The body positive movement has been a great thing for women and viewing their bodies and selves as beautiful and worthy in the face of advertising and the modeling industry and promotes perfection and a thin body type preference. This does have a profound impact on the average woman who does not see herself represented by companies and creates a sense of not being worthy. There are many studies on this subject and the detriment it does to young developing minds of young women coming into their own that has a lasting effect on women as they grow older. I myself have fallen victim to it and am still actively working on my own positive body image.
There is one aspect of this movement that I do take issue with and that is half of our population is left out of the equation, men. Boys and men are also constantly bombarded with imagery of the "ideal" body type and societal expectations of what constitutes physically "being a man". As a side effect of this men generally feel unless they look a certain way they are not worthy of having a portrait taken or be in any photos really and gets to the point of absolute derision to a camera what so ever. I have taken to social media about this and an overwhelming response from men has confirmed that these images have an effect on them and their self esteem. I have never once seen a body positive meme for men or even when a man states he doesn't feel very confident he is told not to be a "p*ssy" and get over or to "man up". It is so prevalent that men are expected to not care about what anyone thinks about them. This does effect self esteem, relationships, and overall confidence. Talking with my husband about this he confirmed it even more.
With all of this in mind and one who wants to see positive change in the world I have decided to start a male portrait photography project. This project, unnamed as of yet so if you have a suggestion I'm all ears, will be me taking professional portraits of boys and men showing their worthiness to exist in pictures along with quotes from them about their experiences about body positivity and where it has failed them. My goal is to bring awareness that body positivity is not and should not be female centric and that our boys and men deserve to feel good about themselves too no matter what. I will be creating a go-fund-me platform soon where you can contribute to the fundraising of this project and get some great perks too. Eventually there will be a table top book with the images of the participants along with their quotes that will be for purchase as well.
I look forward to this journey and if you are interested in participating or know of someone that would be leave a comment and I will contact you with all of the information as soon as it is all put together.
Here's to showing our boys and men exactly how wonderful they are in all of their different aspects.