A mum who photographed herself naked in a stand against body-shaming, has inspired other mothers to strip down to their underwear to help bring up their children to be body confident.
Lacey Barratt describes herself as “fiercely passionate about bodies” and her ‘Humans Uncensored Project’ features bodies in all their glory.
“My reasoning for doing this? I would rather my children see me nude, with a two finger width of muscle separation on my belly, no thigh gap and nipples down to my belly button than to create an illusion of a perfect body from social media and what society sells us with women’s extorted bodies,” she explains.
Barratt kick started the project with a self portrait.
Barratt shared the image on Facebook and Instagram on 23 March with the message:
“I have grown three humans. My body has stretched and opened three times to birth them. I have not slept in approximately five years. My breasts have nourished three humans for various amounts of time.
“I am human. I dream about boob jobs, tummy tucks and long hot showers alone. One day, I will sleep all night… on my stomach.
“My self worth is not defined by how many clothes I wear. My self respect does not hinge on having a perfect body. My relationship with God is not determined by modesty.
“I am woman.”
It wasn’t long before Barratt had her first volunteer model, who posed in nude underwear with two of her children who had drawn on her skin.
Barrett explained that her preteen was the inspiration behind this particular shoot: “I find myself getting ready to leave for places. Looking in the mirror, putting on makeup, checking myself out. Silently judging.
“Whilst I am self absorbed in myself, I fail to realise my preteen is staring at me from the open bathroom door.
“She is watching me, my body language, my facial expressions and judging me judge myself. It is hard to remember that my children are sponges and what I put out to them, they take it all in.”
Barratt’s project was initially inspired by the mixed response to Kim Kardashian’s latest naked selfie, with many saying Kardashian’s snap was less “authentic” than nude photos of women giving birth.
Barratt wrote on her blog: “I kept hearing, ‘Why is my crowning image being banned but KK can post her ass all over the internet?! She is indecent. How disgusting.’
“Hold up one minute. The same nudity that we are fighting so fiercely to normalise is the same nudity that we are shaming.
“Why does it matter if she is nude in front of her mirror or if we are posting a nude of a woman with a baby emerging from her womb?”
Barratt decided to conduct a social experiment. She took a naked selfie and posted it alongside Kardashian’s on Instagram and Facebook to see what response it would get.
“I just felt the need to say this. As a woman who actively fights Facebook and other social media platforms for censoring birth and breastfeeding images, this has bothered me,” Barratt wrote on Facebook.
“The double standard of body-shaming I have seen because Kim Kardashian posted a censored nudie of her body. Who cares? It is a woman’s body.
“Only difference is a baby isn’t hanging off her boob, so does that now make it inappropriate? No way.
“A woman’s body should be celebrated, regardless if there is a baby on the breast, or simply because, one feels like it.
“Neither one of these images are sexual. Just two women’s bodies at two very different times in their post partum walks.”
Barratt’s image recieved the same mixed reaction as Kardashian’s – with some praising her and others criticising her for her lack of “modesty” and telling her she has “self-esteem issues”.
In response Barratt wrote on her blog: “Why in your right mind would you tell a woman newly postpartum that she has self esteem issues?
“You don’t know if she has postnatal depression or if that baby was last attempt to save a burning marriage. We don’t know if a woman is just waiting to get home so she can disappear in her bathtub and never come out because it was too much to bear.
“Our words have power of life and death. We should be uniting together to lift each other up as the sustaining force behind the human race. We have all been there in some form or fashion.
“I just posted myself completely naked on Facebook. I find it amusing that you think I did it to seek your approval… I have four kids, I have been approved LOL.”
The Humans Uncensored Project is still in it’s early phases, but Barratt has big plans for the future as she want to extend the project beyond mums to include a variety of women – and men, because body-shaming doesn’t stop at women.
To become involved in the project fill in the form on Barratt’s blog or share images on social media with the hashtag #humansuncensored.