Why do women have to pose nude to prove they're beautiful?

Italian photographer Yossi Loloi is fascinated by obese women. He finds their bodies, their faces, their vulnerability appealing. He has created the Full Beauty project specifically to challenge our idea of beauty, sex, size and femininity.

Mission accomplished.

Here's how I feel when I look at these pictures: I just want to give these women a hug, wrap them in a robe and send them home before anyone says anything nasty to them. But clearly I'm too late. Why do women have to pose nude to prove they are beautiful?

Loloi began his project in 2006. It took a while to convince some of the women to pose. “Women of size have always purely fascinated me,” Loloi, 37, told Newsweek in an email interview. “I had a very strong drive to show something that normally people don't get to see. I like the serenity of the models I portrayed and to me their shapes are the most interesting thing I have seen in my life.”

These women weigh between 160 and 270 kilos and range in age from 23 to 50. You have to admire how brave they are to have taken part in this. They must have known how some people would react.

“The women depicted are targets of societal backlash, but they are strong,” Loloi said. “They fight for acceptance in a world that doesn’t approve of the slightest bulging of a love handle, let alone ‘morbid obesity’ or the possibility that some people find beauty in … all those things women spend thousands of dollars on every year trying to erase.”

Confronting or beautiful? What's your reaction to these viral photos?

Born and raised in Milan, Loloi dropped out of high school when he was 16 to work at his father’s Persian carpet business. (His father was born in Iran, his mother Israel; both are Jewish.) But Loloi had always gravitated towards art and photography, and at 24, he moved to Jerusalem to study at the Naggar School of Photography. Today, he lives in Milan.

View the entire Full Beauty project here.

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