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30,000th Image Milestone
07/13/2016

On Monday I was excited to discover that MyBodyGallery had reached another milestone: our 30,000th user-contributed image had been uploaded. I'm the person tasked with reviewing every single image that comes through our submission interface (there are several reasons we have to screen all images prior to making them live, including…ahem…what you might guess—let’s just say this non-puritanical website admin has seen some things that garnered a formidable blush!). When I saw this upload I was incredibly pleased to see that this momentous image was typical. Completely, utterly, almost boringly typical.

 

And in its typicalness, it has power. Serious power. Because it represents thousands of other moments, when a woman looked in the mirror and grabbed her phone and snapped a picture and uploaded it to our site to share what her body looks like for the benefit of unknown others. Sure, some of the images people upload are glamorous—dressed to the nines or vacationing in some luxurious place or photographed with professional-level skill. But usually they look like this: modest, candid, unfiltered, unplanned. A bit of clutter in the corners, hanging-around-the-house clothing, no makeup, nothing fancy.

Since MyBodyGallery was founded by photographer Odessa Cozzolino in 2010, we have had visitors from every single country in the world. We average 3 to 4 million page views each month and have been graced with this kind of steady visitorship for several years. That’s a lot of people being exposed to these everyday images of women. It may be a drop in one bucket of water pulled from the giant sea of distorted and manipulated images of women in the media, but it’s not inconsiderable. So thank you, anonymous 30,000th image contributor and all who came before you and will follow you: you are helping people.

Over the past two years as the day-to-day manager of this website and its associated social media channels, I’ve witnessed an incredibly diverse group of people engage with empowering themselves to embrace body positivity and to help others do so as well. My own body image has improved, and I find myself far less judgmental of others. It’s rare to be able to work for a project that makes a difference in the world while simultaneously making a difference in your own life. I’m honored to share this news of MyBodyGallery’s longstanding success in the tech world as it continues to plug away with its modest platform, its shoestring budget enabled by advertising revenue, and its dedicated group of participants who are continually generous in sharing images of themselves in what’s become a phenomenal repository of images of what women really look like.

Anna Friedman

Creative and Marketing Director, MyBodyGallery.com

Submit Your Photos!
Calling All Real Women

The My Body Gallery project needs real Women! We need your help to develop the project and build a collection of photos that will help more women see themselves more clearly. Upload a picture of your full body. Our photo submission process also allows you to block out part of the image to protect your identity, if you wish. Please note that you must be 18 to upload a photo.

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MY BODY GALLERY QUIZ
Test your body-image awareness with our quiz! The results might surprise you...
BEGIN QUIZ
My Body Stories Hoping for Empowerment
All my adult life I've been 5'7" and weighed between 125-130 lbs. I have a small frame but had enormous breasts. I hated them. I took being slender for granted as I never dieted, ate whatever I wanted and never really had a "formal" workout plan, though I was active and I'm not a snacker. In 1994, right after I had my second child (I had gained about 30 lbs. with him and was almost down to my pre-pregnancy weight), I found out my husband of 8 years was having an affair. We divorced soon after and due to stress, I weighed in at 115 lbs. and wore a size 4. I stayed at that weight for about 4 years when I married my dear husband and had 2 more children. My weight crept up to 130 lbs., which is still well within acceptable for my height. Due to stretch marks and my giant breasts, I didn't dare wear any revealing clothing and felt quite self conscious about my body.
Strength and Empowerment
I've struggled with weight my entire life. By the winter after high school graduation, I weighed 195lbs. This was mortifying to me. Within 5 months I lost 60 lbs. by doing cardio 6 hours a week and "eating clean." I was skinny! But I hated my body composition: flabby stomach and arms, no "toned" appearance.. and the weight loss never stuck. I regained and lost 15 lbs. for probably 3 years before I regained almost all of the weight due to my dietary and exercise lifestyle being unsustainable.
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News Body Positive Inspirational Memes
At MyBodyGallery, we sometimes get fabulous images uploaded by our community members. These often lend themselves to being paired with inspirational statements. Here's a roundup of some of the ones we've created over the past year. Be inspired to search through our gallery or contribute to our amazing crowdsourced database of images of what real women look like.
30,000th Image Milestone
On Monday I was excited to discover that MyBodyGallery had reached another milestone: our 30,000th user-contributed image had been uploaded. I'm the person tasked with reviewing every single image that comes through our submission interface (there are several reasons we have to screen all images prior to making them live, including…ahem…what you might guess—let’s just say this non-puritanical website admin has seen some things that garnered a formidable blush!). When I saw this upload I was incredibly pleased to see that this momentous image was typical. Completely, utterly, almost boringly typical.
View More
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