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Utilizing writing and photography, our book addresses today’s crazy beauty ideal by offering sanity through self-acceptance.
Utilizing writing and photography, our book addresses today’s crazy beauty ideal by offering sanity through self-acceptance.
76 backers pledged $6,221 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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$6,221

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Unapologetic Beauty addresses today’s crazy beauty ideal by describing and defining it and offering sanity through self-acceptance. Elegant and visceral post-mastectomy photos exemplify unapologetic beauty.

Unapologetic Beauty is a guidebook that welcomes people into new ways of seeing and talking about female beauty—ahas! of understanding and sighs of relief. It is equally an educational tool and a healing manual. The text and pictures work together to lift readers out of the abyss of imperfections and never-enough that the beauty ideal imposes. We present ways to reimagine, so that girls and women can envision, create, and be comfortable in their own uniquely unapologetic beauty.” (Excerpt from Unapologetic Beauty)


Who we are

Frances is a fine arts photographer and Joanna is a writer, scholar, performance artist, and emerita professor of art history. We’re award-winners in our respective fields.

“Frances and I are great confidantes and playmates, and our friendship is proven, through thick and thin. . . [We] met in 1983 . . . , and Frances asked me if I’d pose for her. . . [She] calls me her muse and model. . . [Our] empathic artistry, produced from our interactions and conversations in and out of the studio, contrasts with the prototype of a model silently posing for a photographer who authoritatively observes and directs her. We are both authorities.” (Excerpt from Unapologetic Beauty)


Our Goals

Our goals include transforming women’s perceptions and feelings about their physical appearance, reaching everyone who knows and loves women, and seeing to it that Unapologetic Beauty is used for educational purposes, at colleges and universities, cancer centers, and women’s centers.

Rewards

Pledge $10
Receive a postcard from Unapologetic Beauty (selected at random from the images below)

Frances Murray, "Self Evidence" Series, 2013-2016
Frances Murray, "Self Evidence" Series, 2013-2016

Pledge $25
Receive a postcard from Unapologetic Beauty along with a personal thank you from Frances and Joanna

Pledge $50 
Receive all 3 postcards (see above) from Unapologetic Beauty along with a personal thank you from Frances and Joanna

Pledge $100  
Receive a copy of A Short Story about a Big Healing - composed of writing by Joanna and photographs by Frances - with a personal inscription from Joanna

Pledge $250
Receive a photograph (8.5” x 11”) by Frances from Unapologetic Beauty printed on archival paper and with archival inks and stamp

Pledge $500
Receive a photograph (11” x 14”) by Frances from Unapologetic Beauty printed on archival paper and with archival inks and stamp

Pledge $1,000
Receive a photograph by Frances (11” x 14”) from Unapologetic Beauty printed on archival paper with archival inks, matted, suitable for framing, and signed with a personal thank you from her

Pledge $1,000
Receive a selection of 3 books by Joanna (author's choice), each with a personal inscription from her

Possible titles include:  

  • BRUMAS  
  • Erotic Faculties  
  • Monster/Beauty: Building the Body of Love 
  • Swooning Beauty: A Memoir of Pleasure 
  • Clairvoyance (For Those In The Desert}: Performance Pieces, 1979-2004 
  • The Glamour of Being Real 
  • A Short Story about a Big Healing


Where Your Donations Are Going 

Funding will be used for photography, writing, layout and design, and submitting the manuscript to publishers. We still need to create more photos, revise and edit the writing, fashion an elegant layout and design, and submit the work to publishers known for producing high quality art books that are beautiful and that redefine commonly held perceptions.


Our book includes the following material—and much more:

Photographs that document an artistic collaboration and deep friendship between 2 women over 3 decades, with a focus on post-mastectomy photos, and writing that includes Joanna’s personal perceptions about her breast cancer experience, her appearance, and female beauty.

“I have never thought that thin is better than fat, blonde hair better than brunette, straight better than curls, long legs better than short, young better than old, white skin better than brown, makeup better than bareness, feminine style better than masculine, big breasts better than small—or none! I have never thought that any part of my body is better than another.”  (Excerpt from Unapologetic Beauty)


Emotional and logical thought processes about breasts and breast surgeries, both mastectomy and reconstruction. 

“A surgeon severs breasts, but a woman may feel severed from the comforts and familiarity of her most intimate home, the body. Reconstruction may ease homesickness.” (Excerpt from Unapologetic Beauty)


Interviews with doctors whose specialty is breast cancer and with artists and scholars who have had a breast cancer experience.

“As [the artist Annie] Sprinkle says, ‘I was not concerned, wasn’t fussy about what my breasts would look like’ after the lumpectomies. ‘I think having been a pin-up model and having made a lot of porn, I felt good about my body, and I had documented it well and enjoyed it to the hilt. So I welcomed whatever was coming next.’”  (Excerpt from Unapologetic Beauty)


A discussion of the importance of language in women’s and girls’ perceptions of themselves and other females.

“Where language leads we follow. It can be a guiding light. It can also be a guiding gloom. . . What we think determines what we say: the stories we tell about beauty—our own, others’, and society’s; the way that we apologize for our perceived beauty flaws; and our definitions of beauty itself.”  (Excerpt from Unapologetic Beauty)


Concise explanations and examples of apology.

“A cultural environment of apology can motivate actions that are unnecessary for physical wellbeing, such as dieting for hyperthinness, lifting breasts to an eccentric pertness, Botoxing teenage girls and women in their twenties, and dyeing snowy hair.” (Excerpt from Unapologetic Beauty)


The key importance of personal pleasure in converting self-loathing into self-love.

“Unapologetic beauty thrives on pleasure. It is the result of pleasing ourselves. . . Pleasure and power go hand in hand.”  (Excerpt from Unapologetic Beauty)


Fresh definitions and models of beauty. 

“None of my beauty heroes are celebrities. They have never looked more beautiful to me than the general population.”  (Excerpt from Unapologetic Beauty)

Risks and challenges

While we believe that working through a publisher will most effectively serve our mission to bring "Unapologetic Beauty" to as large an audience as possible, if our project is not accepted by a publisher, we will move forward to self-publish. Joanna has self-published two of her books, so we have the experience necessary to pursue that course.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Postcard of an image (4" x 6") from "Unapologetic Beauty"

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Postcard of an image (4" x 6") from "Unapologetic Beauty" with a personal thank you from Frances and Joanna

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    11 backers
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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Selection of 3 postcard images (4" x 6" each) from "Unapologetic Beauty" with a personal thank you from Frances and Joanna

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    13 backers
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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Copy of "A Short Story about a Big Healing"—composed of writing by Joanna and photographs by Frances—with a personal inscription from Joanna

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    18 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Receive a photograph (8.5” x 11”) by Frances from "Unapologetic Beauty" printed on archival paper and with archival inks and stamp

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    3 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Photograph (11” x 14”) by Frances from "Unapologetic Beauty" printed on archival paper and with archival inks and stamp

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    0 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    A selection of 3 books by Joanna (author's choice), each with a personal inscription from her

    Possible titles include:
    - "BRUMAS"
    - "Erotic Faculties"
    - "Monster/Beauty: Building the Body of Love"
    - "Swooning Beauty: A Memoir of Pleasure"
    - "Clairvoyance (For Those In The Desert}: Performance Pieces, 1979-2004"
    - "The Glamour of Being Real"
    - "A Short Story about a Big Healing"

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    1 backer
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    A photograph by Frances (11” x 14”) from "Unapologetic Beauty" printed on archival paper with archival inks, matted, suitable for framing, and signed with a personal thank you from her

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    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 0 backers
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Funding period

- (30 days)