Bonnianne Ratliff

is creating a community of healing for women to love their bodies.

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Supporters
$5
per month
You are here because you believe in the work Bonnianne does in the world through SOAM and through her other projects. You want an online community that is based in equity and love with a gentle expectation that we are all doing important psyche work. You believe that SOAM has done good in the world and you want to contribute to helping it grow and reach more people.
Forever Fans
$25
per month
You are here because SOAM means something to you personally, or because you believe in Bonnianne's work. You *get* the spirit of the work and are excited to learn more about the world in a safe and brave space.

As I move SOAM forward, I will need groups of guinea pigs to help me test out various workshops I will eventually offer to the public for a fee. Everyone in this tier and above are welcome to take part in these events, and your feedback will be essential to SOAM's ability to grow and help more people in the future.
Stans
$50
per month
You are here because you are passionate about the work that Bonnianne does with SOAM and in her other work. You recognize that this work is part of the foundation for a better future for women and girls, as well as for every gender. The subjects that Bonnianne writes about (body positivity, self-love, mental illness, neurodivergence, and feminism, among others) are subjects that you believe should be brought further into the mainstream as we work individually and together to heal our toxic patriarchy. You are the lifeblood of SOAM.

14

patrons

$182

per month

About

I am Bonnianne Ratliff (she/her/hers), a disabled, single mother to two amazing, disabled teenagers. In 2006 I started TheShapeOfAMother.com (SOAM), the first website dedicated to showing the world what the postpartum body really looks like. I am also a writer, currently working on several projects including a memoir about my childhood growing up in a hoarder home, a novel about a midwife navigating a post apocalyptic world, and a book based on SOAM itself. I recently earned my bachelor degree in English with honors and distinction as well as a minor in Women's Studies and I am excited to use this knowledge to back my work and activism.

I started SOAM in July 2006 with a few photos from friends and nothing else. I begged people to share the link, fully expecting the project to go nowhere. My expectations were not met. In fact, the site blew up immediately and within a month it was featured in the London Guardian. It was clear that women were desperate for the knowledge that they weren't alone in how their bodies had changed during and after pregnancy. Back then, it was harder to find unretouched pictures of postpartum women; web 2.0 was in its infancy and movements like this one had not yet become popular. SOAM broke that conversation open and sparked the beginnings of healing in women worldwide.

The most effective way to continue any sort of healing of the psyche is to immerse yourself in a community that shares your ideals. Healing is a path, a practice; there is no one moment in time in which you will be finished. This is why SOAM's work in the world is still so important: we are far from finished healing, individually, but also, and especially, as a society.

It is also important to note that SOAM is not just for moms. For one thing, we are a fully inclusive site, dedicated to equity and that includes embracing gender nonconforming parents. But even beyond that, this work is vital to every human on the planet, because, chances are, we all know someone whose body has changed due to pregnancy. By learning more about body positivity, we learn best how to support each other. But we also learn other skills: radical listening, how to be an ally, how to deconstruct the toxic values we've been raised with. This kind of work has far-reaching potential in every aspect of our personal lives and our society as a whole.

Because I have recently become disabled, this Patreon is a work in progress. I'm still learning how to grow as an artist and entrepreneur and I am still recovering from various health issues, so bear with me as I figure all of this out. This Patreon is also currently our primary source of income, and getting it functioning is the #1 best way to help me support people across the world in their journey to body positivity. Financial security will enable me to focus on SOAM in all of its many facets and to grow into something new and better. As I become more financially and physically stable, I hope to offer more concrete incentives such as t-shirts or other swag. But ultimately, I hope to create a tight community of people that I not only hope to offer art and information to, but who I also hope and expect to learn from. Future projects that I want to bring to the world through SOAM are body positive rituals and workshops, online book clubs, webinars, and, someday, conferences.

Consider becoming a patron of SOAM and help to support my family and the work I do in the world. I can't wait to begin working together!
Goals
$182 of $750 per month
This first goal of $750 per month will go simply towards financially stabilizing my family as I have recently become unable to work a 40-hour-a-week job. Meeting this goal will free up significant energy and time that I will be able to put directly back into working on SOAM.

Future projects that I want to bring to the world through SOAM are body positive rituals and workshops, online book clubs, webinars, and, someday, conferences.
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