Mama Artist Feature: Erin Darcy Talks Mama Body Love
Today we are featuring mama and artist Erin Darcy, all the way from the fairy land of Ireland!
With her daughter Claire as her muse, Erin creates swirling and magical works of art featuring mamas, babies, and families of a kinds. Her Etsy shop is chock full of incredible watercolor originals as well as prints and greeting cards (great for expectant or new mamas!). She also creates one-of-a-kind custom pieces of art by consulting with her lovely clients.
Erin is also a talented photographer and recently sent love-waves through the world with these stunning and honest photos of her postpartum body. These photos made it into the digital pages of Glamour.com, Parenting.com, msnbc.com, and The Shape of a Mother.
“i’m a mama…
my body is so imperfect and soft and sexy in a different way. in a real way… in a powerful way that- i carried life, i gave birth, and i nourish this babe. in a way that- i know i look more like you and less like airbrushed images. genuine and honest and imperfectly perfect.“
We had a chance to chat with the endearing Erin over email and seek her wisdom in a few questions.
What inspired you to take the beautiful photos of your postpartum body that have been featured on websites such as Glamour.com, Parenting.com, The Shape of a Mother, and MSNBC.com?
– Claire was 20 weeks old, I so clearly remember reaching 20 weeks pregnant with her. My body glowing and ripe. There was so much unknown swirling around, and at 20 weeks pregnant, I finally really.. really truly felt like I could celebrate that I was pregnant and was carrying a healthy baby. That this was really real. Her magic within was so mysterious to me. Then, in a split second, there was 20 week old baby….
I wanted to capture the purity and vulnerability of my soft, saggy, stretched body with her sweet rollie pollie body. A beautiful contrast.
I wanted to forever remember this moment. I wanted to celebrate this achievement.
Tell me about your reaction to all the conversations and comments that your photos have sparked.
– The reactions have been so beyond… So intense. So big. Women finally giving themselves permission to look at their body as something else. Permission to be kind to themselves. Permission to really truly see their beauty. If only for a little moment. It’s like it gave them a way out- a gentle bow out from mainstream images of what we are ‘supposed’ to look like.
To which I feel… incredibly proud, honoured, humbled, beside myself… and also like- I’m not big enough to hold all of this space for these women. It felt like such a simple act- this picture, asking my husband to grab the camera for me since the timer was too difficult with a babe in arms… Directing him to capture what I wanted. It feels normal, you know. This is my body, I have nothing to prove to anyone. I didn’t have a statement to make- I simply was being.
In ways, it makes me sad to hear women saying ‘that’s so brave of you!’ ‘i wish i could be as brave’ because really, what’s so brave about it? and- why can’t you? It just makes me sad that that’s acceptable. That something like- normalcity- has to be congratulated, celebrated, and remind us to be kind to ourselves.
I hope that by being honest with my body, with myself, with other women- we can all move on and celebrate our own truths, our own skin… and honour the beauty within.
– I would ask women to befriend themselves. To consider themselves their best friend- would you ever say some of the negative things you say about yourself to your best friend? I doubt it… Because with your best friend- you see all of the beautiful qualities about her that she fails to see… You would remind her of how beautiful she is, how graceful her curves are, how wonderful her laugh is. You’d remind her how much you love her. It also wouldn’t matter to you what your best friend looks like- in the good times, and the bad. You love her for who she is…
I would encourage women to give themselves permission to love themselves.
There is so much weight and burden to carry around negative energy. I promise that the moment you start accepting this wonderful you in the mirror- the light and energy will shift around you… giving you more space to let the LOVE in.
anger/jealousy. depression/failure. lonely/scared
In three words, sum up your pregnancy journey.
mysterious. light. magic.
unsure. blur. delight
JOY! LIFE! LOVE!