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NSFW - Canadian Photographer Redefines Beauty, Gets Banned From Facebook

Julia Busato's Mannequin Series has been making the rounds worldwide in print, news and online. On BBC, ET! Canada, CBC, CTV and many more. The project has been the topic of a lot conversations due to the controversy it had started on Facebook.

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The Mannequin Series by Julia Busato

Tony Saxon/Guelph Today / Via guelphtoday.com

Julia Busato, based out of Guelph, Canada, has been a photographer for over ten years and specializes in Boudoir Photography. She has always been an advocate for body positivity and photographs models of all sizes and from all walks of life. The Mannequin Series is one that celebrates "women who don't want to fit the mold" (physically, mentally, literally or metaphorically) as they pose nude with a generic store mannequin which represents the standard for women.

The Mannequin Series was inspired by Tess Holliday's #effyourbeautystandards campaign and has grown to encompass much more than just body positivity. The project has become a platform for people to share their stories, visually, to promote inclusion and representation for people of all walks of life.

Attention for this project really picked up after Julia was banned from Facebook for one month due to her images violating Facebook's rules regarding nudity, even though the images have been censored before being put up. As the project has gained momentum, the hate has also picked up and there has been a growing number of negative comments on the photos online.

"The negative comments started since January 2016 but as the project has grown, so has the negativity. The images were reported 5-6 days ago.", Julia says.

The comments range from racism, misogyny, lack of understanding, hate and, of course, just trolls.

Facebook has since said that some of the photos were "accidentally removed" and reinstated a few then proceeded to take them down a day after.

Of course, the love for the project outweighs the hate and the album has been shared over almost 300,000 with loves of positive comments and people having been inspired by the project.

While most news outlets and websites have focused most of their attention on the haters, the negative feedback and body shaming/positivity, we wanted to touch base with the models and share their stories. This way the project can be shared with the intended message still intact.

Adina Ingram

Julia Busato Photography / Via Facebook: pg

Adina Ingram

Instagram: adinaingram | Facebook: aintoronto | Twitter: aintoronto

"I was participating in my second boudoir shoot with Julia when I was down to just my undies and a shirt. I was a little nervous to ask, but she immediately asked if I wanted to be in the Mannequin series. I jumped at the opportunity! Having recently been through a separation from a 21 year relationship, being out on my own for the first time and finding me for the first time, I need to do something that was 100% about loving my body and where I am in life!"

Siyobin Blanco

Julia Busato Photography / Via Facebook: pg

Siyobin Blanco

Instagram: siyobin

"I held up my fist because I am: black, queer, asian, mixed, differently abled, chronically ill, plus sized and struggling with my mental health.

Our societal standard and expectations are not made for someone like me. I want to show others who are like me that it is time to stand together. The heteronormative, ableist, imperialist, capitalist, white supremacist patriarchy wants us to stay quiet so that things don't change.

I held up my fist for those who have suffered.

I held up my fist to show that through my suffering, I have the strength and courage to keep fighting.

I held up my fist to show others that I will stand with them in the fight.

I want to give hope to those who have felt oppression, as others have given that hope to me.

Now, more than ever we need to stand strong, stand our ground and hold up our fists to show that we stand together in the fight for equality."

Read the rest of Why I Held My Fist Up

Leslie Shapiro

Julia Busato Photography / Via Facebook: pg

Leslie Shapiro

Instagram: thenakedharpist

"In a society which lacks intergenerational communities, Facebook is an accessible platform for much-needed examples of healthy body image, diversity, and self-expression."

Angela Bruzzese

Julia Busato Photography / Via Facebook: pg

Angela Bruzzese

Facebook: Core Magnificence

"I chose to be part of the mannequin series because I do not fit societies expectations. I'm not married and have no children at the age of 41. I spent my whole life fearing vulnerability and my own internal power. That all changed a few years ago when I went on a women's retreat and made peace with my fears. I want all women to stand up and be who they are. Own your inner power and share it with others to inspire them to do the same. Only through doing this can we change the world."

