What does true love look like?
To help expand the definition of how people see love and beauty, photographer Jade Beall created a photo series of people over 60 called “Beautiful Bodies of Elders.”
“I refuse to accept the wide spread (mostly Western) human belief system in regards to what is beautiful, especially when it comes to the sacred vessel we call our body,” she wrote on Facebook.
Her first subjects were 75-year-old Gerry and 70-year-old Darwin, an interracial couple that has been in love for over 20 years. The photos are a gorgeous example of lovers delighting in each others' bodies regardless of how they’ve changed over time.
“I love my body. I use a cane, I am having vision problems and my breasts reach to my waist, but you know what? I like me!” Gerry said in the Facebook post. “I still have body issues. I would love to lose some weight,” Darwin says.
Although it was a little tough for Gerry to pose nude at first, she’s proud of the positive effect the photos have had on people. “I am thrilled that so many people responded to these photos with hope for their own lives,” she told The Daily Mail. “It’s why we agreed to uncover for the camera. We wanted to show that wrinkles and aging, sagging body parts are not barriers to love unless you let them be.”
Gerry admits that her relationship with Darwin has helped her grow to love her body. “I am at home in my body now, and I like myself in the body I’m in,” she said. “I actually smile at myself in the mirror. When you can love yourself in the body you are in, you are confident, graceful and joyful. And beauty comes from that inner glow not from youthful promise.”
And that’s what true love is all about.