I photograph women who struggle with obesity. My visual language inspired by Rembrandt’s treatment of voluptuous nudes enables me to photograph them so that their beauty and grace transcend their generous girth. They become like fertility goddesses though perversely many struggle with infertility. In this way, I believe that my work challenges our perception of obesity among women.
Broadening our ideas of femininity allows obese and even infertile women to regain a sense of womanhood. The obese women who I photograph are much more than what our society often expects of them. They are complicated women whose confidence enables them to exude a sexuality that defies what we commonly perceive to be the limitations of such bodies. They become beautiful and in fact quite feminine.
I hope to show not only my subjects a new way of seeing themselves, but also my audience a new way of seeing my subjects – as classically beautiful women – reshaping our perception of obesity to be more akin to that of Rembrandt’s voluptuaries.
By Meredith Miller