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure" - Marianne Williamson

D'eve Archer/Saturdae Jonez

Julia Busato Photography / Via Facebook: pg

D'eve Archer / Saturdae Jonez

"As a black female growing up in a small town, I never did fit in. Leaving my hometown to University I wanted a fresh start and a clean slate. #tabularasa

I forced myself to love every part of me inside and out, the battle still continues. Even when bullied that I wasn't "black" enough by my university peers, because of where I came from, I stayed confident and took every blow. #toowhitewashed

I moved to Europe and began to write new music about these struggles and birthed a new persona: Miss Saturdae Jonez. I met with Julia when I moved home and became a part of this series, and always mourned the fact that I've never felt like I've really fit in. Julia Busato helped me realize unique women like us DON'T NEED fit any "mold"."

"I want to stand out, sing and shout, and let the world know that I will not be torn down by discrimination, racism, jealousy or hatred." ~ Saturdae Jonez

Brittney Robitaille

Julia Busato Photography / Via Facebook: pg

"Everyone has their own birth story and I have mine Children change your mind body and soul when you choose to have them. It's no longer about your wants and needs anymore it's about this little human that's going to depend on you to keep them safe and to raise them in a healthy happy loving home.

Everybody always asked me what is your birth plan and my response was my birth plan is to get the baby out. I was in labour for five days and after those five days and eating 4 pre-cooked chickens and doing hundreds of laps around my house I decided that I needed to go to the hospital Our son was born in Fergus Ontario because the local hospital was on redirect because they were so busy. I got to the hospital it was around 730 in the morning that's when they broke my water I was 2 cm dilated and I wasn't moving at all they give me my epidural and Pitocin they came back to check me at around 1130 it was then that they decided to up my Pitocin because I was at a complete standstill they said they would come back at around 130 to check me to see if I had made any progress when they came back I was still at 2 cm and I had to ask the question that scared me the most what are we looking at here are we looking at a C-section and the response I got was the response I feared the most the answer was yes so I had to get myself together put all my fears aside and prepare myself for the most scariest thing for any mother who was hoping for a natural no medicated birth

At 2:25 Tuesday, September 27, 2016 Mason Walter Thomas Robitaille was born weighing 8 lbs. 10 oz. it was the absolute most amazing day of my entire life and the fact that I had to have a C-section to have him wasn't a big deal to me once he came out the scar thats across my stomach and the 14 staples they had to use to put me back together is something that every time that I look at it will always be a reminder of the day I became a mother."

Chelsey Cengija-Wilks

Julia Busato Photography / Via Facebook: pg

Chelsey Cengija-Wilks

Instagram: chelseymariecw

"My experience with Julia has been amazing, with every single shoot. I have never met someone who is so compassionate about her work and that alone inspires me. This shoot was about me confronting the fact that I'm a biracial 23 year old who is Jamaican-Yugoslavian, and facing the fun reality of accepting my body and loving my body as a whole. It's hard and this shoot empowered me to push through my trials and tribulations, and express the importance of self love with your body, mind, and soul."

Nicole Reyes

Julia Busato Photography / Via Facebook: pg

Nicole Reyes

"I chose to participate in the Manny [mannequin] Series because I was tired, I still am tired of hating my body. I shame my body in the same way that society does. I may even be harsher toward it. I met Julia for the first time at her studio and within 30 minutes I was naked and for those few minutes that she shot my pictures, I didn't hate my body. Thank you, Julia."

