1. It took Denise Jolly nearly all of her life to come to terms with her full-sized body.
2. But now the 34-year-old is an unapologetic body image activist who posed naked for this beautiful photo in downtown Brooklyn.
Jolly wanted to emulate this photo of Madonna because as a 7-year-old, “Madonna set the precedent for what [her] then-practicing Mormon, now femme, queer, body liberator self could one day become.”
She also chose the Brooklyn location because she sees weathered metal and concrete as beautiful. “It’s a metaphor for the working class girl in me as well as the parts of me that have been deemed as ugly, when in fact they play a major role in making me gorgeous,” Jolly told BuzzFeed.
3. Jolly also took part in a 30-day photo challenge online called her Be Beautiful project.
4. She posted different pictures of her body every day alongside the word “beautiful.”
5. Jolly says her inspiration for both projects is love.
6. “I believe we are all deserving of love and experiencing the various expressions of love which includes desirability and the celebration of our bodies,” she told BuzzFeed.
“I spent most of my life believing desirability was not an option for me because I am a large bodied, feminine presenting, queer woman.”
7. Jolly continued, “Our cultures socialization involving all those identities is steeped in shame, self hatred, invisibility and destruction. It is a social construct that I now know to be completely invalid and problematic.”
8. “Everything that I do in my life is about interrupting that fallacy within myself and the world around me.”
9. Her hope is that these photographs help people celebrate their bodies and the bodies of others while also examining what defines their perceptions of beauty.
10. “I want people to ask, “What happens when I say yes to loving myself exactly as I am?’”
11. Denise Jolly wants you to join her in radicalizing the worlds perceptions of beauty. Click here to learn more about Denise Jolly and her Be Beautiful project. Photo courtesy of Shameless Photography.
h/t HuffPost Women