1. The Harvard women’s rugby team wanted to do their part to spread the notion of body acceptance. So they embarked, as a team, on the Rugged Grace project.
“We simply asked our teammates to write what they loved about each other, and refrained from giving much direction or expectations. From that there was an outpouring of appreciation about each others bodies, attitudes, and characters,” explained team member Shelby Lin. “I didn’t expect the process to be so emotional, but after each day I felt full of pride for the women involved and how much we respect both ourselves and each other.”
2. But the Rugged Grace project wasn’t simply about team bonding: It was also about imparting a strong message of body positivity and strength.
3. Over the course of the season, the women came to appreciate not only how strong and powerful their bodies were, but how they were able to support each other as teammates and friends.
4. “This team didn’t ask me to change anything about myself, just to love my teammates exactly as they were too,” said teammate Helen Clark.
“I hadn’t even really realized before then how many messages I was getting — that all girls get — about ways they should change.”
5. “We are hoping that people will be inspired by the photographs to celebrate their own strength and to recognize the beauty of the women in their lives,” continued Clark.
“We want to send the message that women’s bodies are not merely decorations for billboards and magazine advertisements, but rather the physical presentation of strong, powerful people.”