“I used to think I was the strangest person in the world but then I thought there are so many people in the world, there must be someone just like me who feels bizarre and flawed in the same ways I do. I would imagine her, and imagine that she must be out there thinking of me, too. Well, I hope that if you are out there and read this and know that, yes, it’s true I’m here, and I’m just as strange as you.” - Frida Kahlo

Erin Stuart

Julia Busato Photography / Via Facebook: pg

Erin Stuart

"I’ve never felt like I was part of the traditional mold, I’ve tried to march to the beat of my own drum. At age 34 things took a change that I always feared would happen, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. After a years worth of hospital visits, I opted for surgery with reconstruction. This was my choice. I felt by doing this series I could help someone who was going through an experience similar to my own. Be comfortable in your own skin, no matter the battle scars we have, they are ours and they don’t define us. "

Carly Taylor-Scott

Julia Busato Photography / Via Facebook: pg

Carly Taylor-Scott

Instagram: 1fitbitch

"There has been so many negative responses to this collection and it's shocking and very sad. I have gotten some messages asking why am I in this project cause I have "the perfect" body.

My photo wasn't about showing my body and having it compared to the mannequin or anyone else it was an opportunity to show myself as strong. I am a strong and confident woman. Growing up I had the odds of becoming successful against me, as I was a high school drop out and covered in tattoos.

To me, my picture is saying "I did it", I am a fighter. I can and will have anything I want. I have worked hard for everything I have, was not handed things in life. I am very proud of that. I have the heart of a lion, and no one will ever be able to take that away from me. I am successful beyond my expectations because I have an unshakable belief in myself.

All of the women in this collection have a story; you are privileged that they are letting into that world even if it's just for a second. So before you judge someone else on their looks, go take all your clothes off and stand in the mirror and say it to yourself first."

Amanda Toth

Julia Busato Photography / Via Facebook: pg

Amanda Toth

Instagram: amandatoth27 & amandaxoplus

I met Julia through one of my best friends and I'm so proud to be apart of this. Julia has this amazing thing about her that just makes you feel comfortable and any insecurities you have disappear . It's ok to be seen and love yourself the way you are right now . we are not cookie cutters ! Everybody is different in their own unique beautiful way

Gail Jordan

Julia Busato Photography / Via Facebook: pg

Gail Jordan

Facebook: Gail Jordan Official | Instagram: cammydoll

I've been a big girl all my life and have had to battle negative views of not only my body type but also my dark skin. I learned to embrace myself in my youth, I became ill with psoriasis four years ago and couldn't colour my hair anymore which left me with a silver patch... I couldn't go out and I morphed into an unrecognisable shell of my former self. I had to dig deep within myself to see my beauty. I have gone into remission, and now I encourage people and help them with body confidence issues, ageism, depression and chronic illness. I'm honoured to be a part of this series. Julia has been helping people feel good about themselves for many years, and its time to spread body confidence to everyone we can reach.

Hayley Kellett

Julia Busato Photography / Via Facebook: pg

"Working as a performer for the last decade of my life has lead me to have the same conversation over and over again: maybe if you looked a little different, you'd have more success. I was asked to wear a turtle neck on stage so my body didn't "distract" the audience. I had a partner tell me "maybe if you were a few inches smaller we would have worked out". I've been told to hide my freckles with make up. Keep my hair a natural colour so people would find me more believable. It was more important that my physical appearance was a representation of what my employer wanted, rather than who I was. Sadly, I bought into that idea. I let people tell me what to wear, say and do. I was letting them shove me into their mold. Hiding my identity seemed to be the way to get ahead, which is completely insane. In June 2015 I was raped by a man I had known for 7 years. This experience doesn't define me - though people tried to label me that way. I decided to stand up for myself. I quit my job, dyed my hair pink and started talking loudly about consent and sharing my story. Opening up to others encouraged them to share their stories with me, many had been silent for years for fear of judgement. I was proud of who I was. Who I am. From that moment on I refused to step in to anyone's cookie cutter idea of who I was supposed to be. I encouraged other woman to break their own molds. Now I am a co-owner of a comedy theatre and improv training centre downtown Guelph that focuses on creating community through comedy. Celebrating our differences through acceptance, joy and listening. I get to lead by example. Julia has provided us with a platform to do that with her Mannequin Series. I'm proud to be involved."

