If a picture is worth a thousand words, than the amazing images in these photo galleries surely write their own novels.  Several fascinating photo galleries have come across my screen lately, and I couldn't help but notice the connection between them.  They celebrate life.  They celebrate change.  And they celebrate the myriad definitions of beauty that we never see in the mainstream media.  Here are three of my favorites.  

Grab a cup of tea and a few quiet minutes this weekend and enjoy...

A Beautiful Body Project.  Is a woman's body still beautiful after childbirth? Of course it is.  I know that and you know that.  And ever since Kate Middleton showed off her post-baby bump, millions of other people are finally beginning to know that, too.  But all too often, images of the postpartum body are pushed aside, airbrushed, or "fixed" to remove any signs of "imperfection."  In this gallery of images, photographer Jade Beall celebrates the postpartum body with photo after photo celebrating the real bodies of mothers.  No airpbrush.  No Photohop.  Just real mothers.  Beautiful.

Reflections. In this thought-provoking photo gallery, artist Tom Hussey asks the question...'Do you feel your age?'  Hussey embarked on this specific series of images after talking with an 80-year-old World War II veteran who couldn't believe how quickly time had passed.  He simply cound't believe that he was an 80-year-old man rather than a strapping young 20-something soldier.  Each image depicts the scene of a mature senior looking in a mirror at an image of what appears to be their younger self. In actuality, Hussey paired up older models with convincing dopplegangers 40 or 50 years their junior.  Still, his images force you to think about what you see when you look at others, and what you see when you look in your own mirror.

The Awkward Years Project. Do you remember your awkward years?  You know, the years after the cuteness of lost teeth and ponytails wore off and you were left with bad skin and frizzy hair and braces.  In this Tumblr project, photographer Merilee Allred takes a look back at the awkward years of her models and compares them to the polished, beautiful people that they are today.  From her Tumblr page, "I want to share a collection of people sharing their most awkward years and show how great of people they turned out to be. To all the nerds, geeks, and fashion victims, past or present, this project is for you!"  

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