All across the country, women are talking openly and publicly about issues that were once taboo – rape, sexual assault, and abortion. Many established writers have made the decision to go public with personal stories. “When my friend published the story of her assault, I decided I would stand with her and publish mine,” a writer explained to me. “Solidarity.”
Another woman said, “Our stories are important. That’s how we will change this culture.”
The women who pose naked for me are women who are willing to be vulnerable, who are willing to tell their stories. I’ve decided, to add a measure of protection, to put several of their photos up without any identifying information, to allow them to stand together.
These are women I’ve met at conferences, who have talked to me about intimate details of their life and willingly posed for my camera.
One woman is a writer. One woman is an artist. One woman does yoga. One woman likes to surf. One woman likes to knit. One woman has given birth. One woman has chosen not to have children. One is happily married. One is divorced. One woman was taught as a child that she should stay quiet, that she should be polite above all else. One woman was taught to always speak up.
One woman says it’s our moral obligation to tell stories. One woman was sexually assaulted when she was a teenager. One woman says she is afraid to travel alone because she doesn’t feel safe, but she travels alone anyhow because she doesn’t want fear to rule her life and cost her opportunities.
One woman has worked as a full-spectrum doula. That is, she is a doula willing to support a pregnant woman no matter what her decision is. So she has many times accompanied a woman as she undergoes an abortion. Her philosophy is that people having abortions should have nonjudgmental physical and emotional support just like people giving birth.
The best part of the naked photo project has been listening to the stories of women from all over the place, women are smart and strong and scared and brave. I have learned so much from them.
Read more about the history of the naked blogging project and check out the gallery of photos.