Laura Dodsworth reveals the Bare Reality of being a woman
It tells the raw, honest and moving stories of 100 different women aged 19 to 101 from Buddhist nun to Burlesque dancer who speak about how their breasts have affected their lives.
Laura Dodsworth, who wrote and took all the pictures for the book, said that when she embarked on the ambitious project she wasn’t sure if she was being courageous or committing creative suicide.
But from the overwhelming feedback she has received she’s knows how vitally important it was for her and the 100 other women with bra sizes AAA to K to get things off their chests.
“We see images of breasts everywhere in the media and yet ‘real’ breasts are taboo, hidden away. For the most part they just sit on my body and they don’t give me too much trouble, but to others they bring disappointment, inconvenience, and even health problems and Bare Reality embodies this.”
The Kickstarter campaign to fund the production and printing of the book reached its target in just one day and the video to accompany the project has been viewed 1.6m times.
Laura is now eager to take her message of self acceptance, reality and empowerment into schools to educate teenage girls and boys about body image.
“I hated my boobs as a teenager and I wish a book like this had been around then so I could have seen that there is no such thing as ‘perfect’,” she explained.
“I want to speak the truth with everything I do. I think we should be embracing experiences in life – media tells us we should not look like we’ve had babies weeks after giving birth. But the experience of creating life and birthing is one of the best experiences I’ve ever had.
“Why do we want to rid of the crows feet and laughter lines? I feel more powerful by accepting my experiences – I’m in my 40s, I’m a photographer and I understand how picture retouching works. I’m a woman and I don’t want to look like a girl who hasn’t lived.”
The 100 women in the book share pictures of their breasts, along with stories about growing up, sexual experience, breastfeeding, health problems, insecurities, surgery, ageing and more with £1 of every copy sold donated to Breast Cancer UK.
Laura said the response from the women who took part had been fantastic, many of whom shed their anonymity they were so proud to be involved.
“I’m nosey, I like stories and I thought that if I was going to photograph these women and tell their raw and honest stories, then I had to share mine too.
“I go into a bit about my background how growing up I did not see myself as being like the women portrayed in the media or in films – that visually perfect and airbrushed world,” she explained.
“I didn’t recognise myself in that and felt like a round peg in a square hole so it’s the positive story of transformation. If you are telling the stories of 100 incredible women then you have to realise that you are a bit as well. I hope Bare Reality makes readers reconsider how they think and feel about their own bodies, and those of the women in their lives.”
Laura, who is aiming to work on a new project next year, said she did not regret the controversy Bare Reality had caused. She added: “I would encourage women to step up into their power. There are times in your life when you will be fuelled on nuggets of self belief and determination – since doing this I feel more powerful as an artist and as a woman.”
To buy the book Bare Reality visit www.pinterandmartin.com
For postcards of photos taken from Bare Reality visit http://bare-reality.myshopify.com
Laura Dodsworth can be found Tweeting @BareReality