“A culture fixated on female thinness is fixated on female obedience.” – Naomi Wolf

Google a term “wild swimmer” and you’ll find images of mostly young, thin, athletic women jumping carelessly into lakes and rivers. Most high street swimwear only goes up to size 18 at a stretch, and if you are looking for a wetsuit for a bigger female body, good luck to you. You won’t find one. 

“Fat people don’t swim” is an actual phrase uttered in real life by one of sales executives of a swimwear brand when asked to consider supplying bigger sizes. But even without saying it, the subliminal message is clear, and it’s insidious: if you live in a bigger body, you don’t belong here.

And yet, these women – and many others like them – beg to differ. Still ongoing, this project will combine photographs and interviews, challenging us to rethink what a swimmer looks like – and consider our own relationships with our bodies.

If you’d like to become part of this project, please get in touch.