Just weeks ago, Canberra mum Tara Costigan was allegedly murdered in an axe attack by her…
Looking from behind the lens at a naked woman in her bathroom, her body exposed but face hidden, photographer Amanda Thorson hopes the stranger feels a sense of self-love.
Starting as a quiet, internal revolution to change how she viewed her body for the sake of herself and her daughter, Amanda is getting ready to launch the kick-starter for her new book: There Is No Normal.
Originally known as Women in Bathrooms, the project began in 2018, not long after Amanda gave birth and began to question the standards of beauty social media and pop culture asks women to maintain: smooth, small and ‘perfect’ bodies without a flaw in sight. However, as she looked at her daughter’s face, Amanda knew she needed to change her mentality not just for her own sake, but for the small girl she held in her arms.
“My body is not ideal as far as what the world teaches us about what a woman should look like,” says Amanda. “I’ve had two kids, my belly is soft, I have stretch marks and cellulite but also my body is awesome, it’s strong and it gets me through life and I love her.”
“When I looked at her I thought ‘I’m not going to put that stuff on her if I can help it.’ She needs to love every facet of who she is, including her body and the best way for her to love herself is for me to set that example…so I changed.”
As a boudoir photographer, Amanda says bodies became a ‘non-event’ for her and as she immersed herself in her work, the nudity of her female clients totally changed her perspective of beauty.
She believes in the idea that photographers can either contribute to or fight against the lie of the ‘ideal’ body’. Now, after photographing 75 Canberran women in their bathrooms, Amanda is excited to finally launch the kickstarter.
Running for a month, the public is invited to pre-order the book to support the key message: every single body is freaking amazing.
“Before this, all I ever saw was bodies on TV, or in magazines,” says Amanda. “They only show one kind of body, they show young bodies and very small bodies and bodies that don’t have stretch marks or cellulite or anything. You get programmed to believe that is the right kind of body and that your body isn’t right because you don’t look like that.”
“When in fact, there are just so many different types of bodies and because we’re not shown diversity we think we’re bad or gross.”
“There are quotes throughout the book from the women and how they felt throughout the process….there’s a lot of people who have contributed and it feels wonderful in the setting of a community of women coming together to make something.”
There Is No Normal is the outcome of years of effort and the hope that Canberra women will begin to celebrate radical self love.
Visit kickstarter.com/projects/amandathorson/there-is-no-normal for more information or to pre-order your copy of There Is No Normal.