Motherhood & the Work of “Sexy” Bodies

Motherhood & the Work of “Sexy” Bodies

Why is childbirth cloaked in secrecy and body shaming? Alice Proujansky has photographed women’s experiences of giving birth in different parts of the world. She reflects the social stigma heaped on women’s bodies after motherhood:

“We have ideas about what women’s bodies are for and it’s not this. You see a woman naked but her body is performing functions that are intense. Our culture [in the USA] has a weird thing about images of women’s bodies doing this kind of physical work that isn’t young and sexy; birth has elements of struggle, power, transformation and mortality that don’t fit with our ideas about women’s bodies: they’re ok to look at when they’re sexy but when they’re working it’s something else. Birth is uncontrolled and that freaks us out.”

Image and quote:

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