Photographer Anastasia Kuba has learned that although body positivity is important, beauty is much more complex.
Kuba’s self-identification as a beautiful woman shaped many of her life choices growing up. “There was nothing else I thought I had to offer. I was young — I hadn’t really established my identity yet, who I was.” To support herself in her early 20s, after moving from Russia to the United States, Kuba worked as a topless dancer. It wasn’t a defining moment in Kuba’s life, but an affirmation of what she already felt — that her value was affixed to her appearance.
A lot of contemporary feminist discussion focuses around ideas of empowerment and body positivity, propelling the belief that every woman, or more aptly every human being, is beautiful. Although Kuba doesn’t disagree with the sentiment, for her, it misses the mark. “We usually talk about the body positivity movement by…
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