All mothers know that a celebrity mum's honed and toned post-baby body is a very unrealistic portrayal of the reality. Now a photographer has captured portraits of dozens of nude mothers in all their beautiful glory – stretch marks, scars and all.
The inspiring pictures, showing women's bodies 'just as they are', are the inspiring work of Jade Beall, a mother-of-one from Tuscon, Arizona.
She began by publishing a series of semi-nude self portraits on Facebook, revealing all the scars and imperfections that came with pregnancy and the birth of her son, Sequoia.
After the portraits inspired hundreds of other mothers, many of whom wanted to be photographed in a similar way, Jade turned her images into a book called A Beautiful Body Project, set to be published in January.
What's more, the photographer has touched so many that her book is being funded entirely by donors and volunteers, who have so far raised nearly $35,000 via Kickstarter for the cause.
Jade told the Huffington Post: "We are facing an epidemic of women who feel unworthy of being called beautiful."
To address this 'epidemic', she hopes to redefine society's idea of beautiful women, especially those whose bodies have transformed through pregnancy and childbirth.
"Shaming mothers for not 'bouncing back' after childbirth can cause feelings of failure when being a mother is challenging enough," she explained.
In a video for the book, Jade explains that she took the initial photos of herself 'because 95per cent of women will not see ourselves reflected in mainstream media'.
Jade believes her photographs are 'medicinal' - both for the women being portrayed, and for society whose perception of beauty needs 'healing'.
According to the book's website: "A Beautiful Body Project is 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."
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