This British photographer encourages women to embrace their stretch marks and scars by painting gold dust on them.
Photographer Grace Elizabeth, from Essex in England, started a photo series called Gold Dust to capture women who had just given birth, reports Metro News.
“I was drawn to postpartum mothers for the project, as I feel that there is something very special about the connection between a mother and her baby,” says Grace.
“But also I feel that the postpartum period of motherhood is often not documented, or rather that when it is, the focus is on the newborn, rather than on mother and child, and their journey.”
The photographer revealed to Love What Matters that her incredible idea was inspired by the Japanese art of kintsugi, an act that involves fixing broken pieces with gold paint.
“I also know from my personal experience with friends and from meeting clients for newborn sessions, that motherhood is a really often daunting whilst still exciting time, but that it has dramatic effects on a woman’s body, and therefore that women often struggle with their own body image,” she says.
Grave reveals that while shooting these women she discovered that many of them struggle to accept and connect with their stretch marks.
“Many mothers feel body dysmorphic, and, from a mental perspective, many experience guilt and a lack of connection to their new stretch marks, scars, or other changes to their bodies, whether they are reversible or not,” says the photographer.
The women in the amazing project all posed in the comforts of their own home while Grace painted their stretch marks with body-safe paint.
The British native says most of the moms found the experience rather therapeutic because they were able to chat about what they were going through.
“I have really seen a whole range of emotions throughout the project, many of the mothers have actually told me how therapeutic it had been to shoot with me,” Grace explains.
“One of my favourite reactions was from one lady who had experienced nothing short of a difficult pregnancy.
Grace hope’s her empowering project will inspire women to embrace their bodies and see it in a new light.
“I really hope that this project has helped the women involved to see their bodies in a new light but I also hope that this allows girls, boys, husbands, fathers, and effectively men and women inclusively to see bodies in a new, un-objective way,” says Grace.
“I hope that the project has allowed people to see the real, authentic reality of a postpartum body, and I hope it has instilled positivity and confidence in not just the women who have taken part, but in those who see this project from afar.”