Self Portraits Reveal the Truth About Body Image

Elise Solé
Photo by: Jen Davis Photo
Pressure Point: "I wanted to capture what it felt like to feel judged for your body. That vulnerability of being on the beach and fearing those 1-20 seconds where you have to walk into the water and everyone can see you," says Davis.

Photography student Jen Davis was hanging out on the beach with her friends on a sunny day in 2002 when she decided to snap a photo of herself. When the now 34-year-old developed the roll of film, she was stunned at the image which showed her looking uncomfortable in a one-piece swimsuit while her friends lounged in bikinis. From then on, Davis began documenting her life in a series of photos called "Self Portraits" snapping her most uncomfortable moments. "I had never really photographed myself but that beach shot made me realize that I had to step in front of the camera," she says. "I needed to look at myself." The result is an 11-year documentation of Davis' life, including her body transformation with weight-loss surgery, and an upcoming photography book (currently untitled, 2014). Here are some of Davis' more revealing photos.