Jennifer Thatcher

Julia Busato Photography / Via Facebook: pg

Jennifer T

"I looked at my photo and saw that some guy had a one word comment "obesity". I read through the comments below where someone else made some disparaging remarks about him in return. I thought well, this drives this whole series home. It's body shaming at its worst. Like a domino effect. This needs to change! I knew I was obese, lol. This is not a news flash. It does not define who I am! I am a happy and healthy woman with a full life and I am not the norm! I work hard to be my best version of ME every day. It is not always easy, but it's not for someone else to impose their limited beliefs on me!

This project has brought a number of things forward for me emotionally and couldn't have come at a better time in my life. I am thankful to have had the opportunity to be ABLE to participate and definitely help people to step out of their comfort zones. This is always where the magic happens!

I believe what you put out into the universe will come back to you and it might not be an easy journey and it might be rough getting there, but it all happens for a reason. We were all brought together in this project for a reason. And if that is to get the message out there and make this go viral, we will get past the haters."

Freya

Julia Busato Photography / Via Facebook: pg

Freya

"To the strangers online who reacted to my photo with love and acceptance, thank you. I will wear your kind words like a badge of honour on a body that has grown weary of hating itself."

Rebecca Balaz

Julia Busato Photography / Via Facebook: pg

"I interpreted this series to be about women "Who Don't Want To Fit The Mold" as more about personality, rather than body shape, and I think Julia's images capture each model's personality in an amazing way. I was rather surprised when most of the reactions are about appearance, but also relieved to realize that any negative comments I received didn't really bother me. The number of comments I've received from people who were inspired by my willingness to participate in this project has really made me feel really happy to be a part of this project."

Lorna Gillis

Julia Buato Photography / Via Facebook: pg

Lorna Gillis

"I tend to be anything BUT political, but reading through some of the comments that have clearly led to some of the photos being removed and to Julia's account being suspended I can't help but shake my head. The ignorance and hate that's been spewed have been mind boggling.

Thankfully, the positive comments outweigh the negative. This is an important series that shouldn't be censored, banned or deleted.

I'll share with you what I shared with Julia: I am so proud and honoured to be part of this beautiful series that uplifts beautiful, brave, strong women (and men) of all shapes, sizes, heights, ages, ethnicities, religions and sexualities. I am almost 50 and this has not always been my body. Loving myself has become a struggle, but Julia has found ME. I am still beautiful, I am still sexy and I am (and will continue to be) strong."

Jasmin Povelofskie

Julia Busato Photography / Via Facebook: pg

Jasmin Povelofskie

"We are each so unique in our beauty, no matter what. Thank goodness for amazing humans like Julia who help us realize and embrace it!"

Jen Van Lankveld

Julia Busato Photography / Via Facebook: pg

Jen Van Lankveld

"When my marriage ended, it was the lowest point of my life. I no longer fit the 'mould' I had envisioned for myself: a wife, a partner, a mother. It was a struggle not to look at my life as a failure or a reflection of someone not worthy. Starting over in my thirties, with kids, was a daunting thought, especially on a sexual level. Over a decade with one person had a built in safe, familiar and comfortable space. Re-entering the dating world with small breasts, stretch marks, cellulite, a few extra pounds and the dreaded "Mom paunch" was terrifying. Who would want me now? I was guarded and certainly didn't think I fit society's view of a desirable woman.

But I have come a long way. I still don't love every part of me but I know my imperfections don't define me. I am an absolute delight and absolutely worthy."

Jen Mixer

Julia Busato Photography / Via Facebook: pg

Jen Mixer

Instagram: jmixer

"I did this for the girl who thinks she isn't good enough, or loveable, or worthy of attention of any sort. I'm here to tell you, you're beautiful, and I will always stand up for you."

Katrina Schwartz

Julia Busato Photography / Via Facebook: pg

Katrina Swartz

"I am a Stage 3 breast cancer survivor, the only difference in my photoshoot is that the mannequin has breasts and I don't right now. Both of us are beautiful in our own way inside and out."

