What’s the word on that radiant looking woman holding a cup of Joe in the buff like Amy Schumer did in the Pirelli calendar?
It’s Lauren Marie Fleming, the sort of body activist who emanates beams of positivity, so she decided to strike the same pose as the mouthpiece for all your thoughts about eating takeout noodles while getting serviced: Amy Schumer.
In the picture, shot by Bob Williams, Fleming is showing off her figure and there’s that stare, reflecting her current state: proud. She is spreading a vision all her own — in her purest form: nekked, smart move. Bonus: she’d like others to follow suit. There are many reasons why world runner Amy Schumer should cede the spotlight a bit so that we can look at more caffeinated hot bods. Here’s one incentive to look at Fleming: her new book about loving your body, Badwy Love: Ten Steps to Profoundly Loving Your Body just came out, so this photo was about showing off her purest form. Even though looking at the photos of her killing it in a seated position wasn’t a bag of balloons for her, she did it.
Curious to know more about why she did, RunwayRiot chatted with her about what Pirelli’s groundbreaking discovery of a sexy soft stomach meant to her and why she really wanted to do this.
Why did you recreate Annie’s Amy photo?
Thanks for asking! When I first saw Amy Schumer’s photo for the Pirelli calendar – and more importantly her brilliant caption which encapsulated the complicated feelings we all have when looking at our bodies – I was awed and inspired by its stunning authenticity. Personally and professionally, I strive to be authentic and raw, so I decided to attempt to recreate that feeling for myself with Bob Williams, a photographer known for shooting high-end fashion and fitness models. We both had to push far past our comfort zones – me trying to capture the essence of the amazing Amy Schumer, him trying to recreate a shot from the talented Annie Leibowitz – and in the end we decided it was less about being Amy and Annie and more about being Lauren and Bob. This is our most authentic versions of ourselves as artists, and I’m proud of the reflection of ourselves in this shot.
Did anything surprising or funny happen at the shoot?
Bob and I have worked together before, so I was used to being in the studio with him, even naked. I was walking around naked with him, another photographer, and his wife in the room and felt totally comfortable and wonderful in my body.
And what are you getting at with recreating this buzzy and personally meaningful picture?
The shoot was originally to celebrate the publishing of my book Bawdy Love: 10 Steps to Profoundly Loving Your Body, which was released the day before, and all three of them are big fans of mine, so I was very much feeling the love. Then I saw the photos. It struck me how much I was used to seeing my flaws in a mirror but not on film. Bob and I usually use lighting and posing to make flattering shots, and here I was, twisted and turning, all of my rolls lining up along my body. I was shocked at how hard it was at first to look at the photos and see the real, raw me. It was then that I knew I had to post these, so I could help normalize non-photoshopped fat* bodies in the media. I took some of my own advice, sent my body some love, and pressed “submit” sending myself, flaws and all, out into the world.
What do you want to happen?
If I had my wish, every woman I know would recreate this photo. In fact, Bob Williams and I invite any woman who wants to do this to come to Eugene, Oregon, and we’ll make as many recreations of this as possible!
How did you feel after?
!@#$ing fabulous. Free. Like I didn’t let a little thing like fat* rolls and cellulite keep me from having fun, creating art, and sharing my fully authentic self.
Why now? Aside from the book…
I turned 33 yesterday, the day my book came out. My book had been on the top of my bucket list for years. When my brother died, I promised myself I wouldn’t die without finishing a book. So it felt like today was the day to do exactly what I wanted, to drop any and all pretenses, and be fully me.
*Editor’s Note: We include all words in quotes as they were as part of our commitment to truth.