Shame. This word is so strongly associated with a woman’s body image. We feel shame for being shapely, scarred, and stretched. Exposing a belly that is not toned, not tanned, and not tiny is a bold and incredible thing to do. It exposes the lie we tell ourselves: that a part of us is unacceptable or unwanted. During my second pregnancy, my midwife caught site of my appendectomy scar on my belly and the large stretch mark coming from it. “That’s a shame” she said. Actually, ma’am, no it’s not, thank you very much. Pride. I feel pride for that appendectomy scar because I lived to tell the tale, proud of that huge stretch mark because that was from my daughter, and proud for all of the other marks because that tells the story of my son. As I was taking pictures of my belly, I began to feel transformed and sexy. I saw my belly and I wanted my belly. It no longer feels like a dirty secret to me. What a joyful thing to feel! Thank you to all of the women sharing a part of themselves here. Our belly’s deserve some credit and it’s about time we give ’em a break! They’ve been through enough.