Laura Giovannucci

Julia Busato Photography / Via Facebook: pg

Laura Giovannucci

Instagram: lauraguccimama

"I knew of Julia Busato because of this little thing called the internet. I finally had the absolute pleasure of working with her, a fun and creative shoot, a few years back and when there was an open call for the Manni series I jumped in my car and flew over. I can count on one hand how many times I have met this woman, but she is such a raw and pure soul that you feel like you've known her forever. I have not even come close to self-love yet, but the second you step into Julia's studio it's like therapy...you feel like you can take on the world. She's special."

Megan Hack

Julia Busato Photography / Via Facebook: pg

Megan Hack

Instagram: plussize_megz

"The reason I wanted to be a part of this beautiful mannequin series is to say a big fuck you to fat phobia, beauty standards, body/health policing! I do this for those women and men who don't think they are beautiful at any size or shape. Bodies are beautiful; I love that we are all created differently, and that's what makes us gorgeously unique! That should be celebrated and not hated upon; society needs to stand up and change the way we think, stop judging, shaming and hating! From our stretch marks to our rolls and scars our bodies are our story, and I am so very thankful for mine. Body positivity has educated me, made me grow as a woman, made me love myself that much more. All bodies are good bodies! It's been a journey for me and it's ongoing, there are times I struggle, but I fight for those that don't have the confidence that I have. I fight for that little girl or boy, man or woman who don't think they fit in, who don't love themselves because they have been bullied about their bodies and shamed and taught that they don't fit the mold. I fight against the diet industry's that tell us we aren't good enough if we all woke up one day and realized our worth they would all be out of business. The comments on my photo prove this world needs more love and less judgement, it goes to show we have a lot more work to do. Here's to loving ourselves a little more and holding ourselves a little tighter"

Meghan Barbour

Julia Busato Photography / Via Facebook: pg

Meghan Barbour

"Ever since I had my children - more specifically my boys - I’ve had a huge problem with body image. After having my last son I just didn’t bounce back quite the way that it did when I had my daughter. I am about 15 lbs heavier than I would like to be, I have some rolls around the centre, I never had a big bust to begin with but now its even smaller, stretch marks, cellulite, my hips are much wider. I could go on and on. I just have not felt comfortable in my own skin. I know that I can’t be the only one out there who feels like this from time to time. What kind of message of body image have I been inadvertently sharing with my daughter? I had forgotten who I am. I am a child of God and I am made in his image. I have been a Christian for many years. And while it is so easy to believe so many of God’s promises, why was it so hard for be to believe that he has made me and that I am beautiful? Psalm 139:14 says I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. So, I have made a promise to myself to really and truly believe this for my life. My value comes from my creator. Doing this photo has really made this ring true, loud and clear. Thanks so much for your beautiful work Julia and for showing women everywhere that it’s not one size fits all."

Paje Honor

Julia Busato Photography / Via Facebook: pg

Paje Honor

Instagram: honor_beauty | Facebook: Honor Beauty

"Not everyone will see your beauty. Not everyone wants to. In fact, some people will go out of their way to make you feel bad about yourself. They might not know you or your story. They might not know that you are a wonderful human being or why you decided to take part in this amazing series of powerful images. They do however have issues with themselves. They have self-growth to do and self-acceptance to find. Instead of focusing on the tiny amount of negativity being sent your way (we all deal with it in some areas of our lives) why not rejoice in all of the love and beauty that surrounds you every day. You only get one life, live it for yourself and try to bring a smile to people's faces whenever you can."

Samantha Landry

Julia Busato Photography / Via Facebook: pg

Samantha Landry

Instagram: samanthaeee

"My motivations to participate in this amazing series originated from a space of ambivalence about my body’s worth. My body (both its insides and outside) and I have had trouble getting along over the past couple of years, and I have been trying to reframe my thoughts about it to focus on all the wonderful things that it does and feels. I have also been thinking a lot about the relationship between sexualization of the female body and bodily autonomy. While some believe that any woman who chooses to bare it all is inherently oppressed or victimized, others believe she is actively conveying certain messages about herself. When considering bodily autonomy we need to respect not only what a person is choosing to do with their body, but also the message(s) they are choosing to send/not send. I am so thankful for the opportunity to be a part of such a transformative work and am still navigating all of my own ideas around it."

