May I introduce to you this beautiful and inspiring young mother Zoë! Like so many of us she's been struggling a bit with her postpartum body. But at the same time she realizes that this body of hers is absolutely magical. Look what it brought her! Zoë wants to show her daughter that she'll become a beautiful woman when she stays true to herself and peels off the layers that are unnecessary. That is why Zoë reached out to me and wanted to participate in the photo project 'Women Bare'. As you can imagine I was thrilled when she asked me to photograph her and when the day finally came for us to meet I truly had a lovely time. I enjoyed our shoot very much (also because we are both quite the talkers!) and I'm thankful to have witnessed the ever so powerful bond between a mother and her daughter. As you can so clearly see in the pictures I took of them. I love the purity of their connection and the facial expressions associated with it. I'm glad Zoë was able to set aside those body struggles for a moment and instead decided to honor it with this photo shoot. In my opinion that really shows strength!
These are Zoë's pictures and the words she'd like to share with us:
A strong woman is someone who is not afraid to fight her own struggles. Mostly that's not about strength, but more so about vulnerability and daring to be tender. She is always striving for personal growth, but has the ability to embrace herself out of full compassion and self-love during that process.
I’m really grateful to be surrounded with strong women. I know young ambitious girls who dream of a better world, like Margo of 46 Dresses. But I also know women more of age; I call them spiritual moms. They help me to embrace life, like Ria.
"These women teach me that balance isn't a calculated formula."
These women teach me that balance isn’t a calculated formula. That balance differs on a daily basis and that the art of balance probably is to not try so hard to achieve it. That it’s about looking up from your struggle, be thankful and enjoy what’s already here.
"I tend to be over critical towards myself."
If I follow the measure I described above, I'm inclined to not name myself as a strong woman. I tend to be over critical towards myself, I find embracing with love and kindness so hard. Taking a breath and enjoying what is present instead of losing your focus on what isn’t there.
However if I'm able to look from a distance, I can embrace myself. Then I would describe myself as a strong woman. I always search my heart and try my very best to continue to grow. I’ve come a long way and I had to put up quite a fight to get here.
I’m grateful that life has taught me that strong women truly become visible in their vulnerability and not in their strength.