For those of you that don’t know me well, I’m a big fan of body positivity. I am plus-sized and proud, and not embarrassed of my body. Some time ago, I saw the 4th Trimester Bodies Project linked to on Facebook. I was pregnant at the time and intrigued by the project. It celebrates mothers’ bodies without shame or hiding of flaws.
Eventually they posted tour dates, and I realized they’d be in Boston 2-4 weeks after Inara would be born. I signed up for their emails, and as soon as the Boston dates opened up, I purchased a slot. It’s a good thing I was on top of it, because they sold out quickly!
As Inara came a little early, she was exactly one month old yesterday for our photo shoot. We drove into Cambridge, nearly late due to traffic, and thankfully arrived just in time (I HATE being late!). Ashlee, the photographer and founder, and Laura, the hair and makeup artist, were absolute dolls. It was so nice to chat and work with body-positive moms. Laura beautified me, and I felt lovelier than I have since my wedding day. Ashlee took my headshot and did a video interview to get my info for my bio. Then it was time to strip.
4th Trimester Body Project photos are taken in a black bra and underwear (bra optional, breastfeeding encouraged). Honestly, I had no qualms about it at all. I was very comfortable with the women and the only other people there were my husband and baby. Then we stripped down said baby and took our photos. Inara promptly peed on me, which obviously happens a lot and we quickly toweled it up. Otherwise it went by quickly, while I just cuddled and played with my sweet daughter, who obliged with adorably open, wide eyes. Then I got to choose which photo would be used for the project. There were so many good ones, but this one just spoke to me. I’m just so happy to be holding her.
So here I am, post-baby body in my skivvies for the world to see. I’m not nervous about it at all, honestly. It took a long time for me to get to a place where I can say that, and it took a lot of mental work. I wasn’t always heavy. I started gaining weight in college then gained a lot more through my mother’s illness and death. I’ve never been able to keep off what I lose, and I finally had to give myself a break from it before my mental health deteriorated further. Now that we have Inara, we both want to try to get healthier, but I’ll be going a lot easier on myself this time. I love my body no matter what. It has done amazing things for me.
Thank you Ashlee for an amazing experience. This project is something the mothers of the world desperately need.