By Pooja Kochar:
I am a photo blogger by profession, photographs are a part of my visual narrative. Every photographer is naturally inclined towards a specific stream of photography, I am inspired by the depth of human emotions. 30ish is my lifeline, as the name suggests the blog is the voice of a generation. I interact with so many people in this age group and the starkest characteristic is that all of them are driven by perfection. Imperfections make them uncomfortable, this is what became my driving force. We need to be kinder to ourselves.
Every mother is fighting a silent battle. I am very attached to one of my projects, PhotoblogHER, where I narrate the story of motherhood through photographs. Moments of her holding the baby, telling them stories, building their dreams is what stays back as a priceless memory.
Women are under so much pressure to get back to shape post delivery. They are at constant war with themselves, ‘real’ is associated with ‘flaws’. I distinctly remember an instance where one of the mothers mentioned, “I am going to get a funky tattoo to disguise my stretch marks, it’s better to be weird than uncomfortable.” There is nothing wrong with getting inked, but her reason was to “feel accepted”. Is it fair to be judged for bringing life into this world?
A mother in her late 30’s went through multiple IVF treatments, the society made sure they reminded her that there was something wrong with her. When she finally delivered, her only wish was to tell everyone that this ‘imperfect’ body gave birth to a perfectly healthy baby.
New moms often apologise, “Sorry I am not in the best shape, but can you make me look slimmer, prettier, sexier?” My reply – surely, we can work on the lighting and angles, but the fact is that no photoshop will hide her battle lines, nor should they. They are her identity.
It’s a very difficult space – food, career, relationships and social pressure are always playing hide and seek. The only way to fight back is to accept it. Your beauty is beyond your insecurities and the texture of your skin. As a woman, I love your stretch marks, dark circles, love handles and cellulite, because that’s life.
I want to tell women across the globe that their body type does not need a stamp from the society. You are not a fruit basket, apples and pears are for the farmers market. A mother will always choose strength, that’s her reality.
When mothers share these stories with me, I naturally sync with their vibe and that’s when we make magical photographs. A lot of women get them clicked for themselves, which is revolutionary. Imperfections make us unforgettable, they remind us of our struggles and our victory. Ask a mother to define her stretch marks and she will say, ‘a beautiful battle’ where I won. I am very ambitious about my vision because empowered women empower others. This is my attempt to make women realise that real beauty is fearless and not flawless.
Images taken by Pooja Kochar