The Female Body

Updated: Jun 8, 2020

'The Female Body" is a film photography editorial that celebrates the strength, beauty, and resiliency of the female body. It is a body of work that is inspired by every scar, dimple, and curve that women call home. It is grounded in the beauty of our diversity and unique differences. It celebrates the inherent struggle to find solitude within and learning how to be softer with ourselves. 'The Female Body" hopes to evoke feelings of gratitude and self-love for the personal, societal, and political hardships women's bodies have undergone and withstood throughout the test of time.

Shot On: 1978 Pentax ME Super, 35mm, Kodak Portra 400

Location: Toronto, ON

Photographer & Creative Director: Nikki Dicunto Production Design & Creative Direction: Gabby Bevilacqua

Models: Chantelle Blagrove, Gabby Bevilacqua, Priya Chahal, Lisa Kim and Emily Veall

Conversation Notes:

Initially, “The Female Body” started with a group of strangers who agreed to take part in a photo shoot inspired by the body intended to celebrate their home, which ended in a group of women empowered to share their stories of hardship and perseverance in finding self-love and defining what body-positivity is. While sitting around a harvest table with good food and cheap wine, we began discussing the omnipresence of unrealistic body standards - standards that force upon us the belief that we need to inherently love our selves for all our unique differences; for every imperfection, flaw, and blemish; all of the time.

Our bodies are our canvases that tell our story to the world. No two are a like. That is one of the most beautiful things about being human - we are all uniquely ourselves and no one can ever take that away. Our differences, however, can concretely set us apart from one another. What makes us different are often things that we have been told or taught to be insecure or ashamed of. Even though today body positive and self-love standards are the loudest they have ever been, we still face an inability to find accessible nude colour apparel that celebrates the beauty and diversity of skin tones and affordable sizing to fit each and every curve.

So, what was the take-away from our honest discussion about the ideals of full-formed and all-encompassing self-love and body positivity? Are they truly realistic? 

The answer is no. Even these well-intended ideas have the potential to evoke feelings of shame around our own individual experience of not loving every piece of ourselves each and every single day; for not always treating ourselves kindly; for each day we love every inch of our body — from head-to-toe, and then hate it the next. Curated lifestyles, both on and offline, lead us to believe that 100% self-love and body positivity are attainable goals and that once you’ve mastered it, the feeling will last forever. But our journey should be guided by the fact that it’s okay, not to be okay. That when we are not nurturing our mental health and well-being, we can subconsciously or consciously mistreat our physical selves and we should be learning to understand that how we feel about our body is a spectrum and the marker changes position every single day. 

Body positivity is an evolving experience of self that is all-encompassing — of mind, body, and soul. It is an intricate process that holds our ability to be vulnerable at its core. It's a life-long journey that is built on understanding, empathy, and compassion for the hard moments, and a joyous embrace for the good. As we grow and evolve, our perception of it grows with us, as well — for better or for worse. 

But, no matter how far along you are on your journey we want you to know that you are not alone. And, wherever you stand or wherever you may be — we are proud of you.

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