Our backs are a source of strength, protection, and flexibility in movement. Our backs are also a source of pain and weakness. We are blind to our backs when looking forward–even into a mirror, we can never see the full surface of this “other side.” And there is always that one spot on our backs that we can’t quite maneuver our arm at the right angle to itch.

This series is founded on one essence of the back that I find most peculiar: its intimacy. Showing one’s back to another person is allowing that person sight to and knowledge of a secret part of oneself that not even s/he is completely privy to. It’s a sign of trust, confidence, affection, and acceptance. It’s a level of vulnerability that doesn’t need to be addressed to be felt. And, as you will see proof of below, it’s attractive and unique.

Open-back wardrobe is trending as of late, but asking people to take their shirts off in the dead of winter is no easy feat. This series, consisting of ages ranged from 18-26, highlights and exposes arguably the most supportive part of the human body.

Originally published on March 15, 2015

"My girlfriend helps me shave my back."

"My girlfriend helps me shave my back."

"I have the best nipples I've ever seen."

"I have the best nipples I've ever seen."

"I was anorexic in high school because I was training to be a ballerina and was not stick thin."

"I was anorexic in high school because I was training to be a ballerina and was not stick thin."

"My favorite part of my body is my shoulders... SWOLEders."

"My favorite part of my body is my shoulders... SWOLEders."

"My doctor once found a cyst that he thought might be cancerous. The first thing I thought was, 'oh my, God, I am going to lose all of my hair!'"

"My doctor once found a cyst that he thought might be cancerous. The first thing I thought was, 'oh my, God, I am going to lose all of my hair!'"

(On her tattoo) "When I went to the [tattoo] shop with my mom, both of us thought it was going to be small and girly .  The guy at the shop informed us, 'In order to put everything you have in the design on your tattoo, it is going to have to be the size of a baseball.' Mom said, 'Whoa, no way!' I said, 'YOLO.'"

(On her tattoo) "When I went to the [tattoo] shop with my mom, both of us thought it was going to be small and girly. The guy at the shop informed us, 'In order to put everything you have in the design on your tattoo, it is going to have to be the size of a baseball.' Mom said, 'Whoa, no way!' I said, 'YOLO.'"

"The scar on my shoulder hurts when it rains."

"The scar on my shoulder hurts when it rains."

"When I was three years old, a lady at a store stopped me and asked for a lock of my hair. She wanted her stylist to dye her hair the same color as mine."

"When I was three years old, a lady at a store stopped me and asked for a lock of my hair. She wanted her stylist to dye her hair the same color as mine."

"I like to shower every 12 hours."

"I like to shower every 12 hours."

"I only use salon-quality shampoo."

"I only use salon-quality shampoo."

"I feel prettier when my hair is straightened."

"I feel prettier when my hair is straightened."

"I don't really have any insecurities about my body. It's the only one I've got, ya know?"

"I don't really have any insecurities about my body. It's the only one I've got, ya know?"

"I get anxiety in messy places."

"I get anxiety in messy places."

"Attribute my sanity to no less than four black venti coffees a day."

"Attribute my sanity to no less than four black venti coffees a day."

"I need a new job."

"I need a new job."

"We all hate our bodies sometimes, but they are the vehicles to our accomplishments."

"We all hate our bodies sometimes, but they are the vehicles to our accomplishments."

“I don’t believe in reincarnation, but if I did, I think I was Cleopatra in a past life.”

“I don’t believe in reincarnation, but if I did, I think I was Cleopatra in a past life.”

"I can't feel anything with my left arm."

"I can't feel anything with my left arm."

"I get my upper lip waxed."

"I get my upper lip waxed."

"I find it interesting how the media plays an ironic role in body image. On the one hand, society embraces a healthier body image, which can be seen through the advocation of 'normal looking' women in the media; but at the same time, we have so many social platforms that 'perfect looking' celebrities use to promote themselves on."

"I find it interesting how the media plays an ironic role in body image. On the one hand, society embraces a healthier body image, which can be seen through the advocation of 'normal looking' women in the media; but at the same time, we have so many social platforms that 'perfect looking' celebrities use to promote themselves on."

