Yesterday, on the way to my shoot, I came across Stacey Baker photographing for her Instagram feed. I have always been a fan. So cool to watch her in action. @stace_a_lace #citilegs #nycity #nytimes #bts #40thstreet #legs #streetphotgraphy
If the proliferation of the Internet-born term “thigh gap” has taught women anything, it’s that there is one type of leg shape all women should aspire to obtain: Long, lean, and with thin enough thighs that never the twain stems shall meet.
In reality, though, legs come in all different sizes, lengths, builds, and colors—and that’s something that ought to be accepted, if not celebrated. Stacey Baker, a New York Times Magazine staff photographer, is doing her part to do the latter with her viral Instagram account turned Tumblr turned upcoming book—out this fall.
Using the hashtag #CitiLegs, Baker takes pictures of women from the hips down, putting an anonymous spotlight on what they’re wearing on their lower halves (who knew there were so many kinds of leggings??), as well as the unique look of their pins.
“My favorite pictures are the ones that become something other than just legs; when they look like sculptures,” she told Slate. “I don’t mean to flatter myself or the project. I know they’re just pictures of women’s legs taken against a wall, but occasionally, the deconstructed legs look like something more.”
And, despite what the fashion industry and #thinspo blogs may lead you to believe, Baker says that it’s the legs without thigh gaps that actually photograph better than those that do. “I like that more often than not, it’s fuller figures that achieve [a sculptural quality], not the model-thin legs. Models’ legs generally don’t make for interesting leg pictures. Legs with curves do and as someone who has always wanted model-thin legs, that’s good for me to see.”
Hooray for body positivity!—and some of the most creative uses of poly-spandex we’ve ever seen.