This Is Me is a beautifully illustrated book of female portraits by Australia’s leading fashion photographer Julie Adams and lifestyle journalist Georgie Abay celebrating the female body.
A fresh take on positive body image combined with a sense of fun, all the photographs are deliberately unretouched and there is a strong message of self-love and individuality as women of all ages and shapes share their stories of the well loved bodies they live in.
All the women agreed to be photographed in their swimsuits by the beach in surf clubs and pavilions. This is Me shares the journey of women from all over the world, and many open up about deeply personal issues they have faced. This includes discussing important issues they dealt with such as anorexia, bulimia, cancer, endometriosis, and mastectomies.
“When I was younger, people admired my face and my hair – which was long and red – but not my body. I always felt overweight and checked the scales every day. All these years later, I now feel happy with my weight. We all look back and wish we were kinder to ourselves when we were younger.”
Helen with her daughter Caroline
“I’ve always felt confident about my body, because I’ve never given a damn what people think about me. My mum is a lesbian, which matters because she showed me that trying to fit into a certain mould doesn’t mean perfection or happiness. Focus on feeling free and happy. If you don’t like something, change it for yourself and not ever for somebody else.”
“My attitude towards my body has fluctuated since high school. The biggest revelation that I will pass onto my children is that my body size never correlated with happiness. My happiest moments weren’t at the same time as when my body was at its thinnest.”Grace with her daughter Averie
“For as long as I can remember, I’ve had body image issues and body dysmorphia – I’ve constantly been at odds with thisvessel that has gotten me to 49. My first memory of embarrassment, hyper self-consciousness and self-awareness was at the age of 4. I was a competitive gymnast from an early age – and I was good – until puberty arrived at age 12. I was an early bloomer and my coachtold me that I was ‘too big’ at 155cm. I’ve grown another 5cm since then, but my boobs haven’t! At 19, I left home and travelled overseas – and the much talked about ‘Heathrow injection’ was administered – I was the biggest I had ever been. I went to the US and a new friend introduced me to restrictive eating and bulimia. I did it for four years, right up until my gut herniated and my teeth, which I had always been so proud of, started rotting and I needed root canal surgery. From that day, the disordered eating stopped and the healthy journey to me ‘looking down the barrel of 50’ kicked in. It’s a challenging, ever-changing path, but I’m making it.”
“What’s so appealing about everyone looking the same … same breasts, teeth, nose, legs, hair colour … why? It’s all manufactured. Between all of our countries and cultures there are many variances and many ideals of what is beautiful. The only way to normalise real women’s bodies is to acknowledge that we need to shift our focus away from the physical and towards the inner beauty and strength we all have. As we age and wither, our soul is the only constant
and, if we don’t nourish it and love it, we can’t ever feel content with an ever-changing body.”
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Julie Adams is now one of Australia’s leading fashion and portraiture photographers. She studied photography in Florence and her career has taken her all over the world from Africa to Italy. She has since worked for prestigious publications such as The Independent (UK), VOGUE, Harper’s BAZAAR, Glamour, Marie Claire and more, and has played a key creative role as founding photographer on The Grace Tales. Georgie Abay is an experienced editor with over 15 years’ experience in the industry. She worked on the launch of Harper’s Bazaar Dubai before joining Vogue Australia. She then joined Harper’s Bazaar where she became the deputy editor before returning to Vogue as the fashion features director and deputy editor. In 2013, she launched her fashion and lifestyle digital platform The Grace Tales. Georgie co-authored with Julie Adams their first book GRACE MOTHERS (Bauer Books 2019)