The definition of a physically fit woman is often misaligned with being super skinny and seriously lacking in muscle. But Jasper, Indiana, photographer Cory Layman is out to challenge that stereotype with his riveting photo series âBody by Derby.â
Inspired by Howard Schatzâs Athlete, Laymanâs snaps feature roller derby players of different ages and sizes, highlighting the variety of body types that engage in this highly athletic sport.
âI wanted to put together a source for skaters to come to, to see what real derby bodies looked like. And, at the same time, I wanted them to have context and understanding about that body,â he told Health. âI wanted them to see bodies which were similar to themselves and see that those bodies were beautiful, and maybe, for a brief moment, understand that their own body is just as beautiful.â
While Laymanâs initial goal was to impact others by promoting body confidence, he admits that his project has had a profound affect on him as well. Specifically, one woman told him she decided against getting plastic surgery after she saw his portrait of her.
âFor that skater to make such a profound decision based upon my photos of her is very touching,â Layman said. âHow does one really come to grips with the idea that my vision allowed someone to understand how beautiful they are?Â I will never claim that I am a great or acclaimed artist, I'm simply someone who's out to photograph people and try to show them what I see.â
Here are some of Layman's powerful images of derby athletes: