XOJane.com had a simple request: they asked readers to share candid photographs of their stomachs. And the results? They were stunning.
This collection of images of “real” women’s stomachs is poignant, powerful and very personal. There are flat tummies, bloated tummies, and scared tummies. Tummies of all shapes and sizes. But what’s really notable isn’t the wide range of bellies, but the pure honesty that comes from sharing such a personal part of one’s body. A part which many women, especially those who have carried babies in their belly, aren’t usually prone to show off.
The ones most moved by the experiment in belly baring? The contributors themselves. One woman wrote, “I was always ashamed of my belly, but everyone that has sent in their pics really inspired me.” It really does put the opinion of what you think of your own stomach in perspective.
The photos represent women who have selflessly given their kidneys, who are suffering from a myriad of ailments, a few fitness enthusiasts with flat abs, women with belly piercings, women with tattoos, and women who are proud of the life that their bellies have experienced. Their bellies make a statement of who they are and what they have been through.
For us, the most powerful were the mommy bellies — the mid sections that have seen the development of life and have the stretch marks, extra weight and c-section scars to prove it.
Check out a taste of the mommy tummies on display right here.
Jillian, 22 1 of 8"I've always been self-conscious about my belly, knowing I would never have a supermodel six pack. When my son left my belly stretched, scarred, and flapping over my groin I just knew my bikini days were done. But this deflated balloon belly sheltered and nourished a beautiful, perfect little boy and there's no shame in that! My fiancÃ© doesn't see anything to be ashamed of either - he misses my huge pregnant belly and thinks my stretch marks look cool. :)"
Abi, 30 2 of 8"My belly has been all different sizes, from gaining weight and dieting and gaining more weight and bearing three kids and dieting and gaining even more weight -- it is soft and supple and MAGIC."
Michelle, 32 3 of 8"This belly held twins- each 7 lbs! I can squish it together and make it talk to the kids :)"
Shawnna, 28 4 of 8"My daughter says that my fat is the best pillow lol. She also says that about my chesticles too, though."
Anonymous 5 of 8"I'm 32, have 2 kids...lost a little, gained a little. For once I'm happy to find pants that don't fall off my hips and I finally have a butt :) Its not all bad"
Anonymous 6 of 8"After a baby & cancer!!"
Anonymous 7 of 8"I love how no matter how much I work out or try to tone up, it only takes one big meal to look five months pregnant again. So I will always be able to pretend on front of the mirror :) I also love my 2-year-old's fleeting obsession with my belly button."
Ange, 34 8 of 8"Here is a photo of my belly being rubbed by my one of my daughters. This belly is not what it used to be before two little girls took up residence in it, but I'm slowly coming to terms with that. The fact that they like to snuggle up to it when they need comforting, reminds me of it's purpose and it's beauty."
For more fascinating images of these “real” women’s stomachs visit the growing gallery at XOJane right here.
Photos: Via XOJane.com