Sandra Walsh

Julia Busato Photography / Via Facebook: pg

Sandra Walsh

"As a woman in my mid-50’s who has struggled with body issues all my life, participating in Julia’s Mannequin series was my way of sharing that age and body shape do not define our beauty or inner power. Our “imperfections” are what make us unique, and our struggles make us stronger. Julia’s photos uncover our strength and let our natural beauty shine through. What an amazing gift!"

Sapphyre Poison

Julia Busato Photography / Via Facebook: pg

Sapphyre Poison

Instagram: sapphyrepoison

"As a non-binary, genderfluid performance artist, I am honoured to be included in this series expressing self-love and confidence. It's not easy to bare yourself for the world to see and as someone is not accepted in either gender it was an extremely heart-warming experience. I love to represent those in between the gender binaries in both my art and my appearance."

Sarah Miller

Julia Busato Photography / Via Facebook: pg

Sarah Miller

Instragram: journeyofsarahmiller

"When I was 38yrs old my life flipped upside down. I went through a nasty separation, which led to reconciliation after months of counselling. Shortly after, my father in law passed away of a sudden heart attack, my mother was placed on life support 2 weeks later during her battle with COPD. She fought and survived, followed by 5 more times of on and off. While dealing with the ups and downs of my mother and her terminal ailment, my brother was incarcerated and it left me alone to deal with as my husband was still struggling with the loss of his own parent. I found myself turning to food for comfort. What I also did not know, was that my sister was now having a serious battle with her own depression. A few days before Christmas in 2015, my sister left this world to find her better place. My mom passed away 2 weeks later from her lung disease.

I went from 5'7" and a 145lb frame to 212lbs. I have battled inside my heart and my mind to find a place where I could just be me and be accepted no matter what. This past year has been a roller coaster as I try to get the weight off. It certainly doesn't come off the way it went on. It's damn hard work.

I've received such amazing comments with support on this photo where I have never felt more powerful or beautiful, and then others where I have been told to die, told I am ugly and to never model again. One told me I clearly had heart disease and shouldn't be promoting the fact that I am fat.

So to the world, let it be known that I have finally accepted myself. I am strong, I am healthy, I may have extra pounds on that I don't want, but I am alive! My fitness has had a 360, I am 3x stronger than I was before. I own it."

Jenn Curtis-Cubbidge

Julia Busato Photography / Via Facebook: pg

Jenn Curtis-Cubbidge

Instagram: jenncubby

"The female body is amazing in what it can do, and that deserves to be showcased. Women shouldn't be shamed for their bodies. I want my daughter to be proud of herself and not ashamed of her body just because someone told her it's not perfect"

Taylar Dobbie

Julia Busato Photography / Via Facebook: pg

Taylar Dobbie

Instagram: taylardobbieart

"With my mannequin, I wanted to visually honour the beauty of the female body and soul. The softness of it, the fertility, the strength, the individuality, the ever-changing definition of beauty. I gave my mannequin life through my paint and a brush. While painting my mannequin I allowed the design to build organically, flowing over the three-dimensional shape.

I chose to be a part of the mannequin series to exercise my own vulnerability in hopes to inspire others. I grew up with a lot of insecurities biased on my lack of shape. I grew under the impression that no one would find me beautiful because of my small chest and hips. It hadn’t been until the last couple years that I’ve begun to feel at home in my body and embrace what makes me beautiful. Being a part of this series is a way for me to reach out to other young girls who don’t feel like they fit the mood and will never be good enough. Because that is so wrong. We’re are all beautiful, it's our differences and hearts that make us great."

