Leonard Nimoy passed away today at the age of 83 after a long and successful career that included acting (of course, developing the role of Spock on Star Trek) and directing (including the box office smash Three Men and a Baby.) He also sang, wrote poetry, and was a photographer.
One of his photography projects was called “The Full Body Project” (images NSFW) and was comprised of pictures – many of them nude – of fat women. And it is absolutely glorious.
According to a piece in Mashable (images NSFW) Nimoy told Natalie Angier, who wrote the introduction to The Full Body Project that:
“He was deeply troubled upon hearing that most women felt some degree of body shame.It really disturbed him that women who considered themselves overweight had this terrible feeling about themselves. He wanted to show the world that there’s beauty to be found in different body types.”
Many people are currently sharing the photo project and, sadly, getting ridiculous “But these women aren’t healthy!” comments in return. So I wanted to talk about this to honor and thank Leonard Nimoy for creating beautiful representations of fat women, to honor the women in the photographs, and in case those people sharing these would like some ammunition for dealing with the concern trolling that may come after.
First of all you cannot tell someone’s health based on their body size. If you think you can, then you are quite simply wrong.
But there’s no need to get into a conversation about this because the health status of these women has literally nothing to do with this. Health is not an obligation, a barometer of worthiness, or a gatekeeper that determines who is or is not allowed to love their body, find themselves and be found beautiful, and be photographed naked, or represented in a positive way.
As I’ve pointed out before, the truth is that this whole “It’s because of fat people’s health” thing is just a crappy justification for size-based discrimination, and it’s long past time to stop using healthism to justify sizeism, and to end both of them instead. To do anything else, especially as it pertains to these pictures, is disrespectful to the photographer and the subjects, and is complete bullshit.
LLAP Leonard Nimoy, thank you for everything.
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