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Photographer Captures Bodies of Mothers – and the Results Are Beautiful

06/03/2014 at 10:00 AM ET

Jade Beall A Beautiful Body project
Jade Beall

Every laugh line, every stretch mark and every curve is a story — a story that Jade Beall wanted to tell without words.

In a series of raw photographs filled with emotion, Beall captures the bodies of 16 women, all in different stages of motherhood, and highlights their journeys through pregnancy, cancer, stillbirths, miscarriages and more in her new book, The Bodies of Mothers.

Her hope is to inspire others to embrace the skin they’re in.

A Beautiful Body Project is a movement of women coming together to tell their stories and celebrate their ever-changing bodies so that future generations of women can live free from self-suffering,” Beall writes.

One black and white snapshot (above) showcases the bond between a mother and her beautiful baby, who can’t help but giggle as his adoring mom gets in a snuggle, while one of the few color photos from the collection features a woman showing off her side profile (which has been adorned with a floral tattoo by artist Melanie Nead) and pronounced stretch marks.

Other portraits incorporate partners as they cradle their loved one’s pregnant bellies, mothers baring it all to celebrate the beauty of breastfeeding, and generations of families coming together.

And while each woman’s individual motherhood is embraced, each photo comes with one promise: Beall never enhances or airbrushes any of her subjects.

Jade Beall A Beautiful Body Project
Jade Beall; Melanie Nead/Icon Tattoo

See more photos from the shoot at Cosmopolitan.com.

– Anya Leon

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Showing 14 comments

Marie on

Beautiful!!

Sara on

Definite thumbs up!

Jennifer on

I think these are beautiful shots! Absolutely stunning. :)

(and curious if those posters who always negatively remark whenever a celebrity shares a picture of their bare baby bump, or breast while breastfeeding will remark the same way when these ‘real’ women do it for the sake of art.)

Sטמןש on

BEAUTIFULֱֱ!!

JHL on

These pictures will definitely scare some women away from pregnancy.

Pam on

Beautiful! It’s nice to see other real women with stretch marks and cellulite.

emma on

Absolutely stunning!! I love how raw these captures are – beautiful collection.

Lew on

As a mother, this filled up my heart! Being a mother – that feeling is universal throughout and all the pictures depict that…..

kelli on

Beautiful! Especially love the top photo. The bottom one is good too all except that dreadful tattoo. I think it’s such a shame when folks mark up their bodies like that.

M on

They are a little overweight. Shouldn’t we be promoting health? Being overweight puts women at risk for heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers.

Guest on

@M, who said that the women in the picture are overweight.

Maybe picture number one is, but picture number 2 definitely has a healthy BMI! I don’t see people usually commenting on Gisele Bundchen’s BMI which is likely less than 18, or Kate Middleton’s.

Anonymous on

I love how beautiful and raw these photos are.

Margaret on

These photos speak to my soul

I feel badly for the few who don’t get it

They think it’s about the physical bodies in these pictures

Kristin on

Love it.
@ JHL Real bodies are nothing to be afraid of.

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