Taylor Williams

Julia Busato Photography / Via Facebook: pg

Name: Taylor Williams

Instagram: tayliums

"For so much of my life, I felt like diabetes was something hidden from my world, something that people sympathized with but never truly understood. Sometimes I would just sit back and feel like I was completely alone, fighting myself and my body while everyone around me just couldn't understand. My body changed with my conditions and I struggled to love it, both inside and out. It was a war between me, myself and I, and of course, one part of me would always lose. It was a struggle that highlighted my growing years and dictated my life. It took a long time to come to this point in my life, but I am so lucky that this time is finally upon me. I will never stop fighting, but I am so happy with myself and where my journey has brought me. My flaws and my fight had made me into who I am today, and I will forever be grateful.

Type 1 diabetes is something that's not often talked about, although we hear about diabetes in the media, it is almost always referring to Type 2. When we do hear about Type1 It's unfortunately wrought with inaccuracies. I wanted to remind people that we are here, and we are proud of the battles we fight. Fellow T1s, stand tall and be proud, for we are here, and we are warriors."

Janelle Ziegler

Julia Busato Photography / Via Facebook: pg

Janelle Ziegler

Instagram: hellabellafabulous

"I decided to this because I'm tired of seeing women torn apart and spit out. I'm heartbroken over the way women are abused for not "fitting the mold". Women are beautiful! And, they are soft, and firm, and tall, and short, and scarred, smooth, and elegant. Every body is a "good body". Everybody and EVERY BODY is beautiful and worthy just as they are.

We're building an army. Come fight with us!"

Shelly McKee

Julia Busato Photography / Via Facebook: pg

Shelly McKee

Instagram: mckeeshelly

"I wanted to be a part of the mannequin series because I finally feel like I am blooming from my post-bicycle crash state. I used to race on the road and track until life changed for me. Julia was able to pull this beauty out of me that I've never seen. I would have never embraced getting my picture taken with no clothes on and covering most of my body with just a mannequin in front of me but, with Julia's help in hearing my story of my new, organic life she made me feel absolutely comfortable doing this. I painted the mannequin with my favourite colours and embraced its curves. I'll be forever grateful for finally meeting Julia. A great soul."

Erica Rudd

Julia Busato Photography / Via Facebook: pg

Erica Rudd

Instagram: i.am.slamoiselle

"As a younger adult, my mother put a lot of pressure on me to weigh myself. For what? So I could fit a certain "mold"? No thank you! This caused me to fixate on numbers in an unhealthy way, to the point of where I had no use for a scale. I wanted nothing to do with such an "evil" tool that could make or break my day.

Now, the numbers that are on the scale don't mean shit to me. My happiness is based on what my body can do, not how much it weighs. My body can do some pretty incredible things, and so can yours.

The mannequin experience has been one of the most inspiring things I have done and seen. I am so grateful to be part of such a powerful movement."

Jewelz Mazzei

Julia Busato Photography / Via Facebook: pg

Jewelz Mazzei

Instagram: jewelzjourney

"For me, being a part of the mannequin series offered me the chance to say how I felt in a single photo with no words needed. It gave me an opportunity to tell people that there is more than one type of body in this world and that my body isn't the problem. The problem is a society that only showcases one body type as "good"."

Tammy Kinani

Julia Busato Photography / Via Facebook: pg

Tammy Kinani

Instagram: tammykinani

"I was always an admirer of Julia's work, being short, dark, and tattooed I have a deep appreciation for what she does. For a long time, like many others, I absolutely hated my body. Even now I can't say that I completely love my body, but I accept that it's what I have, and hating it will get me nowhere. Self love is a journey, and that's one of the reasons I did this shoot. Being naked is one of the most vulnerable states one can be in, having that on display is extremely nerve wrecking, but incredibly invigorating!

I was so ecstatic when I was asked to be a part of the Mannequin series, it's not only a chance to break out of my comfort zone, but a chance to empower others like me to do the same."

Jennifer Sorbara

Julia Busato Photography

Jennifer Sorbara

"I don't remember a time in my life that I have felt worthy, a time when I have looked in the mirror and liked what I saw looking back at me.

I have dealt with bullies, childhood and domestic abuse, mental health issues, eating disorders, and a laundry list of things that tried to stop me, but on the very top of all of those things lies the reality that in my head I wasn't good enough.

