Bums on the table

"IF I can alter even one woman's perception of their body then I'll be happy," admitted Sophie Bird, orchestrator of the Manning's first 'Beautiful Bum Book'.

On February 1, Sophie and 40 other local women will come together to celebrate and promote body love.

She's planned an afternoon of fun, laughs and games, followed by a special photo shoot for the voluntary subjects, that will be turned into a tasteful and artistic coffee table book, highlighting the beauty of the female form in all its shapes and sizes.

The 20-year-old local is still overwhelmed by the response to her "crazy idea", after it was formulated just over a week ago.

"I still can't believe it, I've been completely overwhelmed, I'm just so happy," said Sophie who received numerous inquiries and almost 450 likes on the project's Facebook page, in just four days.

"It's reached the point where I've been having to apologise and turn people away because I've reached the 40 women that I needed, there's now a waiting list of people wanting to take part if someone pulls out or can't make it."

The brave subjects range in age from 18 through to 58, from a size eight, through to a size 20 and each woman is the first to admit that they have their own insecurities, but they'll be baring their behinds to focus on positive body image.

The Beautiful Bum Book inspiration came from Sophie's new swimwear range that she recently launched with best friend and business partner Bree Gardiner.

Moku Swim offers swimwear for all women but both the girls were surprised to hear so many women admitting that they felt they "could never wear a bikini like those".

"It really threw me and sort of stopped me in my tracks because I genuinely believe that all women are beautiful and should feel comfortable to be themselves," explained Sophie.

"Our model for Moku is a size 10-12 and it was really important to us to ensure that all images are unretouched," she added.

"I know that there are other positive body image campaigns out there but I was concerned that maybe that message hadn't quite filtered through to our community so I thought why not bring it directly to the women of the Manning, to inspire other local women and give them something they can be proud of."

Each participant has written a quote for Sophie and shared it with the group, highlighting how they feel about their body and why. Sophie will then ask them to write another quote on the day of the shoot, once her "Balmy Bum Army" have come together, to see how their perceptions may have changed once they are in the positive environment with other women.

"All of these admissions will be included on the pages of the book, anonymously, but to hopefully show how feelings can change with the support and nurturing of others," Sophie said.

The Beautiful Bum Book will be a 50 page publication of photographs and body affirmations, captured with the help of Sophie's friend and budding photographer, Felicity Lambert.

Sophie is seeking help from the local business community to support the project and allow the book to come to fruition, with any leftover proceeds then going towards another body positive project, next time possibly aimed at boys and men.

"This is a love project for me but I really hope other people will see its potential and help us out," she said.

Anyone wanting to find out more information, or to help The Beautiful Bum Book get off the ground, should contact Sophie at moku_swim@outlook.com

"Either way, the response I've had has been amazing and having these brave women come forward and put themselves on the line for me is pretty great.

"I just want them to feel nurtured and comfortable and hopefully the flow on from that will be a bit more self love in the community," added Sophie.

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