9 people pose nude to show just how diverse we all really are

Joe Vesey-Byrne
Tuesday 10 January 2017 10:45
Picture:(Tanja-Tiziana/NOW Toronto)

Warning: Obviously some nudes follow and so this is NSFW.

One Magazine in Toronto has produced a stunning photo series, collecting stories from fascinating people.

Plus, they're naked!

This is the third such "Love your body" issue from the magazine NOW Toronto.

On an annual basis, NOW becomes the weird Facebook guy messaging you "send nudes".

Except this is for a much more worthy cause than that.

Each January the magazine recruits Torontonians to its campaign to celebrate the varieties of the human form, and each comes with their own story.

The nudity's probably just for kicks.

Acacia Christensen

Picture: Tanja-Tiziana/NOW Toronto(Now/Love Your Body, 2017)

Christensen goes by another name: "Doughnut Messaround".

This is an alias she uses as a member of League of Lady Wrestlers.

Christensen says her tattoos are intentionally silly (see the words "junk food" written on her knuckles).

Catherine Hernandez

According to NOW, Hernandez is an author, soon to publish the novel "Scarborough".

Her writing came about after she diagnosed with two chronic illnesses.

One is adrenal fatigue, which a lot of people have, especially after surviving trauma.

The other involved having to get off topical steroid use. During the withdrawal process, it basically looked liked my body had been burned, like I had scar tissue all over. And I had to withdraw from a lot of things, like performing and producing. The only thing I could do was write.

Heidi Hawkins

A picture is worth a 1000 words, and so is Hawkins, who NOW reports works as a voice-over artists.

Speaking about gaining weight during pregnancy, Hawkins said:

I want women, mothers especially, to accept themselves and to know that our bodies are amazing. I want women to not worry what other people think. All that matters is we're healthy enough to take care of ourselves and our children.

Jasbina Justice

Justice is an activist, yoga teacher, and a coordinator and performer with "feminist porn company Spit".

Justice, who also campaigns for Silence is Violence (which focuses on sexual assault on campuses) spoke about the ridiculous expectations put on survivors of sexual assault.

There's a demand for respectability if you're a survivor of sex assault – you can't say you're doing porn or sex work or be a very sexual person.

Jewelz Mazzei

Mazzei, a body activist who founded the online movement "BigAndBlunt", has been modelling for a year and half.

She told NOW:

There are still so many people out there who believe they don't deserve to love themselves unless they look a certain way. I want to keep fighting for them and keep spreading the message of self-love.

Monique Mojica

Mojica comes from the theatre world, as an actor, playwright, and is the artistic director of Chocolate Woman Collective.

She spoke to NOW about the political edge to her nudity.

Here, I can use my body to talk not only about what has been happening to our bodies for 500 years of colonialism, but what is happening now.

Paul Lancaric

Another voice-over artist, Lancaric is a naturist, who says he began to enjoy his body after turning 25.

I was always kind of a chubbier guy and so uncomfortable being shirtless, even in swimming pools...

After that first moment I embraced the culture that revolves around naturism – and the confidence of being okay with my body.

Prince Amponsah

Amponsah is an actor and social work student at Ryerson University.

Four years ago Amponsag was badly burned in a fire, but has recently returned to acting.

He told NOW:

I couldn’t see myself going back to acting because I didn’t feel I had a place there. You don’t see a lot of people who look like me on the stage or on the screen, and sometimes you need those kinds of role models – to see yourself, to feel like you can be a part of it.

Ted Hallet

Hallett describes himself as an improvisor and writer.

He was diagnosed with kidney cancer on New Year's Day 2016.

In February his entire right kidney was removed (a nephrectomy), leaving him with a scar that made him self conscious.

The surgery prompted him to pursue his dream of acting.

Recovering from the surgery, I was lying in bed and had a lot of time to think about what I hadn't done and what I wanted to do. Since being a kid in St. Catharines, all I've ever dreamed of doing was being an actor. I fell in love with improv.

Hallett won the fringe lottery, and is appearing in Date Me at the Next Stage Theatre Festival in January.

The full set of interviews and images from Love Your Body can be read here.

The models were photographed by Tanja-Tiziana

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