Because, as Emma Thompson Showed Us, Women Our Age Have Nothing to be Ashamed Of
If you submit, you do so completely anonymously. Your identity is never known to any of us at NextTribe.
Remember our story about Emma Thompson’s new movie, which includes a radical scene of her contemplating her naked body in the mirror? This is what we wrote on social media: “That scene should be a public service ad, and a pivotal moment in our own acceptance of our less-than-perfect bodies.”
We were already thinking of way NextTribe could reinforce Thompson’s validating message when we read this quote from her: “So if you want the world to change, and you want the iconography of the female body to change, then you better be a part of the change.”
We’re happy to introduce the #NextTribeRealBodyChallenge.
We’re asking women over 45 to send in a photo showing them standing naturally without clothes and without their face showing. We’ll cover up the private parts (with purple flowers!) and post each anonymous shot on our Instagram account with the woman’s age and, if she provides one, a quote about how she felt taking the photo.
Take a look at our first real body here, and while you’re on Instagram follow us so that over the weeks to come, you can see all the other ways bodies our age can and do look.
We’re hoping to encourage all women to view their bodies in a more positive light (and the world to see women as they really are). If you want to participate, you can upload your photo anonymously below. Photos must be of a woman over 45 and images that are vulgar or suggestive will not be published.
It’s nice to be doing our part to show the world (and ourselves) that women our age have nothing to be ashamed of.
If you have any questions, please email us here.
If you want to keep track of other real bodies, please follow us on Instagram and keep up at #NextTribeRealBodyChallenge.
“I love my body! I used to be embarrassed….too skinny, too tall , no boobs……..etc
I am proud of my body now…just wish it didn’t take so long!!!!!””
“I’ve always been heavy set, even as a teenager. I’ve always hated my belly area, even before I had kids. Now I remind myself it nurtured and held 4 babies and while it’s not flat, the rest of my body is healthy.”
“I’m learning to let go of “the things of youth” and one of those things is my younger body. I’m proud of my 62-year-old body, of how strong it is, and that I don’t care what anyone else thinks.”
“I am very proud of my body. I have worked for years to stay in shape. I am here for the small breasted, ones who are made to feel less than feminine for their small chests. I have never had a man tell me anything negative about my body. Never had a problem breastfeeding my 3 kids. I don’t need any unnatural bags of crap stuffed into my chest. I’m fine just how I am.”
Age 61, 11 months
“My eyes zero in on the C-Section scar, but I kind of like it. I had my first and only child at 45 (a complete surprise) and while I wish I’d been a better mother, I was “good enough.” My body isn’t perfect either, but it’s “good enough.” If you live your life saying that you have enough, not wanting more than you need, you’ll be happier. I’m grateful for my health, and I don’t take it for granted. I know what a blessing it is to be healthy at any age, and especially as I approach my 70s. Aging boldly. With profound gratitude. If you could see my face…I’m smiling!”
“I can’t believe I am 75! My body has a lot of scars and extra poundage, but I guess it’s okay. Just grateful to be alive.”
“I love my body. It is a source of strength, love and pleasure. Many years ago, it birthed my babies and then fed each one. It’s played and worked, and cried and experienced joy throughout my life. It’s a great body!”
“After several operations including a gone wrong breast implant issue and removal and living with an autoimmune disease , some days I feel positive some days negative , but I accept I am going through a big change and acceptance of my new body . So doing this I think will help me step out of my comfort zone and take a big step in accepting and loving myself again”
“I love my body and what it can do. Sex is better now than it ever was when I was younger. My advice is be confident in your beauty and desirability and the rest will follow.”
“I’ve always been self conscious of my body. Especially my legs. The past few years I’ve started to embrace my body. It’s climbed many a mountain, biked all over, done thousands of yoga poses,birthed 3 amazing children and is always there to do the work! It’s so freeing to see all these wonderful bodies on display! Grateful!”
“I’m trying hard to accept the changes which are reflected in the mirror ( not always successfully). This body has enjoyed so much, taken great adventures, hiked summits and embraced oceans waves. Each line and crevice is an outward reflection of a life lived through good and hard times. My inner mind still holds the memories of youth and beauty. There’s still roads to travel.”
“Wear and tear has me returning to a pose I enjoyed at the height of my prime. Prone does a woman of a certain age a gift, smoothing lines and other unwanted revelations of age.”
