Tag Archives: Women en Large: Images of Fat Nudes

Photo of the Week: Lani Ka’ahumanu

Lani Ka’ahumanu is a bisexual and feminist writer and activist. She has done important work for many years. Lani was one of the women I photographed for Women En Large: Images of Fat Nudes. She wrote My Body is A Map of My Life for Women En Large and it accompanies her portrait in the book.


My Body Is A Map Of My Life

I perform a ritual when I remove my clothes with someone, whether it’s to sunbathe, sauna, massage, or to make love.

I tell the stories of my scars.

Besides the pearly stretch marks that texture my arms, legs, breasts, and belly, that I acquired during my two pregnancies, there are scars: a long think pink one that follows my right rib line for 6 or 7 inches (from gall bladder surgery between the births of my son and daughter); a seam line from hip to hip and one around my belly button from surgery that removed three pounds of hanging skin; an appendicitis scar; and one-inch wide stretch marks—after I lost the 120 pounds seven years after I gained them.


I didn’t always appreciate my body. I used to be ashamed and embarrassed. I had a difficult time baring myself with or even without other people around. I would avoid looking at myself, really looking beyond the self-hate, beyond the media image that I should be, that I could be if only … there was no real sense other than I wasn’t good enough. I was constantly comparing myself … It was one of my closet characters, and the more I denied it, the more control it had over me. It was a drag. I wanted to be free of it, so I practiced. I practiced being nude alone, dancing, walking, sitting, laying, playing, looking in the mirror at every angle of myself.

It wasn’t easy, but as the months and years passed, I became more comfortable and accepting … you could even say I developed a nonchalant attitude when in the nude. I began to feel at home in my body and in this growing sense of well-being. SCAR WOMAN emerged from the closet.

All imperfections imposed, I claim the unique, distinctive markings,

making them perfect in the showing.

my body is a map of my life

It is a patchwork quilt

that is warm, and soft, and strong

Women En Large Book in The Tate’s Martin Parr Photobook Collection.


Laurie says:


I’m totally delighted that the Tate Modern (museum) in London acquired my book Women En Large: Images of Fat Nudes for their world renowned Martin Parr Photobook Collection. The book is in many libraries but this is extraordinarily special and important.

Quote is from PhotoBook

Martin Parr’s personal collection of more than 12,000 photo books are to enter the National Gallery through a partnership with LUMA Foundation and the generosity of Art Fund and Tate’s supporters
Tate has announced that it is to acquire Martin Parr’s world-renowned collection of photo books. Built up over 25 years, Parr’s collection of over 12,000 photobooks is widely acknowledged as one of the greatest in the world. It covers an unprecedented range of subjects, geographies and types of photographic practice, including many of the most iconic volumes in the history of photography. The acquisition places Tate as an institutional world leader in the representation of photobooks. The collection has been part gifted by Martin Parr and acquired by Tate with the generous support of the LUMA Foundation…

A changing selection of the books will be incorporated into displays and exhibitions at Tate’s galleries, while the collection as a whole will be catalogued and made available to the public through the reading room at Tate Britain. Tate will also work in partnership with the LUMA Foundation to showcase selections from this unique collection at LUMA Arles, the new cultural centre currently being developed in Arles, France. Loans from the collection will help support the foundation’s ‘Living Archive Programme’, an experimental multidisciplinary programme which integrates diverse forms of art, including photography, design, literature, film, performance and dance, and shares these resources with the public.