These Two Women Are Encouraging Women To Bare Their Butts
By Megan Flemmit, photography courtesy of Instagram
“An ode to woman expressing the beauty of ALL our bums.”
From Sir Mix-A-Lot’s ‘Baby Got Back’ (I like big butts and I cannot lie…) to Jennifer Lopez’s ‘Booty’, countless songs have been written in appreciation of the female behind. But even with all the constant encouragement to flaunt our ass-ets, many women hate their backsides. Creators of the (French for 1001Butts) are trying to change the way we as women perceive our butts. “The butt seems to be the body part women hate the most, and we still don’t understand why since it’s so soft, sensual and beautiful,” they told .
The artistic duo is comprised of professional photographer Emilie Mercier and artistic director Frederique Marseille. Based in Montreal, the pair have been best friends for 15 years. “We’ve seen each other and our bodies change from childhood to adolescence and adulthood from being girls to women, ” says Emilie.
In November 2014, they began photographing women’s butts. None of the photos display the woman’s face or reveals their identity. “By photographing anonymous bodies, we try to picture the beauty in every shape, the beauty in female identity,” they explain on their . The project would also be a way for them to learn to accept their own bodies. “We thought, if we see 1001 feminine behinds, we will surely end up thinking that ours aren’t so bad,” explains Frederique.
The duo are trying to create a visual poem by capturing a diverse range of butts from women all over the world. In 2015, they started a to raise money for them to travel the world and capture butts of all ethnicities. Women wanting to volunteer to pose for the pair sign up by joining a . Once all 1001 photos have been collected the pair will create a photography book showcasing all the photos.
Emilie says that each woman’s shoot is different. “We meet women who share their inner selves automatically and easily, but we also meet women who are a bit more shy, but when they finally uncover, they come alive and something special happens,” she says.
But sharing their work comes with issues of its own. In 2015 Facebook deleted the project’s fan page because of ‘pornographic content’, while Instagram continues to censor individual posts. “How can body positivity projects like ours and so many others share their feel-good images if they are always deleted,” the pair questioned in an Instagram post.
Body positive projects like 1001Fesses are great reminders that we’re flawless exactly the way we are. In the 2017 WH Naked Survey South Africa, 59% of women said they felt encouraged to see all kinds of shapes being accepted.