Three weeks ago, I made a post on my Instagram, as well as on my blog, introducing a hashtag, #ourbodiesourart. I was hesitant to share my idea, as I feared there would be very little participation. I was happily proven wrong.
Over the past three weeks I have been collecting the thoughts and artwork of photographers who tagged their photographs with the hashtag. I saw just how my initial idea was perceived in many different, beautiful ways. From embracing their identity, to capturing models in their most striking moments, these photographers truly showed me, and will show you, that our bodies ARE art.
The publication of this first chapter was delayed, however I plan to continue making these posts every two weeks, as long as the tag still remains. In the next two weeks I encourage models to share their experiences working with photographers who either misrepresented or completely represented what the tag is all about.
Enjoy, and please check out these artists’ other works – it takes only a second to give someone a supportive follow.
“In a society that profits from your self doubt, liking yourself is a rebellious act.”
As girls and women, this is our time; our time to stand up, make a change in our world, love ourselves, and have pride in what we are and what we stand for.
As a photographer, my artwork shows the world I see through my lens. Most importantly, it shows real women.
In my photo sessions, I match my style with the vibe of the girl. It’s important for me to do that because not only do I get to experiment with different looks and moods, but when she loves the result of the photos, it’s not only because I had the opportunity to share my talent with her, it’s because her light is what stands out in the photo and that’s when I know I’ve done my job right. What she sees is what she is, not an idealized version of what society is pressuring her to be. Working alongside other women is what pushes me, what motivates me, and what brings me the most joy.
Olivia’s work perfectly captures models in powerful moments, while still feeling soft and refreshing:
This photo in particular was made in an effort to remind my fellow non-binary and genderqueer folx of the absolute that their identity is valid inherently through existing, and to empower them to revel in the revolution of that.
In our society, there is an overlying permeation of the two dynamics of; A, the assumption of another’s self hood that we all make from time to time, whether that be in terms of someone’s gender identity or their narrative, and the power dynamic that exists within that and; B, the binary gendered thinking of human existence and the stereotypes that are assigned to such. For us non-binary/genderqueer folx, in addition to those dynamics, we face erasure in other aspects from the cis, straight and LGBTQ+ communities alike, having minimal legal, media and societal representation, our identities erased for not looking how others envisioned people with our identity to look like or sometimes violently rejected entirely, our narratives and struggles seen as non existent, and so on and so forth. In synopsis, our society wishes to claim our narrative as what makes them feel comfortable, instead of worshiping human diversity as the beauty it is, and sometimes out of physical safety, and our own emotional safety, we are forced to hide who we are. The length that this dynamic has thrived has been for far too long, and I itched to create a visual to represent the undeniable truth that no matter what others say, or how one presents themselves or if one still in the closet or has to hide who they are in certain circumstances or what sexual organs they have or wish to have in the future, in this moment and every moment before and after, you are still YOU and VALID, your body is your own and there is glory in that.
Every detail in tazia’s photograph shouts a message of acceptance and personal freedom.
When I began increasingly using my body as a vessel for my art work in the way that was unapologetic, I found beauty in different aspects of my soul taking on physical, tangible traits
For so long I struggled with my outside appearance being the definition of who I was, not in terms of the liberating aspect that can reside in that, but in the avenue of if I dressed a certain way and was “girl” enough people would like me and that I would be okay as if that was what I needed to be valid. I found validation only in what I thought others would approve of my presentation. When I started realizing I was non-binary, that dynamic’s intensity increased twofold, as I started to use it as a crutch to maintain safety in the small town where I lived and even in the relationships I had with peers, increasing my gender dysphoria and body image issues. When I began increasingly using my body as a vessel for my art work in the way that was unapologetic, I found beauty in different aspects of my soul taking on physical, tangible traits, and began to settle in the fact I knew all along, that no matter how I present myself, or despite being able to present myself day to day in the way that I wish, my soul still exists and is valid, and that’s where my validation as a human resides. It is still an ongoing struggle to fully sink into that fact, but creating art like this helps to remind me and solidify that within my mind, that, I guess, the soul is your art and the body acts to give the world the honor of witnessing small parts of its glory.
I like to focus on capturing the beauty of the girls I shoot without doing so in a sexual manner.
When working with my models I like to make sure they’re comfortable while pushing their boundaries of comfort. I like to focus on capturing the beauty of the girls I shoot without doing so in a sexual manner. While sexuality is very important to be in touch with I don’t believe in doing shoots that portray the models as overly sexual or sexy. I like to show the dignity of girls. With that being said I’d love to push the boundaries by doing photos hoots such as nude ones but also keeping everything to the imagination.
Anne’s pictures are like living in a dream, creating a world we all want to get to know more.
Model: @mykiduvall on instagram
Without Isabel my photography would lack life, she brings out the best in me during a shoot. The connection between women is SO strong and this hashtag embodies just that.
The dynamic between women working together is truly empowering. Nothing makes me happier than getting to work with other ladies. My favorite model/creator in the entire world is @isabelwar. She is such an inspiration, and always has my back when I have crazy ideas that may not work. She fuels my late night rants about trips to salvo for our next shoot and is simply there when I need a friend. Without Isabel my photography would lack life, she brings out the best in me during a shoot. The connection between women is SO strong and this hashtag embodies just that. So keep it up because I am excited to see where #ourbodiesourart goes.
Alexis’ work utilizes color and light to tell a story of strength and serenity.
Model: @isabelwar on instagram
Don’t ever let people convince you that your body takes away from the message of the artwork.
As somebody who spent their own money on cigarettes just for this shoot and then have people shame me for some of my proudest work, this tag means a lot to me. The fact that women have to be ashamed or nervous to publicly share their artwork because it is perceived as a way to showcase their bodies and put themselves out there is one of my biggest pet peeves. After posting this photo on Instagram, I quickly learned from experience how close-minded people can be about artwork. Don’t ever let people convince you that your body takes away from the message of the artwork. It’s our bodies, our art, and our message to share with the world.
Eden’s piece is both timeless and powerful, reminding the world we can do whatever we damn want with our bodies:
“if there was one thing they could change about their body what would it be?”
Series: Body Insecurities
This topic is not new but I still believe it’s important especially for me. I always hated my body because I always thought I was too skinny & certain clothing didn’t fit me right. Although when I started college last year I started to appreciate my body a lot more because on my campus there were so many people confident about their body and that was so inspiring. Then all of sudden those negative thoughts became positive.
So for my final project for my foundation 1 class was a body insecurity series.
Before I started this series, I asked 3 girls I didn’t really know if they felt comfortable talking about their body insecurities and if I can photograph that specific body part. I lucked out because they love the topic and was willing to help me out. Shoutout to Kenna, Ally & Nicole. Anyway I remember texting them asking “if there was one thing they could change about their body what would it be?” OO I wish I still had all the details for each response because these girls are beautiful and their replies surprised me. The day of shoot was actually quick & easy because I had an idea of what I wanted to capture. Aha I remember that one model was really uncomfortable because I was about to capture her butt so I made her relax by making jokes and telling her that even tho she doesn’t like her butt, other people will and will envy you for that aha. That seemed to make her more confident for that specific picture.