About Normal Bodies
Have you ever felt like your body is weird, different, or wrong?
Have you ever wished you could change your body, or have a different body altogether?
Have you ever noticed that you never see bodies on the ‘gram that look like yours?
Yeah, us too.
Normal Bodies is an art project created to promote body neutrality and autonomy with the aim of preventing others from going through the same body trauma that we have.
Through our Instagram page, we’re creating an empowered community where we’re free to be proud, vulnerable, and real with one another. Where we’re our own cheerleaders. Where we can push back against the impossible beauty standards instilled on us since birth and just be.
We paint people from all around the world, and with each painting we share a caption written by the participant that talks about their experience in their body. Our aim is to create a diverse gallery of paintings and stories where everyone feels normal, worthy, and seen. Submissions are always open and we paint every body we receive a reference photo of (we’re not currently accepting submissions from cis men). Find out more about how to participate here.
Our portraits are hand-painted in watercolour and our digital artwork will always be created exclusively by the marginalised groups that our project aims to represent. Our captions are bilingual to reflect our team’s heritage and to help us grow our Normal Bodies community far and wide.
Wherever you are on your own personal body journey, we hope that Normal Bodies will be an empowering, liberating, and healing part of that process.
Selling our artwork allows us to supports charities and organisations in a tangible way, and we donate a percentage of all profits made through sales. Visit our online store here.
Who Are We?
I’m Sophie. I’m a freelance content writer from the UK. Like many people, for a long time, I hated my body. Throughout my teenage years and into my twenties I ritually picked apart every inch of my body, wondering why I wasn’t normal. I scolded myself for having a form that was too ‘this’ and not enough ‘that’.
As a result, I spent a decade on a diet. I squeezed myself into control underwear designed to make me smaller, I hid under loose-fitting clothing, and I sucked my stomach in for what felt like months at a time. My poor body image chipped away at my self-esteem, and I ritually sold myself short because I never felt like I was good enough. Because I didn’t feel like I was normal.
My mindset changed drastically during a two-year stint of travel in Latin America. I spent that time unlearning diet culture and discovering that it really doesn’t matter if my belly hangs over my jeans. The climax of my body acceptance journey came when I modelled nude for Félix D’Eon, an incredible queer artist based in Mexico City. That shoot was the final push I needed to fall in love with myself, and as I stretched out in nothing but my flesh on the floor of his studio I finally came to a realisation: all bodies are beautiful, we’ve just been taught not to see it. From there, the Normal Bodies concept began taking place, and six months later we proudly launched our Instagram gallery.
The talented artist behind our gorgeous paintings is my beloved friend Cecilia Lizcano Lopez. Cecy is a Mexico City-based painter, sculptor, and concept artist. She studied at the ENPEG “La Esmeralda” school which was founded by Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, and has since gone on to display her work in Mexico City’s museum of modern art. Her concepts and sculptures have also appeared in TV adverts for the likes of Nestle and music videos for artists including Major Lazer. Cecy is kind, funny, and talented, and I’m grateful to work with her on this project that means so much to us both,
Cecy and I also work with an incredible translator from Colombia and a mega-talented gal from the US who helps us with design, development, and social media. Our team is fully remote across three continents and we’ll continue to add diversity to our team as it grows.