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?
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.
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.
MyBodyGallery.com Launches User-Friendly Responsive Design Community Members Can Now Browse and Upload Images Easily on Mobile Devices Body-positivity website MyBodyGallery.com has launched a new responsive-design version of our website for our mobile-device users. Community members, especially those with smart phones, can now more easily browse and contribute their pictures to our gallery of images that enable people to see what they really look like, rather than a view distorted by unhealthy messages from advertising and the media. Nearly 30,000 images have been uploaded since the site launched in 2010. Our community of almost 62,000 registered users can now more conveniently review inspirational images and add to our ever-growing collection of diverse pictures.
I was dismayed this morning when I logged into the MyBodyGallery.com administrator dashboard to complete our regular rounds of image approvals/rejections, which includes images flagged by community members as inappropriate or otherwise problematic. An act of shameful internet “activism” had happened overnight—40 of our community members’ images had been flagged as inappropriate. Every one had been identically reported because, according to the “activist”, each image “promotes morbid obesity”. While we at MyBodyGallery.com appreciate and respect social activism (including creative internet-based forms), this type of shaming goes against everything we are working for: that ALL bodies of ALL weights can be represented in a positive manner, without shame and with transparency.
Among the most common questions we get asked is: why was my photo upload rejected? So we thought we'd put together this FAQ... (And we'll update this with some picture examples soon!) Things that will get your uploaded picture rejected:
This issue’s feature story for the newletter was going to be about our updated guidelines for picture uploads, but a little Facebook snafu provided a more provocative topic. On our Facebook page (which you should follow if you don’t already), we regularly post articles of interest about body image and body positivity. Sometimes these venture into areas that some people might consider risqué. We try to flag such articles as NSFW (not safe for work) or somehow indicate that the content might be problematic. Usually the thumbnail images accompanying articles have been chosen to be “Facebook friendly” (e.g. no female nipples), but occasionally they are borderline.
Here are some of the most popular posts and shares on our social media lately. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter to see more articles about body image and body positivity in your feeds. Join the comments and debates!
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.