Big Changes Coming!
This summer, the team at My Body Gallery has been working hard to bring you an all new, user friendly, updated app. This highly popular website has been seen worldwide and featured on Good Morning America, The Huffington Post, New York Magazine, and Fitness Magazine, to name a few.
We are excited to let you know some of the changes that are coming very soon to My Body Gallery:
* A Brand New Desktop App
* User Friendly Searches
* An Easier Way to Upload and Edit Your Photos
* Saving Searches
* The Ability to Like and Mark Photos as Favorites
* The Ability to Thank other users for their submissions
* My Body Gallery Pro Accounts
* The Ability to see all your Previous Updated Images
* The Ability to Upload Images from your Social Media Accounts
* Brand New Android and IOS Apps to be added in the near future
We can't wait to share all of these exciting updates with you very soon, and we thank you for your patience during our transition, and, as always, thanks for visiting My Body Gallery!
Image Upload Guidelines FAQs
Among the most common questions we get asked is: why was my photo upload rejected?
So we thought we'd put together this FAQ...
Things that will get your uploaded picture rejected:
We appreciate that not all women wear bras, and we are HUGE supporters of projects like Free the Nipple and Bare Reality. However, female nipple exposure is still taboo in many places (especially in America), and so we will reject photos that show female nipples (this applies to nipples showing through sheer lingerie as well). You can use the handy dandy My Body Gallery anomyzation tools to block out nipples, use your own photo-editing software, or just strategically place your hands or some object over the area in question. And yes, we appreciate how incredibly hypocritical this is that men can show nipples. We can’t change the world…yet.
Sadly, as with female nipples, we abhor the fact that you can walk to your friendly neighborhood art museum and see the female form in all her naked glory, yet similar images on websites are considered inappropriate. Those darned “community standards” affect what we can approve for our website. We’re totally okay with straggly pubes peeking out (although in certain countries this is a problem). For anything more exposed than that, please have some sort of nether-region garment on or strategically place some creative prop to cover anything that might get us an “R” rating. Merely blocking out the genital region with a black blob will, unfortunately, not be sufficient.
Overtly sexualized images:
We are thrilled that many women discover a sexy side to themselves as they get more comfortable in their own skin and like to showcase that sexiness in their user uploads. However, sometimes these images cross a line into, essentially, porn. So please err on the side of “sexy” rather than “sexualized” if you would like to draw out this side of your personality via your pictures. Although it is difficult to dictate what is and is not porn, we do want to keep this a site that people can look at with their pre-teen and teenage children, so think about whether the image you are about to upload might be appropriate for that audience.
Not a wide enough camera angle:
We know how hard it can be to take selfies that show a significant amount of your body in the same frame, but My Body Gallery focuses on “the bigger picture” so to speak with respect to body photography. As such, we request that all uploads show at least 2/3 of the body. Images that stop at the waist will not qualify. A good rule of thumb is that your shoulders and hips should be visible in the photo.
So either have someone else take a picture for you; take a picture of yourself in a full-length or similarly large mirror; use a camera with a remote timer that you can put on a tripod; prop your mobile device up and use a camera-timer app; or otherwise get creative with your picture taking process! Note on our Instagram feed (@mybodygallery), sometimes less than 2/3 of the body is shown because pictures often need to be cropped to fit the square format; in these cases they are always indicated as cropped with a link to the full image on the My Body Gallery website.
More than one person:
If there is more than one person in a picture, it is impossible to tell to whom the stats apply. Although sometimes it’s clear that the other person is of another gender, and thus not the focus of attention, because we may unite the female and male databases into one cross-gender searchable option at some point in the future, we need to reject those images as well. We will make exception for children’s presence, in certain cases where they are not the focus of the image. We will also allow other people if far in the background blending in with the scenery, so to speak. We also make an exception for identical twins who are clearly the same weight/height.
We do allow images that have multiple views of the same body compiled together with editing software into one image. We not allow images in which those compiled images reflect different weights. Please upload different weight images separately.
A image focus not on your body but something else:
We are absolutely fans of My Body Gallery community members showcasing their hobbies, talents, interests, travels, etc. in your user uploads. However, your body should be the central focus of the image. Examples of non-body-focused images that will result in non-approval of your image: you holding up a sign advocating for some particular political cause (focus is on the message of the sign); screenshots from other websites tiled into an image mosaic with yours; clear product placement of some commercial product; etc.