When I saw this series, the women who where empowered enough to take it all off and stand strong and proud, I knew this was something I had to be a part of not only for myself but for my girls.

My girls are growing up in a world filled with unnatural expectations, a society that even at their young age is telling them who they need to be, what they should say, how they should act and how they have to look, and even who they should love.

I realized that after everything I have done, everything I have sacrificed to protect them from growing up the way I did, I couldn't protect them from the image the world projected onto them.

I removed my mask and came out from hiding to show them that no matter what life throws at us, despite our battle wound, we are strong, we are kind, and we are important just the way we are!"

Nicole

Julia Busato Photography / Via Facebook: pg

Nicole

"Between an estranged father to ex boyfriends and social "norms", I spent the majority of my life striving to be the perfect version of a woman so that I would be desirable and not be left behind or cheated on. It did just the opposite. I pushed so hard to live up to ideals of what a female should be that I lost sight of myself and began to hate myself for not being good enough. For not being woman enough. When did having long hair define me as beautiful? When did being a trophy wife become a goal? Why did I strive to be everything at the expense of feeling like I was nothing? Over the past 5 years, I've started to learn that I am not defined by science or emotion or interpretation that is anyone's but my own. What I can or can not do is for me to find out and to assess and I wish that others could see that. For both me and for themselves."

Charlene LeBlanc

Julia Busato Photography / Via Facebook: pg

Charlene LeBlanc

Instagram: chucky667

"Even though I consider myself to be a fairly confident woman, as far back as I can remember there was rarely a day that went by that I didn't have a negative thought about my body image. I think this is, unfortunately, common for so many women. The struggle for "perfection" is always there. We are even willing to do outrageous and potentially harmful things to our bodies to reach "perfection." Being a part of this series has helped me feel at peace with my body as it is, to see the true beauty in it, and it's also helped stop those insidious negative thoughts."

Tanya Mazziotti

Julia Busato Photography / Via Facebook: pg

Tanya Mazziotti

"I wanted to participate in this series to embrace myself. To remember the things I used to love and celebrate about myself. I also wanted to be a source of positivity to any young woman who looked at the collection. A reminder that society does not dictate her worth or her happiness.

I forgot I had a radiant smile. I forgot I had an infectious laugh. I forgot I was sexy. I forgot I had worth.

Julia made me laugh. Julia made me comfortable. Julia made me remember.

I don't know if I will ever be in a place of pure self-love but participating in the mannequin series set me back in that direction!"

Krystle Steele

Julia Busato Photography / Via Facebook: pg

Krystle Steele

Instagram: krystlesteele

"When Julia first mentioned that I should be part of the mannequin series, my first thought was "Why? I look like the mannequin". But then it got me to thinking about the mannequin and what she represents. She became more symbolic than literal to me and really made me think about what defines me as a woman.

I am a young woman who has been working in the automotive industry for the last 5 years. I have to prove myself daily and overcome prejudice from not only men but, women also. Sometimes it's mentally exhausting, but the number of people that tell me how cool it is to see a woman doing this job, or how their daughter didn't realise that a girl could do this work and is now inspired, is what really makes it worthwhile.

Julia has really helped me realise that I am defined by more than just my body, and for that, I am so grateful."

Jesse Jane

Julia Busato Photography / Via Facebook: pg

Jesse Jane

"Julia is one of my sisters. She asked me to be a part of this series as a way to help me. I've struggle with depression, anxiety and weight issues, and still do.

This picture is a way of showing my struggle with mental illness is real. It reveals something of myself in my most vulnerable state. Not fitting the mold, both physically and mentally. Julia helped me see the beauty in myself, the way that I am. I will always be thankful to her for that, and proud to be in this series."

Julia Busato

Please share the album and spread body positivity! Let us know what you think about the project.

Julia is looking for a male mannequin like Lucy (the female torso) to expand her project and support positivity for men, as well.

Follow Julia online:

Facebook: Julia Busato Photography | Instagram: juliabusatophotography

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