. But I do understand your point & actually was going to address this – but then got so wrapped up in my self love I forgot to go back to that topic. Thank you for your feedback.

  2. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Splinteredones, VoiceinRecovery. VoiceinRecovery said: New Post: #TheStrippedProject: Part I. New Series for this week! http://bit.ly/bVVWZi #BodyLoving #BodyImage #SizeAcceptance #fitblog [...]

  3. I had a very similar reaction to Andrea’s. My first thought was, “there are my thighs! Yay!” Then I scrolled further I thought,”hmm, I hope people that come to this site ‘get it’ and don’t objectify the bodies.” What made me think that? Not sure. Maybe sometimes I don’t give people enough credit in certain situations? or perhaps it has to do with my personal experience with objectification & sexual abuse…Whatever it is, it doesn’t negate what an amazing project this is, and how amazing these people are for baring their souls to us!!

    • I too had thought about that, but my first gut response is what I held on to because I felt so happy. I do understand your point and can see the potential concern. Thank you for your honest feedback as well as Andrea’s :) xoxo

  4. I think this is BRILLIANT! These men and women are so incredible to put themselves out there like that, vulnerable. Being able to get past that negative self talk in order to do so is inspiring. I love that everyone is such different shapes and sizes and I see them all as beautiful. It makes me look at myself and think “If I can see all these men and women as beautiful at different sizes and shapes, what makes me any different?” Truth is, it doesn’t. My body is beautiful how it is as well. It allows me to do the things I love in life, to be a part of this world, and a part of others lives.

  5. thank you for posting this. i, too, think that body acceptance is so important, and that movements like this are great and encouraging to see.
    i have to say though, that when i looked at the pictures, i had a really hard time. i think i feel weird just being my age and looking at older mens bodies. there’s something that freaks me out about it…kinda in a freudian sense i guess? aha i dont know. but aside from that kind of discomfort, i think that i’ve seen projects like this before and felt really empowered the way that you described, but today i just wasn’t feeling it. I think it depends on the day for me, and what kind of self-talk or whatever is going through my head in that moment, because i think that today (or just recently in general)i might just be feeling weird in my body, and so that makes me sort of antsy with the image/thought of other peoples’ bodies.
    thank you for posting though, i hope more people have the experience that you had, because this kind of movement CAN be so powerful.

  6. This project brought to mind something that happened years ago. My parents lived in Paris and I was visiting. I was still in the midst of my ED. My dad took us to Les Folies Bergere and the show included an act during which people — men and women — climbed up a huge fish net thing without clothes on. My dad said very seriously something like, “I want you to look at this because so many people have so many different shapes including sizes of breasts.” At the time I was mortified that my mother had shared some of my concerns about my own body with him but later I realized how important it was that I see what you saw in this project.

    • That is a beautiful story and I LOVE what your dad said. So empowering to have a father say that to a daughter. I have heard of the show, and seen parts of it. What an amazing experience to have seen it live!

  7. Very interesting. Initially I was very impressed-as others have said I felt represented-those are my thighs, that’s my butt! The more I looked though I started to feel uncomfortable-it started to feel voyeuristic and I agree w/others-it started to lose the beauty of the whole real authentic person-I wonder if this would be different if we could see the subjects from the neck up as well. The site also challenged me-it’s a challenge to my comparing voices-in a good and bad way. Something to be careful of…..

  8. WOW! My initial reaction was one of shock, which shows me just how infrequently I see and appreciate real, raw bodies. My second reaction was very similar to your feeling of peace, of acceptance…a kind of body-love that doesn’t come easily. So glad you shared this!

    • Thank you for your thoughts! A lot of fascinating responses :)

  9. When I saw the first pictures to be honest I felt uncomfortable!!! I don’t know why, but it has actually sparked some amazing questions in my head about why that is. Its funny because when I look at pictures of naked bodies on other body positive sights (like Adipositivity), I have the same reaction to your reaction to this sight.
    How to explain that!!! :D
    The thing I like the most? What you have written. As always, just perfect :)!
    S xx

    • I love this. I honestly find it extremely interesting to see the RANGE of responses! I never posted this expecting everyone to have my reaction, I actually thought it was going to have a LOT of debate :) Thanks as always for your support xx

  10. [...] I introduced #TheStrippedProject and shared my response to it. I truly appreciate all the comments with initial reactions and thoughts to this project. In [...]

  11. Wow what timing to be reading this article. I was getting into the shower on Saturday and caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror and actually punched myself in the stomach for being so nasty and fat. It is so sad, have had a horrible body image my entire life. I can remember writing in my diary, ‘once I lose 20lbs, I will get so-in-so’ what a crock, but here it is 30 years later and I am still doing it to myself. I know it’s wrong, I know that I have not just one, but three daughters looking to me for a role model. I try hard, but I know that the negativity slips out. Thank you for the article, it is really nice to see real people. I am having a good day today, remembering to give myself some slack, that I have bore three beautiful children, that I look pretty damn good for being 40 and that I deserve to love myself, first and foremost. Thanks again.

  12. My first reaction (surprisingly) was, WOW…look at how much the same we all are…and how different! When you think about it, we are all so similar, even men and women. We all basically have the same parts. But I think more than anything our bodies are just vessels…and there was a doctor on Oprah today who put it this way: “Perhaps the physical body is not who we really are. Perhaps we are these invisible souls walking around, and the body is just an instrument or metaphor for something we are trying to learn.”


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