Photographer captures stunning portraits of mothers posing with their babies and proudly baring their postpartum bodies to celebrate the natural beauty of ‘real women’
- Lilana Taboas Cruz, 27, started her project, Divine Mothering, after suffering a miscarriage
- The Puerto Rican American photographer invites women of all ages to sign up for the picture series on her website
- All of the images are Photoshop-free and celebrate the women’s natural bodies, rather than masking any physical ‘flaws’
A photographer has paid homage to new mothers by celebrating what women’s bodies really look like after pregnancy.
Puerto Rican native Liliana Taboas Cruz, 27, showcases women of all shapes and sizes in a candid project called Divine Mothering.
In the mother-and-baby photoshoots, brave women strip down to their underwear to show that their natural beauty doesn’t need the help of Photoshop or editing, and to empower other women to find the same kind of confidence in their own bodies.
Proud parents: Photographer Liliana Taboas Cruz (not pictured) photographs mothers of all ages for her picture project Divine Mothering
Mother and child: ‘It’s a tragedy that we find ourselves in an era where women’s bodies are hyper-sexualised, materialised, objectified, and disrespected,’ Liliana said of the inspiration behind her project
Liliana, who lived in Oklahoma and Florida before moving to Kaiserslautern, Germany, said: ‘I want to help promote a healthier self-body image and a healthier appreciation for what women’s bodies look like.
‘It’s a tragedy that we find ourselves in an era where women’s bodies are hyper-sexualised, materialised, objectified, and disrespected.
‘We are taught that we must be this singular type of “beautiful” in order to be worthy of love, of happiness. We have to stop hurting women this way. We need to celebrate all women just as they are.’
Liliana invites women of all ages, including expectant mothers, to participate in the online Divine Mothering community, share their stories about pregnancy and motherhood, and attend photo sessions for her project.
Moving on: The photographer and mother-of-two (not pictured) was motivated to start the project after suffering a miscarriage
Baring it all: Each of the women pictured showcase their postpartum bodies with pride, and Liliana doesn’t use Photoshop or editing to mask any physical flaws
Coming together: Liliana wanted her project to serve as a way for women to connect with one another and learn from each other
‘Divine Mothering is a feminist organization that wishes to be an ally for women and girls to help promote respect, health, self esteem, as well as joy, beauty, and art,’ she explains on the project’s website.
‘The goals of Divine Mothering are to give women respect. Give women dignity. Give women a voice.
‘Divine Mothering wants to humanize women’s bodies, normalize all shapes and forms, and celebrate the changes women’s bodies go through over time, through pregnancy and breastfeeding. Divine-Mothering wishes to serve all women, by providing truthful representations of women’s bodies as well as women’s experiences and perspectives.
‘As a platform for sharing, Divine Mothering, wishes to further the reach of women’s voices and accomplishments.
Inspiration: The photographer hopes that her project will show that ‘women can celebrate women’
Stand tall: ‘I want to see women feel proud, strong, intelligent, secure and confident,’ Liliana explained
Sharing is caring: Liliana wants women to take back their bodies by talking about their personal struggles and offering support to one another
‘Divine Mothering started out as a desire to connect with other women,’ she explained.
‘I have two young daughters and becoming a mother has taught me a lot about myself, my body, and womanhood.
‘There is a lack of positive voices uplifting women. I wanted to create a place for unconditional support, a place where women can celebrate women, a place where we can be both vulnerable and strong together.
‘I want better for my daughters and for women and society. I want to see women feel proud, strong, intelligent, secure and confident.’
Fighting back: ‘This is about taking our bodies back and demanding attention and asking for respect and dignity,’ the photographer said
Newborn: Women and children of all ages can take part in the project, which focuses on celebrating motherhood in all its forms
Special bond: By posing with their children, each of the women are able to show what motherhood really means; it’s about the connection between a mom and her child
The self-taught photographer and mother’s decision to start the project, in the hopes of empowering new moms, came after she suffered a miscarriage, an experience which made her feel ‘betrayed’ by her own body.
‘My first pregnancy ended in miscarriage,’ she said.
‘Losing that pregnancy truly cut me deeply. I lost all sense of control and felt betrayed by my body and caretakers.
‘It took my two daughters, and a lot of soul searching to feel at peace. Part of that journey was learning about empowering women.
‘I want to help women communicate their stories and their struggles. This is about taking our bodies back and demanding attention and asking for respect and dignity.’