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We Love Our Bodies

The “We Love Our Bodies” Project: Re-Claiming the Standard of Beauty in America

Our mission is to photograph beautiful women of all shapes, sizes, ages, and ethnicities and promote positive body image in all women.  We will document each model’s challenges with body image, and also how they have learned to love and accept their body.  We are re-claiming a new standard of beauty in America; one that encompasses ALL women. This project is intended to inspire women all over the world to heal their own relationship with their appearance, experience greater self-love, and embrace their unlimited potential to live the life of their dreams within a body they truly adore.

How I, and We, Got Here…

I developed the We Love Our Bodies Project (WLB) when my eyes caught a gigantic billboard for Victoria’s Secret.  The seven models all had exactly the same body type.  They were extremely slender.  Underneath the models, were the words, “I Love My Body.”

I was riding a city bus at the time, and as I glanced to my left, I saw a beautiful little girl, probably around seven years old, staring at the poster.  It was obvious to me that her natural body type was not the same as the supermodels.  In fact, 99.9% of us don’t match a fashion model’s build or have access to the magic of Photoshop.

“I love my body” is a beautiful sentiment, yet the poster was screaming, “You can love your body as long as you look like this!”

The women on the billboard were gorgeous, but suddenly I pictured the same image, with women of ALL sizes, ages, and ethnicities and the words I LOVE MY BODY.  I imagined the same little girl from the bus looking up at the billboard, and feeling affirmed, knowing that whatever our shape and size, age, skin tone, as women, we are beautiful!

The dream of We Love Our Bodies Project was born.  Please follow our blog and our progress, as we design an inspirational book with a powerful message of self-love and acceptance.  Join us at We Love Our Bodies, and re-claim the standard of beauty in America.

Read the Original Blog Entry That Started It All

Interested in Modeling for We Love Our Bodies?

Would you be willing to share your own journey of learning to love and accept your body?  Are you interested in a free photo shoot?  Would you like a chance to be featured in our book?  Please send an email with a summary of your story (500 words or less please) and a couple snapshots to cora@sexysoulwellness.com.  We will contact you for information about the next step of the process.

The WLB Team

Cora Poage

Coach CoraCora Poage is a Wellness Coach, Writer, Speaker,  and Owner off Sexy Soul Wellness.  Her company is committed to providing personal life coaching, health coaching and spiritual direction. From a place of diet freedom, Coach Cora’s clients overcome their weight issues, love their bodies, own their power, and live the life of their dreams.  She is also a performer and thrilled to be acting and singing in her new hometown, New York City.

Jackie Cook, Photographer

Jackie Cook is a commercial and portrait photographer who focuses on creating modern and energetic images for her clients.  Her attention to detail and ability to bring out the best in people has been the driving force behind her success.  Since graduating from New England School of Photography in 2003, Jackie has worked alongside numerous commercial photographers and managed studios throughout Boston, London and New York.  She currently runs her own studio, J Cook Photography, out of Stamford, CT.

Molly Rider

Molly Rider is the successful writer’s roadmap coach.  Her mission is to help women voice their dreams and to support the growth of a successful dream roadmap.  She is currently working on her first memoir and is sharing her journey at www.womenwritingnow.com.  When she is not writing, dreaming or helping others, Molly loves running, dancing or whipping up her favorite spaghetti squash lasagna.  Visit her at www.womenwritingnow.com

Suzanne Boothby

Suzanne Boothby

Suzanne Boothby is a Brooklyn-based wellness author and writing coach who dabbles in social media and marketing. She is a proud graduate of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism and The Institute for Integrative Nutrition. When she is not immersed in the world of communication, she loves traveling, gardening, yoga, dance and eating burritos. Visit her website, www.suzanneboothby.com, for more info about Suzanne.

1st Model: Annie

Annie Church“What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others.” –Pericles

When I first told Annie about WLB, her eyes sparkled.  “My body has A LOT to say,” she said.

