All women need to love their bodies -- no matter their age.
That's the premise behind a new photo series from blogger Jes Baker and photographer Jade Beall, pegged to Baker's upcoming April 2014 Body Love Conference, being held at the University of Arizona.
Beall and Baker asked women to pose with their mothers, daughters and grandmothers, and for each woman to complete the sentence "I/We need Body Love because _______."
"As women, we are so often taught how to feel about our bodies by the women that precede us in our families," Baker told The Huffington Post in an email. "To bring them all together at different stages in life to speak about the same topic was an incredible experience for all."
Beall, known for her "A Beautiful Body" project celebrating mothers' real bodies, is dedicated to shifting how women view themselves.
"No matter our shape, most of us, yes MOST of us have a story of not feeling like we are good enough, beautiful enough, worthy enough," Beall wrote in a recent Facebook post.
Through this photo series, Beall and Baker hope to change that attitude.
"It's critical that we remember that the 'body love torch' is held high by women of all sizes, shapes, shades, and ages," Baker wrote in a blog post introducing the images. "Acts of radical self-love are executed by women from all walks of life; integral ladies of the movement may be five or 95... there is no limit."
Baker participated in the shoot with her mother and grandmother, and told HuffPost that her experience was "touching on a monumental level":
I was thrilled when my grandma agreed to participate in the shoot with my mother and I. These two women are the most influential and loved in my life. But even more than posing with them, I loved reading their response to finishing the sentence. It’s a sentence we’ve never finished together and I’m so glad to have it documented. The reality is that I’ve watched these women and their journeys my entire life. We’ve all had various experiences, joyous moments, and struggles around body love; all different and unique to us. But now we’ve come together as one group to talk about our feelings around this important subject.
The results are nothing less than stunning.
Check out five beautiful portraits from the series, and the thoughts of the participating women:
“I need body love because loving my body (stretch marks and all) is so wonderfully freeing!” -- Sara, age 31
“I need body love because it brings me to the real moment of comfort.” -- Marcia, age 60
“She needs body love because she should never have to feel body hate.” -- for Olivia, age 14 months
"I need body love because by deeply loving my body, I am holding space for for the women in my four generations to step into self-love." -- Socorro, age 65
"I need body love because it is essential to my being that I live fully and freely." -- Anna, age 42
"I need body love because I am an evolving and infinite miracle that is deserving of my unconditional affection." --Desiree, age 22
"I love my body because it has gotten me this far." -- Ofelia, age 83
"I need body love because as I get older, I realize that too much of my life was spent worrying about my body." -- Diane, age 55
"I need body love because I forget that my body is perfect because I'm healthy and alive." -- Ondrea, age 22
"I need body love because when I love myself, I have the courage to step up and accomplish my dreams." -- Shirley, age 68
"I need body love because it reminds me who I truly am... and how beautifully I was made." -- Kim, age 47
I need body love because the way I view my body impacts the way I participate in the world. And I want to live life to the fullest." -- Jes, age 27
"I need body love because I'm not satisfied with my weight." -- Irma, age 95
"I need body love because I've never been satisfied with my body." -- Roberta, age 70
"I need body love because I have wasted too much of my precious life disliking my body." -- Joanna, age 45
Check out more images from this series here.