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This Photographer Is Asking People To Pose Nude In The Name Of Body Love

"This is me. This is my body. These are my experiences. I don't need permission to exist." NSFW

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This is artist Anastasia Kuba. A former topless dancer, Kuba had a revelation in her mid-twenties about how society ties the idea of worth to physical appearance, and began using photography to make a change.

Kuba's subjects are a mix of folks she knows, and ones she's found through social media — which, to her delight, have turned out to be an amazing array of people.

Read Reb and Justin's story here, and Taylor's story here.

"In terms of race, gender, body type, and economic status, my subjects are very diverse," Kuba told BuzzFeed. "For three months, I photographed two or three people a day; it's been a very intense experience."

Read Mason's story here, and Crystal's story here.

Since Nothing but Light centers largely around consent, Kuba attempts to help balance the power dynamic between photographer and subject by inviting participants to photograph her.

Read Anastasia's story here, and Cecelia's story here.

"I recognize how difficult and scary publicly stripping down is," Kuba told BuzzFeed. "So anyone can cancel their participation in the project at any moment for any reason."

But that's not the hardest part, according to Kuba. After each shoot, she asks subjects to write about their experiences — which is when things get really complicated.

Read Justin's story here, and Sankara's story here.

"I don't tell people what they should write about," Kuba said. "Most people have told me writing is harder and more vulnerable than being photographed. It took me weeks to write my statement, so I get it."

"When many people publish their nude photos on internet, the first thing they worry about is how it's going to affect their career," Kuba said. "But some subjects have participated specifically to prove that they can be naked on internet and be professional at work, and one has nothing to do with the other."

"If there's a common thread between my subjects and myself," Kuba told BuzzFeed, "it would be that we all struggled with a deep conviction that we are unlovable at some point, and that to be lovable we have to change, hide, pretend, perform."

Read Kyle's story here, and Niko's story here.

"The truth is, feeling that we aren't enough has nothing to do with our looks. It's the result of trauma we've gone through that inflicted shame, and forced us to hide from others to protect ourselves from hurt."

Read Wendy's story here, and Daisy's story here.

"We all deserve to be open," said Kuba. "This project is surgery, in a way — a person removing their layers and saying, 'This is me. This is my body. These are my experiences. I don't need permission to exist.'"

Read Tatyana's story here, and Rachel and Raymond's story here.

Kuba explained to BuzzFeed that there are still a few areas in which Nothing but Light could represent a broader range of people, including age and ability.

Read Matt's story here, and Isobel's story here.

"Most of my subjects are under 45, which I think has to do with using Facebook to find people," Kuba said. "There are a few people with visible disabilities in the project, but as an able-bodied 32-year-old, I have to work harder to connect with both of those communities."

"This project has helped open my heart," said Kuba. "I have started talking more freely about my feelings, despite the fear of rejection that I still have. It's changing me as we speak."

Read Dana's story here, and Boysinberry's story here.

"I am amazed by the community this project has created," Kuba said. "A lot of people have helped me; I've been funded by the community, and my subjects are volunteers. The people I've photographed have been very supportive towards each other."

Read Carson's story here, and Sierra's story here.

"Each time I have been banned from Facebook for nudity, my subjects have stood up for me, posting the photos I took of them in protest. Everyone who's written about the project has gone out of their way to make sure they correctly represented our intentions. Every day, I get letters of support from people all over the world."

"In the beginning, it was just an idea — an internal impulse — and I didn't know how would be received, or if people would care. But people cared. A lot. And that is amazing."

Read Miette's story here, and Joss's story here.

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