|Rachel (17), a cutter on the path to healing
The exhibit has toured college campuses and galleries across the nations for nearly two decades. The book of the project, Bodies and Souls: The Century Project was published in 2006. Through the women’s own words and naked portraits we learn their powerful accounts of their conflicted feelings about their bodies and their vows to own and celebrate them.
The project is heart-wrenching and uplifting at the same time, and a very important contribution to our body-negative culture with its unrealistic beauty ideals and warped ideas about sex. Opposed to those, the participating women shed their clothes in defiance, not because they are exhibitionists, but because they refuse to be censured and dismissed, demanding to be seen for who they are. Real women, with real bodies and real issues, because we all have them, to a varying degree, whether it’s beating ourselves up for not looking just right, or the shame we feel for what has been inflicted upon us, by others or ourselves.