“Still in pretty good shape. Better than I thought I looked when I was younger. I was sooo hard on myself.”
Age 69 and 1 week
“I love my body.”
“I feel love for my body as I demand love or food, movement and intimacy. Liberation prompted me to send my photo, liberation of self with out oppression.”
“I miss having a waist!”
“I thank my parents for good genetics
My body has been so good to me even tho I sometimes took advantage of her. I have been physically active since I can remember. Now at 56 I treasure my health and am fully accepting of my body. Sure I have a belly and dimples and parts of me are changing it seems daily but I don’t want to change anything.”
“My journey to 56 is one I am proud of. So thankful for my yoga community as we help each other along the way. My body is not perfect but here I am!”
“I am 75 years young and very proud of my body. Though I’m not a size 2 now; I feel more like the beautiful woman that I truly am.”
“I feel proud of how I’ve taken care of my body. Sometimes I miss how perky my breasts used to be but I see in this photo that they still look very nice, and lots of warm memories of nursing my children!”
“I absolutely love having my body and looking at it and watching it age and watching how exercise, dancing, & playing & loving life affects it. I’m writing a one-woman show called “The Histories of Our Desires” and one of the threads in this story is the thread of the wonder of bodies. I plan to end the show either nude or wearing a gossamer body suit. I met Gypsy Rose Lee when I was 20, and she taught me the word “ecdysiast” and the literal & metaphorical meanings of this word.Yesterday, I wrote this in my journal: “How can we not love this wondrous house we live in for such a short time? This wonder of blood and bones and flesh & stardust!” I often ask my husband to take photos of me dancing in our garden.
Last year I had a total knee replacement and I’m especially joyous about having my body returned to me and about dancing again! Because of various accidents from horseback riding, dancing, and bicycle riding and broken bones and resulting surgeries, my body has many scars. I am a walking kintsugi & I’m so grateful to have lived this long and to still be healthy!
And I want to write more about all of this.”
“The more I look at it, the more I realize I kinda look like everyone else. I’m not perfect. But it’s a perfect body for me right now. I’d like so much more from it, but man, it has done right by me over the decades. Who am I to judge my body?!”
“I’m proud of my body. Growing up I hated almost everything about me. My hair was too frizzy, my thighs too fat and my nose too big. Now I feel beautiful and I want the world to know me.”
“I like how I look naked, but I know I look older. I want to change the public’s idea of beauty. And Emma Thompson said if you want change, you gotta be that change. I agree.”
“I loved my body as a young woman, yet was ashamed of it in some weird way. I had 4 children between the age of 26 and 32, and was overweight through all 6 years. Two were c-sections. When I finally shed the weight years later, I was a bit freaked out at what I was left with. The scars, the bizarre, uneven “shelf”…the saggy boobs and belly. I’m going to admit, I still think about some corrective surgery at some point…but since I started eating right and exercising quite a few years ago, I’ve put the same effort into loving my body.
Loving it just the way it was made + all it’s been through and done for me. That first naked NextTribe body struck me as brave and beautiful, and inspired me to share my embattled and beautiful naked body. So here it is. Rock on, sisters. We have a kind of sexy that is all our own, and can give it to anyone lucky enough to see it.”
“I feel okay. I can focus on the ‘flaws’, my lopsided breasts for example but I really try to be grateful for my body and the care I give it. I lived most of life disconnected from it so I have been working on getting reconnected.”
My identity and life, wrapped up in noting where I fall short instead of celebrating it has been my norm. It’s taken many years of just battling self worth issues to get to appreciating my body for what it can do, and to feel at home in my body, no matter size or shape. It has been a lifetime of learning how to heal myself, to separate my self-worth from my body’s appearance.
Recently I lost my mother to cancer, and watching her body shrink with the disease while she battled, it occurred to me, how much it all doesn’t matter, how tremendous amount of energy has been wasted. Her passing shifted my appreciation for the strength of my body, it brought awareness and clarity that life is short and special. I acknowledge and accept what my body can do. It is mine, imperfect but special.”
“I feel proud of my body. It’s me. Every little flaw is just part of my character. I’m not shamed of any scar or stretch mark. I’ve earned them all. Perfection is not what I strive for. It’s being comfortable in this body.”