A photographer is making a powerful point to normalize menstrual blood.Jade Beall, a mother based in Tucson, Arizona, took to Instagram earlier this year to share a image of herself bleeding freely through her white pants.In accompanying caption, the photographer, who has in the past captured the unedited beauty of women’s bodies to encourage them to embrace their appearances, explained how women are told on a daily basis that their bodies’ natural functions are distasteful.
‘This self portrait is a diagram of how world reminds me every single day how gross I am,’ she wrote.Beall then pointed out that along with menstrual blood, cellulite, fat rolls, small breasts and pimples are all deemed ‘gross’, even though changing them sometimes requires extensive treatments that can have serious consequences.She also highlighted how people tend to think of menstrual blood as taboo, although they have no problem with other kinds of blood being displayed in different settings.’Menstrual blood is gross. (But violent and gory bloody movies are normal),’ she added.Her post also included a warning as to how judgments passed on women’s bodies can affect their self-confidence and mental health.
‘It’s no wonder so many of us struggle with depression and with feeling unworthy to feel divine and sacred when we have been ingrained to believe just how gross we are by simply being us: Women, with beating hearts and waves of emotion and years of living, crying, loving, struggling, succeeding, birthing, grieving, aging,’ she wrote.The photographer felt nervous prior to posting her picture , but as she explained in a Facebook post, decided to do it anyway after taking note of her own apprehension.Beall ended her post on an empowering note by promising other women she would cheer them on if she noticed any of oft-maligned details on them.’If I see you in a supermarket and you have stained the back of your white dress with menstrual blood, I will come tell you how beautiful you are!’ she wrote.’If I see your cellulite, I will compliment beautiful aliveness of your skin and ask if you wanna see mine!
WOMEN REACT TO PHOTOGRAPHER’S PERIOD SHOT
‘If I see your rolls or your bones, I will tell you how sacred, precious and divine your body is and how I wonder what it must feel like for your soul to breathe and dance in such a rad collection of molecules!’If I see your pimples I will tell you that you are just like me. If I see your wrinkles, I will tell that you have lived a rich life.’Her post, which has gathered 10,000 reactions on Facebook, seemed to resonate with other women, who left comments commending photographer for her initiative.’I love this piature because it takes the viewer out of their comfort zone maybe not as much as it took you to post it, but still, we are required to process our feelings about it,’ one of them wrote.’And when we do, and realize that it’s not the photo, but the stigma around what photo represents that makes us feel uncomfortable immediately it is no longer uncomfortable. It’s beautiful. It’s real. It’s honest. I love it.’