An Australian actress started a website with nude photographs of women, including herself.
When I first heard this, I have to admit I rolled my eyes. I thought this website was just another excuse for a celebrity to publicize her nude photos for the sake of “art.” But Herself.com is not like that at all.
The website was created by Caitlin Stasey, who is an Australian actress on the CW’s Reign. Stasey started the website as a feminist project for regular women to bare it all in celebration of body love and female empowerment. Herself.com is not meant to be a porn site and it shares images and stories of women of various races, nationalities, body types and sexual orientations. So far, women involved in the project have come from Australia, the U.S., Canada and Brazil.
All photographs are taken by a female photographer and all women are depicted naked, but the goal is not to satisfy the male gaze, but to empower the women who participate. Each portrait is accompanied with a questionnaire answered by the woman photographed. The women answer questions about body love and sexual expression, including “Have you ever been embarrassed, burdened or ashamed of your sexuality? If so why?” and “What does the word ‘woman’ mean to you?”
“Society very cleverly and insidiously compartmentalizes and pigeonholes women, and we are so often isolated because of it,” Stasey told Daily Life. “I hope more than anything that women will come to Herself.com and find themselves there, scattered throughout the stories and bodies of others.”
After perusing the website, I found that each story had more words than pictures. By focusing on each woman’s answers to the questions rather than her nude photos, Herself.com sets itself apart from other nude photo sites. With all the controversy surrounding the celebrity photo hack this summer, Herself.com is a place for women to share their bodies on their own terms, with their consent. I hope some more celebrities join Stasey and share their stories on Herself.com too.
Like the women of Herself.com, Bambino cats embrace nudity!