"I never really look at pictures of my bare body."

"I never really look at pictures of my bare body."

"My most important asset is my hair."

"My most important asset is my hair."

"My girlfriend hates when I shave my beard."

"My girlfriend hates when I shave my beard."

"I'm really self-conscious about my arms. They are what I look at first when I look at myself in pictures."

"I'm really self-conscious about my arms. They are what I look at first when I look at myself in pictures."

"I used to be extremely conscious of my scar, but over time I've developed more confidence and see it less as a flaw and more as  something that is beautiful about my body."

"I used to be extremely conscious of my scar, but over time I've developed more confidence and see it less as a flaw and more as  something that is beautiful about my body."

"I have battled eczema for my whole life."

"I have battled eczema for my whole life."

"I wish my calves were bigger."

"I wish my calves were bigger."

"I shamelessly aspire to be a member of the Godfather family."

"I shamelessly aspire to be a member of the Godfather family."

"I don't dwell on insecurities. I channel my energy into optimism."

"I don't dwell on insecurities. I channel my energy into optimism."

"I end most nights out eating pizza and watching Netflix in bed."

"I end most nights out eating pizza and watching Netflix in bed."

"I love food. Everything about eating is satisfying: it brings people together, tastes great, and it's a fun activity to cook a meal for yourself."

"I love food. Everything about eating is satisfying: it brings people together, tastes great, and it's a fun activity to cook a meal for yourself."

"I love my hour-glass figure... it makes me feel like a modern-day Marilyn. I am confident, powerful, and perfectly imperfect."

"I love my hour-glass figure... it makes me feel like a modern-day Marilyn. I am confident, powerful, and perfectly imperfect."

"I love being naked. I sleep naked."

"I love being naked. I sleep naked."

"We never really look at our bodies from this perspective. I am seeing myself in a different light and I don't know what to make of it."

"We never really look at our bodies from this perspective. I am seeing myself in a different light and I don't know what to make of it."

"Sometimes I get so angry I feel like I'm on fire."

"Sometimes I get so angry I feel like I'm on fire."

"My indulgences include paying for overpriced ice cream at Whole Foods."

"My indulgences include paying for overpriced ice cream at Whole Foods."

"I was bulimic up until my sophomore year of college, and I am so happy to be able to stand here confidently and not second guess every little part of my body."

"I was bulimic up until my sophomore year of college, and I am so happy to be able to stand here confidently and not second guess every little part of my body."

"My motto at the gym is, 'wings make you fly.' Get it?"

"My motto at the gym is, 'wings make you fly.' Get it?"

"I wish my hair was nicer. I wish it was beach-y, and flow-y."

"I wish my hair was nicer. I wish it was beach-y, and flow-y."

"I think my head has a weird shape."

"I think my head has a weird shape."

"I have Bibles in three different languages."

"I have Bibles in three different languages."

"I have dermatographic urticaria. So you can draw on me and it doesn't hurt any more than usual. My skin just turns super red."

"I have dermatographic urticaria. So you can draw on me and it doesn't hurt any more than usual. My skin just turns super red."

"I cut a foot and a half of my hair off when I was going through a rough patch with a boy. I never cut my hair off before then. When my mom first saw it, she burst into tears."

"I cut a foot and a half of my hair off when I was going through a rough patch with a boy. I never cut my hair off before then. When my mom first saw it, she burst into tears."

"I don't want to sound vain, but every time I am in front of a mirror, I either flex or look at my abs."

"I don't want to sound vain, but every time I am in front of a mirror, I either flex or look at my abs."

"I have a non-existent ass."

"I have a non-existent ass."

"I wish I had less acne."

"I wish I had less acne."

"Growing up, I always thought that my body had to fit a certain mold to be considered beautiful, but today I appreciate my features for being different."

"Growing up, I always thought that my body had to fit a certain mold to be considered beautiful, but today I appreciate my features for being different."

"Can you see the scars on my back? They never completely healed after I tore my muscle during gymnastics practice."

"Can you see the scars on my back? They never completely healed after I tore my muscle during gymnastics practice."