Why did you volunteer for this shoot?
I wanted to get involved in this project for a lot of different reasons, but mostly because I wanted to remind myself that my body is beautiful because of what it has been through, not in spite of what it has been through. I never pegged myself as someone who would be affected by the ways my body changed when I had a baby, especially because I was never exactly thin, but I'm just getting back to a place now where I love my body for what it is, not what I think it can be, and wanted to show myself and others the importance of that. There are so many images of women who "bounce back" and lose baby weight right away, who don't have any stretch marks to be seen, and that's just not reality; I want to show the beautiful reality of a "Mom-bod."
What do you love most about your body?
If I have to pick a thing I love most about my body physically, it would be my shoulders. They are strong, they tan well, and I guess I've just always liked the way they looked, even when there was little else about my body I was happy with. Now they're also my favorite part because they are where my daughter sleeps, feels safe, and is "showed off" by my tattoo. If I can speak more broadly than the physical, though, what I love most about my body is what it can do, or has done. My body has survived years of anxiety, depression, and self harm, it has brought a wonderful baby girl into the world, and it has allowed me to inspire and lead the kids I work with.