Based on a True Body: How Running Photos Lie to Us and Why it Matters

Image description: Lindley, a fat white woman with shoulder-length blonde hair, glasses and a sleeveless heart-polka-dot dress, stands with her arms raised and resting on each wall of a narrow brick alley. Superimposed on the image are the Fitness Protection logo and the words Body Love with Lindley Ashline. End image description.

Photography is both descriptive and prescriptive. It’s descriptive because it captures the world and people around us, but it’s also prescriptive because photos of people are so ubiquitous in our digital world that we photographers create what is considered “normal.” And unfortunately, photographers grow up and live in the same world as everyone else: one that both emphasizes and rewards compliance with cultural beauty standards.

Over on Fitness Protection’s Running Life blog, I’m talking about why it matters which images appear on the cover of running magazines, why the bodies you see in the media don’t match the ones you see at races and how you can get involved in representing bodies like yours.

Hi there! I'm Lindley. I create artwork that celebrates the unique beauty of bodies that fall outside conventional "beauty" standards at Body Liberation Photography. I'm also the creator of Body Liberation Stock and the Body Love Shop, a curated central resource for body-friendly artwork and products. Find all my work here at