I love photography, and of course, religion is hot topic here on my blog. When the two mix, I usually like the results. I found Mormon Women Bare via Reddit while browsing this afternoon. It's a photo project dedicated to active Mormon women, which I was not expecting. Here is what the artist said:
A young girl is shamed by her friends for not dressing “modestly” enough. A BYU student is chastised via note from a male student for wearing leggings. A BYU-Idaho student is not allowed to take a test because her jeans are “form fitting”. After hearing these stories and others in 2012, I threw up my hands in exasperation. What on earth is going on in this culture? I don’t remember it being like this when I was a child and teen growing up in the church. Why has the modesty culture of the LDS church gotten so extreme and what can we do about it?
Women around the world deal with objectification, body shame, and the burden of the male gaze. Mormon women have an added layer of complexity and heavy expectations: while being warned against becoming “walking pornography,” we also face immense pressure to be attractive and fit. We must both attract and protect against male desire.
Read more (this link is safe)
The Mormon girls I knew from back in the day (the late 70s), were modest but not overly so. I was a bit taken aback after reading about the project. I had no idea that this had become an issue.
Mormon Women Bare is a NSFW website, but it is not porn. The photos are tasteful and beautiful depictions of women with all body types. This is what photography is about to me. I found the artist authentic and thoughtful. Again… not what I excepted from a Reddit link. I read the Reddit comment thread and was disappointing because it did not address my question. Instead, it digressed into a discussion on the values of the faith. I want to know what Mormons think of project. I’ll have to ask a few of my Mormon friends.
What I learned… people sag, just like me.