A deeper look at The Boob Book Project
Breasts are the most contradicted, feted, sexualized and taboo part of a woman’s body. They also make beautiful art and bold political statements.
The Boob Book Project is an inclusive artistic series featuring diverse images and stories of breasts.
This project provides a platform to recognize, respect and appreciate the spectrum of stories, connections and diverse breasts that exist. These intimate, raw, anonymous portraits and interviews inspire healing through representation and rapport.
Many standards and beliefs about beauty dictate our relationship with ourselves and the role we play in the world. Where did these standards and beliefs come from? When did they start? Why did they start? What is the impact? and why should we care? We explore why by digging up the dirt that has been hidden for decades. It may shock many to realize just how much of a role breasts play in our world. As we collectively pull away from the illusions that have been constructed for generations we are able to heal from a place of understanding. Let's discover what's behind the curtain?
This project will showcase all races, genders, abilities, sizes, and ages and will not go to print until a full variety of diverse breasts and stories have been captured. Through diverse visual and verbal representations, one person has the potential to heal millions. Each image represents someone else with a similar look or similar story rarely seen or glamorized in the media. Imagine what a book full of diverse images could do. The power and energy around empowered and liberated individuals is inspiring and magnetic. The release of fear and invitation to freedom and non-conformity will change lives.
Recognize, respect and appreciate the spectrum of diverse breasts that exist.
The real, raw story that inspired this project.
A choice of love over fear
My story started with a decision. Love or Fear. At the age of 30, I began to realize all decisions funnel into one or the other, think of this as the red vs blue pill. Love or fear.
For years I entertained a toxic relationship with my breasts. Like many young girls, I was flat-chested and prayed for boobs. I hit a stage in my life as a young girl where I began to compare myself to the women on tv, the girls in the music videos and even barbie.
I remember walking into grocery stores and taking the napkins in the meat aisles so that I could stuff my chest and make fake boobs. Although stuffing shirts can be typical for many young girls, this was the beginning of what ended up to be a very toxic relationship which inspired a very cool project.
Thank goodness for my mother! She was always very open and funny about boobs, as a joke, she liked to hold my boobs while hugging me so she could reminisce on the days of her youth and perky boobs. My mother thought I had great boobs but little did she know I hated my chest. Every day passing my long mirror that stretched from my door to my shower, I couldn't avoid looking at myself and adjusting my breasts to see what they would look like after surgery. I did this almost every day for over 18 years.
While searching for inspiration to create art that inspired me, a conversation with friends sparked an idea to photograph women's breasts and the stories that came with them. This was the inception of The Boob Book Project.
Later that year while working in my garden I received a phone call. My body almost hit the floor in shock as my friend mentioned that she was receiving 3 am phone calls with cryptic calls from an encrypted voice asking how much I was worth and that a sex tape of me existed. I thought it was a joke, I would never create a sex tape. I realized it was serious when my friend went silent on the phone. Fear took over my body in a way I could never describe. While waiting for the next call with my friend I remembered the painful moment when I threw off my clothes and started screaming "is this ok, am I ok" I repeated this over and over crying while internally trying to shut down my weakness and "man up" at the same time.
As a woman that had battled with self-love, I was terrified that the breasts and body I stared at for 18 years in the mirror and struggled with was possibly about to be exposed to the world in a cruel way.
I could do nothing but wait as my friend received encrypted messages every week or month over the course of 7 months without a clue as to who was blackmailing me how that could have happened, and why someone would want to hurt me like that. I trained my brain to keep busy from overthinking, I stayed to myself and canceled all gigs and opportunities including a modelling contract and stayed out of the public eye. I stayed on social media acting as if everything was ok because I was not supposed to know I was being blackmailed.
Later that year I found the 3 people responsible, one of which was a new friend that I had gotten close with quickly, I was even her bridesmaid. I hadn't realized that this "friend" had ill intentions for me and set me up to be drugged, coerced into sexual activities and filmed without knowledge while on a weekend trip. This was the footage that was then used to blackmail me months later.
There was a moment through that long, stressful and upsetting time of uncertainty where something in me switched and I had what I believe to be the start of a spiritual awakening. It began with the realization of love and fear and realizing I could stop everything in a moment and take back my power by simply choosing to live in love instead of fear. I took back my power, I chose love, I chose to forgive, I chose to love myself and even the people that tried to do me harm. I researched, found every single detail I could find on the people and got my lawyers to draft up a letter of cease and desist or extremely serious consequences would follow.
I intended to heal and move forward, not letting another moment go by where I had to act small and cower in fear. It took 7 months to get to that point but when I got there, the release lifted me past the dense vibration I was living in and it was over. The fear turned onto them as they began to blame one another and the truth came out as they admitted who initiated what.
After lies were spread in their circles, names were labelled on me and people I thought to be reasonable decent people believed a lie and story to cover up their tracks in public, a wave of peace came over me realizing I knew who I was, my friends knew who I was, I knew what happened and no further energy would need to go into defending my name.
Looking from a bigger place I understood why this happened to me. I was tough enough to get through it, see it for what it was and turn my wounds into wisdom.
The Boob Book Project took on another life. My dreams and goals for the project grew alongside my courage. I realized women have so many stories that are bottled up inside them. This platform would be a safe place to release all that trauma and move into a higher vibration of self-love and healing.
My toxic relationship with my breasts launched a platform to heal. That experience with those people inspired me to help women that need to heal. I now live in gratitude and love. This decision to choose love saved my life.
This project was the result of choosing love in the midst of fear and turning my wounds into wisdom. As Denzel likes to say "each one, teach one", meaning that when you have made it (out of the darkness, shame, guilt, sadness, struggle.) teach others how you did it and pull them up to the light.