Bodies and Souls: The Century Project by Frank Cordelle
Bodies and Souls: The Century Project by Frank Cordelle - Age and other factors that change the body can feel like a blessing to some people, but, more often than not, for many it feels like a curse. Puberty is a frightening prospect along with physical blemishes, and the thought of reaching old age. Though such fears affect both genders, girls and women seem to be the prime recipients of these anxieties. It takes a special person to help alleviate the potential insecurities that females feel.
Enter photographer Frank Cordelle, who has received praise and recognition for his daring photos of females of all ages. What has really given his work attention is not that it’s women of all ages, from birth to old age, but that they are taken in the nude. But these aren’t super models. These are women with blemishes and disabilities, from the very young to the very old and wrinkled. Some are fat and some are thin. And a substantial body of his work has been comprised in a book entitled Bodies and Souls: The Century Project.
Bodies and Souls is a most stunning piece of work, filled with women from all walks of life.
The book starts out, just as it states, with a birth. We then move on to children, to teens, to young adults, to middle age, concluded by a ninety-four year old lady. While some women would fit into society’s definition of attractive, there are a lot who wouldn’t. Some are missing breasts, some have scars, some are obese and aside from the physical features, some have emotional baggage in which they are weeping in the photos (This process, it turns out, helps them heal). Many of these young girls and women have also written their testimonies in the book, stating how such a project has been beneficial and helpful to their emotional well-being. Some of the stories are funny and lighthearted, others heartbreaking, but all of them express a profound sense of gratitude to Cordelle for letting them be a part of this project.
Many people have been taken aback and surprised to see such candid photos of real women. Some have a hard time handling it. How often is it that society is asked to accept the body of an obese woman, naked no less, or of a nude woman in a wheelchair?
Stripping away the clothing actually does help the viewer to see and accept them as real people.
Therefore, the nudity in this book, far from being degrading or a cheap gimmick, helps the viewer to see women and girls as they really are, as living breathing beings, worthy of respect and admiration. I’ve often been disgusted with the way women are treated in society. Derogatory comments, pornography, and other unhealthy ways we treat women are not good for their self-esteem, nor is it good for society. It’s imperative to remember that they are our mothers, daughters, sisters and wives. Bodies and Souls does much to help sweep away unhealthy views that men have of women and that women have of their bodies. By stripping these women with blemishes, naked and bare, the photographer has been able to help us identify with them more, as well as the models identifying with them.
Naturists, who are often advocates in the philosophy of “everybody is beautiful,” will find much to appreciate about this fine work of art as it reinforced their already aforementioned convictions. Every naturist should have a copy of this book in his or her personal library. Cordelle has given the world a wonderful gift with this book full of hope and understanding. I can only hope that more people will peruse its pages, reading the beautiful messages of hope from females of all ages and all walks of life.
Read their stories on The Century Project!