Started by Katrina Barker Anderson, a lifelong member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, this past July, Mormon Women Bare is a photography project that asks Mormon women to pose nude in an effort to challenge their Church's extremely strict views on modesty. So far, 30 women have volunteered to take part in Mormon Women Bare.

On her website, Katrina reveals the inspiration behind the project: “A young girl is shamed by her friends for not dressing “modestly” enough. A BYU student is chastised via note from a male student for wearing leggings.  A BYU-Idaho student is not allowed to take a test because her jeans are “form fitting”. After hearing these stories and others in 2012, I threw up my hands in exasperation. What on earth is going on in this culture? Why has the modesty culture of the LDS church gotten so extreme and what can we do about it?”

As for Mormon Women Bare's goal, she writes: "Women around the world deal with objectification, body shame, and the burden of the male gaze. Mormon women have an added layer of complexity and heavy expectations: while being warned against becoming “walking pornography,” we also face immense pressure to be attractive and fit. We must both attract and protect against male desire."

​"Our sense of self can feel so eclipsed by the expectation to be a wife and mother that we no longer see our bodies as our own. Separated from our skin by layers of clothing, many Mormon women lose touch with the capabilities and power we innately possess. Mormon Women Bare seeks to empower women to reclaim our bodies. Through photography and personal narratives, women are seen as beautiful, flawed, vulnerable and real. Women of different shapes, sizes, and ages demonstrate that bodies need not bring shame but can be owned, celebrated, and honored."

Which is exactly how every woman should always feel. Bravo, Katrina.

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