REAL real women

Here are the “real women” of Dove’s “Campaign for Real Beauty,” busily pitching “firming lotion“:


Who knew that “real women” are all under 35 and none of them more than 15 pounds overweight! Clearly, I myself am a figment of my own imagination.

Meanwhile via Boing Boing, here are some real real women from Frank Cordelle’s book of photography Bodies and Souls: The Century Project. According to the photographer, The Century Project is “a series of nude photographs accompanied by highly personal and moving statements by women whose lives span 100 years. The words and pictures combine to form a powerful statement about body image, society’s portrayal of women in the media, sexuality, pornography, and women’s health issues.”

Links contain nudity and a graphic birth photo, and are not worksafe.


From the women’s statements:

The day this photograph was made, I stood in front of another mirror: naked and alone, and for the first time in years, I had to SEE myself.

It was terrifying!

At first I was repulsed, I wanted to turn and run. All I saw was fat, undesirability, flaws and failure.

But the more I forced myself to look, the more I began to see her. She was reaching out to me and I was willing to let her.

– Christina, age 44

Life at it’s fullest at 94. A little naughty always. I love men and adore the Naturist clubs that have rejuvenated me.

I posed nude so some old lady will not fear age and some old men would know old women are not so strange.

– Mary, age 94

4 responses to “REAL real women

  1. Would you consent to be photographed naked and viewed in public? You don’t even have a picture of your face on your site!
    Also, whoever writes the texts doesn’t know that the possessive of “it” has no apostrophe. Does sincere sentiment always trump grammar and spelling?

  2. In response to Pyracantha:

    No, I’m not someone who’d care to have naked photos of me as part of an art exhibit. But in reading these woman’s statements (and I suspect that some of them are advocates of social nudity — what we might call nudists or naturists), I see that not only do they not mind having their images exhibited, but some of them welcome it. Some were transformed and challenged by sitting for the photographer, and some even called it one of the most powerful experiences of their lives.

    I admire the photographer, who really does seem to be making an artistic statement about women and their bodies, something I think few men can claim to have done.

    And I honestly started to correct that exact punctuation error you mention! And then I stilled my hand as it moved to the keyboard. Let these women’s words be their own and only their own, flawed as their bodies are. I don’t find the statements’ impact affected by the fact that some of them need a light edit. For all I know this work has no editor, and to my mind it wouldn’t much benefit from one.

    What I loved about The Century Project was that it creates a place where there is nakedness without sex. The only naked female body most people see in good light is that of a 20something young woman in a glossy photo whose few flaws have been airbrushed out. Or some 20something popstar with her bits hanging out. I think it’s healthy and sane to have a visual familiarity with unclothed real bodies of the sort I have and you have and 99% of us have. Otherwise we foolishly try to conform to the appearance of someone decades younger than us, and with far better genes. And then we have Dove telling us that “real women” are exclusively under 35, not more than 15 pounds overweight, and look great in their underwear.

    Because of craziness like this, I welcome images of age and illness endured, especially when they are endured with strength, humor, and good grace. Only because I once worked in a bookstore and saw art books have I seen the naked bodies of elders. And I think that that too is healthy, to understand the roads that all flesh will someday take. I myself would like to be prepared.

    I also liked the photographer’s focus on breast cancer survivors. Breast cancer maimed my grandmother and killed my aunt in her twenties. I was inspired and reassured to see the survivors of the disease, though I note that one woman later died of it.

    I liked seeing natural human bodies. It made me feel better about myself. I posted it so others might draw strength from it as well.

    And to Galen: Don’t be shy!


  3. This project is so reviving and beautyful … I really like it. So tired of all these perfect pop images everywhere!

  4. Zackary Tattershall

    firming lotion is great because it helps in the overall of your skin. i prefer to use those that have topical vitamins in them. ,

    Latest posting on our personal blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s