French writer Julie Pollet explains how the body positive shoot came about and how they all wish to share the good vibes with the surfing community.
The idea came from photographer Cécilia Thibier. She has shot a lot women in her job but her work for clients and the media means she is mainly working with women who have perfect bodies. Cecilia and I have worked together on different projects, in the surf industry mostly. We did a couple of fashion shoots and talked a lot about female imagery in general but also in the surfing world. We both agreed that women can not be used as objects, and that media and brands can not use our bodies to promote our sport, our lifestyle.
Beauty of woman is a poem. A woman who assumes her imperfection is even more beautiful and strong. And that was exactly what we wanted to show to the girls and especially to the surfer girls. We are not all Alana Blanchard. You can be who you want to be, surf where you want, at any age, anywhere you are from, single or with kids.
I loved spending this day with all the girls. There was a lot of kindness, compliments, fun, like a big band of girlfriends come to share a surf session, and that’s the reality.
We wanted to show the varied beauty of the line-ups and the power of women’s energy through the talented eye of Cecilia. We wanted them to fall in love of themselves, to make them glamorous and sexy (this is not a rude word). Nature offers women the chance to have a piece of art for a body, no matter the shape or the size. Any woman should have the chance to feel confident and beautiful.
I wanted to prove to myself that I could put a swimsuit (that I normally wear only under my jumpsuit) that I was not so big (I lost a lot of weight this year but still see those 21kg). Because I thought we would all be pulpy, I almost run away and I was convinced that I wouldn’t do the shoot … but damn I did it! The apprehension I felt at the beginning of the shoot disappeared very quickly and my anxiety flew away. I’m not talking about my disability, because yesterday my handicap was my weight and not my arm.
So we did a casting via Cecilia’s instagram profile. We selected 10 women aged between 25 to 34 years old. They all came to be part of this experience, to face the vision of their body through the eye of a professional photographer. We had black, curly hair, white, one with a disabled arm, a young mum, a surf beginner… they were totally happy to share the day with other women, with the mood.
During the day, the people who were around the shoot were very kind and benevolent, especially the men. We think that more confident you are, more men love us. So ladies, be yourself, accept you as you are with all your imperfections. Only you see it.
Thanks to Jenny Jane as MUA, Fred Lecoq for the water shots, and Billabong Women for the swimsuits.
I have always had anxiety about my body even more after a pregnancy. But to be in the middle of girls who do not look like the girls we are used to seeing in the magazines, everything went away. So thanks to you for showing us, for a short moment, what it’s like to be ourselves in front of the camera and to feel really nice despite our (my) curves.