Images that are not yours to upload:
Please don’t upload other people’s images. Because of things like copyright attributions, captions, etc. we can sometimes tell that the images are not yours. And note if we catch you doing this, it is grounds for suspending your account.
Images that are very dark:
Legibility of images is important, so images in which everything is a murky shade of dark gray will not be approved. Pull a lamp over to where you are shooting your images, stand under a streetlight, add flash, etc.
Bodies that are very tiny in comparison to the frame:
If your body takes up less than 1/9 of the frame of the picture (using the standard photographic “rule of thirds”), it is probably too small to be approved as it becomes very difficult for someone to discern the person, especially on mobile phones with their tiny screens. If you don’t know what the “rule of thirds” is, try adding one of the camera apps to your phone that let you add a grid to help you with photographic composition—these grids follow the rule of thirds. Note that you can always crop your photographs smaller to make your body more prominent in the picture; smartphones make this really easy in several ways offering photo zooming and cropping tools, as well as the capacity to just zoom in on an image and take a screen cap to create a new, tighter-focus image.
MBG, a woman owned and operated tech start up
In 2010, Odessa Cozzolino had a vision—what if women could band together to produce a crowd-sourced database of images of female bodies unmanipulated by media forces? She wondered: would it be possible to create a safe, online space where women could browse pictures that their peers took of themselves to gain an empowering assessment of the wide variety of bodies out there in the world?
As a photographer, Cozzolino had noticed that women had been demoralized by the influence of advertising and media. These forces perpetuate poor body image and mandate only one particular model for women: tall and thin; usually Caucasian; with flawless skin, narrow shoulders and hips, and large breasts. The use of photographic enhancement tools like Photoshop just make things even worse. They take women’s bodies and craft them into semi-fictionalized forms that do not transparently reflect the body that had posed in front of the camera. Only a very small proportion of women can fit this advertising- and media-preferred look in a natural or healthy way.
Cozzolino saw the damaging effects of a sense of failure in achieving this cultural ideal in the comments and body language of the women she was photographing. She did some research into body image issues, especially body dysmorphia. Cozzolino discovered that women rarely saw themselves clearly. She believed that if women could see themselves objectively, in the form of a stranger with the same statistics, perhaps they could be more realistic about their own body. With the rise of social media and crowd-sourced, internet-based projects, she realized she might be able to make a difference.
Taking a leap of faith, she came up with the name “My Body Gallery”. After securing the domain MyBodyGallery.com, with start-up spirit she hired “a guy in his garage” to build the initial website. Going live in February of 2010, the website took off wildly. It drew international media attention from mainstream to niche outlets alike, including Good Morning America, Jezebel.com, and the Huffington Post. Ever the savvy businesswoman, Cozzolino realized the site’s traffic could support enough advertising revenue to transform what began as a labor of love into a sustainable small business.
In 2014, MyBodyGallery.com had become successful enough to add a part-time employee to oversee operations. Creative and Marketing Director Anna Friedman came on board sustaining the company’s commitment to women in leadership positions. Friedman’s role continued to evolve for the company to take on tech leadership roles in addition to marketing ones. Under her guidance, the website adapted to constant changes in online advertising revenue, the move to a preference for responsive design, and a larger engagement with websites on mobile devices. While adapting to these ongoing tech challenges, it has stayed solidly in the black. Anna moved on to her tech based dream job in 2018.
Today, MyBodyGallery.com can boast of visitors from every single country in the world—16 million unique visitors in all. The site has averaged 3 million pageviews per month over its lifetime. Its nearly 75,000 registered users have uploaded over 30,000 images that fit the publication guidelines (and thousands more that didn’t). It has consistently operated profitably, covering all expenses and being able to invest in improvements such as a recent responsive redesign for improved mobile functionality. In a comparison with 21 women-run startups in a January 2017 Business Insider article, MyBodyGallery.com ranks higher in traffic than most of them on Alexa.com.
The long-term success of MyBodyGallery.com demonstrates that greater-good projects can be financially sustainable using digital advertising as a means of covering necessary costs. It is also a testament to women-owned-and-operated tech projects and the power of crowdsourced content to inspire and aid people all over the world.
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