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Woman sparks controversy after recreating naked Madonna pose

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An artist and activist has sparked a very mixed reaction after posing for a naked picture of herself recreating an iconic picture of Madonna.

Denise Jolly chose to go naked and replicate the iconic image of Madonna's naked hitching picture from her Sex book. Except Denise doesn't look like Madonna.

Not only does she have dark hair, as opposed to Madonna's bleach-blonde 'do, but Denise doesn't have a size zero figure. At 300lb she would be considered heavily overweight or obese.

Taken by the team at Shameless Photography, a company which aims to empower women and works to help any woman feel beautiful with their photos, to many the picture demonstrates that just because some women don't have the 'perfect body' (whatever that means anyway), it doesn't mean they can't be beautiful too.

In a piece written by Denise for the Huffington Post, she explains that she decided to go through with the photoshoot as she never thought she could ever be beautiful and attractive.

In fact, it took spotting a book titled The Full Body Project for her to see body shapes and beauty a little differently.

"I looked at each page, each body and found myself looking at parts of me I had never considered worthy of seeing. While every body in the book was large, each one was unique in its shape and grace."

From there her mindset changed and she began to think differently about how she defined beauty and how she could possibly change other people's minds too.

After that she met Shameless Photography, and she started thinking about all the big-bodied women who inspired her. While many of them were strong, fearless and brilliant women (for example Rosanne Barr), none of them were particularly sexy or sexual.

However, the one picture that kept coming back to her mind was Madonna's hitchhiking picture, so they decided to recreate it because "the image was so unapologetic that 22 years later, it still lives in the forefront of my memory".

But that doesn't mean she didn't have doubts:

"I kept asking myself, who am I to be so bold as to not only get naked for a photo shoot in public but also share that photograph with the world? But the counter question came immediately, "Who am I NOT to share a gorgeous and artistic photo of me standing boldly and unapologetically in my body with the world?"

However, the image, which appears in the post has also elicited critcism, with many commenters suggesting that although she might be brave, to condone someone's body shape that is clearly overweight and therefore unhealthy is wrong.

Commenter Catherine Pizzi wrote: "I wonder if it is entirely in her best interest to be obese while realizing the serious health complications. It is not a question of "standards" of beauty when you are jeopardizing your well being."

While another commenter, Ruba says: "I'm not buying into this fat-loving business, calling it beauty. One neither needs to be obese nor very slim to feel beautiful. What happened to simply accepting your body as beautiful? What about not only accepting it, but loving it enough to keep it healthy?"

But when we're faced with unhealthily thin images on the catwalk should we judge Denise's picture so harshly? Shouldn't we accept this as a way to help all women accept their bodies the way they are?

What do you think? Is this beautiful and brave or is it just irresponsible? Tell us in the comments below or tweet us @stylistmagazine

(Image: Shameless Photography)

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