IN MY ASS is a project that puts our asses in the front, empowering women and their relationship with their bodies.
More than two years ago, I met with talented graphic designer and illustrator Daana Avni and her creative illustrations and wrote about her and her blue oranges.
This time we met in Berlin, where Daana lives with her husband and their two baby dogs. We are here to talk about her latest project ‘IN MY ASS’ that has taken social media networks by storm. Within this creative project Daana proudly illustrated 200 women’s asses in various shapes and sizes, with a pure intention of empowering woman and their love for their bodies.
How did it all start? Danna admits that for a very long time she wanted to create something for women only. She noticed that when seeing a woman’s ass on any of the social media platforms – the perception would mostly lead to something either sexual or even sleazy, even if that weren’t at all the intention.
“This is such a gorgeous part of the female body but we usually don’t have a chance to see it as it is right behind us! So why not put it in the front for once?’ says Daana. “I felt that if I illustrated this part of the female body, it will be harder to address it as a sexual object. After all, this is an illustration! That’s how it all started for me.”
Daana then posted a request on her Facebook page calling for women who would like to have their ass illustrated – without really explaining the reason behind it. She wanted each woman to interpret it from her own personal point of view.
The response was mind blowing: after only an hour she had a waiting list of 60 women willing to take part in the project, for different reasons. Displaying a part of your body online even as an illustration can mean something different to each woman, with her own set of believes and body image and that is exactly what Daana was aiming for.
Daana believes the timing was just right. “The #metoo campaign against sexual harassment started shortly after I launched my project, and there is a general feeling that women are finally learning to take advantage of their own voice using the different social media platforms. This is extremely inspiring for me and makes me happy.”
In my ass, the project’s name, is very specific. Daana insists on using the word: ASS, rather than ‘bottom’, ‘buttocks’ ‘behind’ or any other politically correct word. “I think ASS is a cheeky word” she says. “So what! this is a part of what the project means.”
I asked Daana what was the response for this in -your -face project? “99 percent of the responses were and still are just overwhelming and heart-warming” she recalls. There are religious women who are not used to exposing their bodies, pregnant women that weren’t feeling sexy anymore or women who lost all intimacy with their partners and were reminded of how their bodies can be adored. There were even the ones who wanted to buy sexy underwear just for the sake of the project.
The most important part for Daana is hearing back from all those women – on how it helped them to realise how great their ass really was, appreciating it again no matter the size or shape. For some women it was truly hard to expose themselves and they felt brave for doing so. “I admire those women!” she says “It is not easy to send a photo of your ass to a complete stranger. Of course there are still the ones that prefer to stay anonymous, and I totally respect that.”
Obviously there will always be the odd response that will not be as supportive. “One girl wrote to protest against me illustrating ‘fat’ girls. I was truly appalled”, remembers Daana. “But I kept ignoring responses like that as most of them were so supportive it just kept me going and made me completely disregard the negative ones.”
So what we can expect to see from Daana in the future? Ass number 200 is being illustrated as we speak, and she is hoping to cross-continents and boundaries and reach as much as even 1000 incredible women, encouraging them to be proud of themselves and their bodies. Doing all that through her colourful art that puts a beautiful spotlight on women everywhere.
Find out more about Daana and her project on Facebook