We couldn’t have asked for a stronger woman to help us kick off the We Love Our Bodies Project.  Annie Church is a 32-year-old woman who grew up in Ohio, and now lives in Greenwich, Conn. with her boyfriend Greg, working as a Dancer, Dance Instructor,  Kindergarten teacher, and Jin Shin Jitsu Practicioner.

Annie’s story is heart-breaking, yet it is also incredibly inspiring.  After all the challenges and pressures, Annie can now say with certainty, “I love my body.”

Interview with Annie:

We met Annie, our first model, at her home in Greenwich.  Immediately, the three of us settled onto her comfy living room couch.  With tea in hand, and fresh, juicy grapes on the table, the conversation about body love – the ups and downs of the journey – filled the room.

Annie remembered the weigh-in days at her Ballet Conservatory when she was just 15.  “Everyone would run to the bathroom to throw up,” she says, without batting an eye.  At 5’6″ and 115 pounds, she was told she had to lose 10 pounds to be a successful ballet dancer.  She was “too big.”

She recalls her first boyfriend who told her she was never good enough.  Not pretty enough, smart enough, and that she smiled way too much.  She recalls walking down the stairs on prom night, and seeing the look of disgust on his face.  He told her she would never find anyone as good as him as a partner.

Her self-image, inside and out, became completely dependent on the approval and affirmation of others, especially her ballet teachers, fellow dancers, and her boyfriend.   She felt very low.

Her self image did not magically blossom in college, and in adulthood, Annie was left to face the realities of her life and her low self-esteem.  However, Annie knew that she wanted better for herself and her body, thus began her journey to greater self-love and acceptance.

You can read more about Annie’s struggles and how she over came them in the upcoming book, We Love Our Bodies.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. March 21, 2011 6:28 pm

    I love, love, love this!

    After giving birth to three babies I have finally fallen in love with the body I have, and made peace with this wiggly stomach that stretched for each child and the boobs that nursed for 8 years. Such a joy to find the beauty in yourself and to see it in every woman.

    So inspired by this.

  2. March 30, 2011 4:22 pm

    I am so proud of you ladies. This is such an amazing project. I would love to be a part of it in some way. Maybe I could be a model…I have a big butt and I love it!!! :)

  3. May 13, 2011 9:43 am

    Cora-this is genius! I love it.

    I am a graduate of IIN and recovering gracefully from 15 yr long battle with ED. Struggling lots lately to truly LOVE my body – seems like no matter how much I know, that it is in the unknown feeling intuitive place that true change happens and when I am resisting listening to what I truly need and honoring my body, that I can get stuck. I love your mission, vision and the heart of your work. Women everywhere need to hear from you!

    I’m teaching yoga for refugee young women 2moro in a Love Your Body, Love Your World Day @ Vanderbilt. Isn’t it so true that we must start within ourselves and then the whole world will be more beautiful and fruitful for us? Just found your site and blog through IIN. SO inspiring.

    Blessings,
    Waller

  4. Dawn McDonnell permalink
    September 14, 2011 11:13 am

    Dear Cora-
    This is Dawn McDonnell writing to say so sorry I am not able to connect with you through integrative nutrition- would have loved to start something but simply have to back out right now do to kids schedule changes unexpected and my own daughters health issues in new found allergies affecting her life-
    I will have to cxl my classes and start up another time when life is less crazy with kids-
    At 50 and loving your body thats a tall order- daily affirmations combining mind body and spirit exercise eating healthy and keeping the vitamin L for love is all part of it-
    I was born with a skin disease that effected my outer appearance called ichthyosis lamellar- after many years of emotional hurts and now being pretty clear of it has changed my outlook on life offering help to those physically handicapped by this and other diseases in a world that is connected visually-
    Hoping some day to connect again when my responsibilities as a parent is a little less.

    Nice visiting your blog- perhaps I will hear from you anyway even though I am not taking the classes.

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