The EveryBeauty Project is a deeply personal and intimate series of photographs in collaboration with myself and Samantha Moss of Mossworks Photography. These powerful and ethereal images feature a diverse group of Peterborough women who live in beautiful bodies that are not equally represented in the mainstream. These stunning portraits of women emerging from water to embrace a mirror send a powerful message about the evolution to self love, and the echo of reflections speak to the reach that love has.
Moss and I first met during a photoshoot for Arthur Newspaper’s annual Self-Love Issue. I remember well how confident and comfortable she made me feel while I was at my most venerable; fat, nude and in the light of day. As a Plus Size model there is an expectation of unwavering confidence and unabashed self love. This is not so. Quite the opposite. For me, being plus size in the fashion industry means constantly reminding yourself that you deserve to be there and that your beauty not only exists but is worthy of existing. It is the process of constantly reconciling that all the mean things that are said and believed about bodies like your own are going to be converted into rocket fuel. Mostly, it is a protest. It is saying that I am here to stretch out the narrow space you have allotted for a body like mine- in print, on the runway and in life. I am here and I am going to stretch this space out to fit all the bodies that you have not yet welcomed to the table.
I had been considering a project that celebrated body diversity for sometime. After working with Moss I knew her vision and talent would match perfectly with what I had in mind. Most popular campaigns aimed at diversity fell short of inclusivity and often felt a little exploitative often novelizing the perceived flaws of the models. Her and I agreed that this would be a celebration of bodies. We put out a casting and the response was overwhelming. Ideally, we would have included many more models but this being a self funded project by two very busy people, scheduling especially challenging. Ultimately, we ended up with 5 very different bodies holding 5 very different souls that allowed for 5 very different stories to be told- all with the same sentiment; we deserve to be here, we are deserve to be seen.
This project has grown into so much more than a single series of photographs. We have plans to expand to a digital publication that aims to amplify the message of The EveryBeauty Project. Our values will be rooted deeply in diversity and inclusivity. EveryBeauty.ca will facilitate visibility and act as a soapbox for the bodies we don’t see and the voices we don’t hear. We want to work with designers, businesses and retailers to help create campaigns and advertisements that are an accurate reflection of the diverse market they are selling too. Consumers are not one size fits all. Consumers are fat, thin, tall, small, Black, Brown, asian, Indigenous, Non-Able-bodied, Hijabed, modest, nude, assistive devise using, healthy, rainbow gendered, textured hair having, scarred, hairy, not always unhealthy, Queer, tattooed and pierced- and there is room to represent every single one of us.
Too celebrate this project we are hosting The EveryBeauty Ball on Febuary 18th 8pm at Catalina’s on Hunter Street. We have an incredible lineup of performances featuring Evangeline Gentle, Celeste Terry, Emma Keat, Tessa May Smith and Samantha Beaton. The EveryBeauty Project will be on display and available for purchase with proceeds being donated to the YWCA. Admission is $10/PWYC and enters you to win one of our amazing prizes from Mossworks Photography, Glamazon Esthetics, Make-Up by Christie Reid and Mark L. Craighead Photography. Follow our event on social media for more chances to win!