LIFESTYLE
23/09/2015 12:38 BST | Updated 25/09/2015 10:59 BST

Molly Soda Leaked Own Nude Selfies, Inspired Women Everywhere To Be Proud Of Body Hair

Kick-ass feminist Molly Soda is on a one woman mission to help others feel proud of their body hair.

If her name rings a bell, it's because Soda, 26, is the genius behind online zine "Should I send this?" which is a collection of nude selfies and sexts that, at the time, she never felt brave enough to send.

In some of the photos featured in the zine, the Detroit-based artist is pictured with pubic hair peeking from the sides of her underwear. She also has a trail of dark hair leading down her stomach.

Since she published the photos online, she's been inundated with messages from women and girls thanking her for making them feel "less self-conscious" about their own body hair.

"Should I send this?" explores the ideas of censorship and digital vulnerability using photography and text. Soda describes the zine as "things I was too afraid to share or send to anyone".

"I'm generally an over-sharer online, I'm very open about everything, so this was an exercise in 'owning' those feelings and images by publishing them," she tells HuffPost UK Lifestyle.

The feminist believes that awkward or embarrassing feelings can be shrunk by being open and "putting it out there". But that's not to say she expects other people to necessarily do the same.

"I simply think it sets a positive example and can help people feel more comfortable about themselves," she adds.

It was the reaction to Soda's zine which seemed to be the biggest eye-opener.

After her work was shared on Dazed and Confused, she received numerous comments that said her work was "not art" and "not feminist".

One commenter on Facebook even wrote: "Another female artist posts pictures of her tits, ass and bush. Again."

Soda says: "People were generally pretty positive, however there was some backlash. A lot of which was directed at the images in the zine - despite the fact that half of the zine is also text.

"It was a bit shocking and disappointing. Society as a whole is so concerned with policing women's bodies and what they do with them - that's a really scary thing."

But she says that people will criticise you no matter what.

"As long as I remain positive and sincere, I don't care what anyone else thinks," she adds.

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There's been one huge positive to come out of the zine, as women have said the series helped them feel more comfortable in their own skin.

Soda previously told Dazed and Confused that she'd received lots of messages from girls who said her stomach hair made them feel "better and less self-conscious".

"It makes me feel great. I love being able to make people feel positively about themselves," she tells HuffPost UK Lifestyle, before adding her own advice for women who are worried about their body hair.

"Body hair is a normal thing," she says. "We all have it to varying degrees.

"It's your body. Shave, don't shave, shave one leg and leave the other - who cares?

"Do whatever makes you feel happy and comfortable. That's what's really important."

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