WARNING: You might catch the epidemic of self-love if you read on.
You might have seen this powerful image from Tucson photographer Jade Beall circulating the web.
If you love this photo, it isn't just you — it's garnered over 35,000 Likes on Facebook alone!
Jade has already made some online waves with her viral images celebrating the female body post-childbirth, a photo series called "A Beautiful Body Project." But after her successful Kickstarter and book, "The Bodies of Mothers," she sent a survey to her followers, asking: "What do you want to see next?"
The overwhelming response: elder bodies.
So Jade began a quest to find subjects. At first, it was difficult because most of her elder subjects were hesitant to share their images online. But then Jade thought of her friends Gerry and Darwin ... and they were totally game!
Preparing for the shoot, Jade told Upworthy, "I knew exactly what I wanted to do. I just wanted a really simple embrace."
Jade wanted to capture a simple embrace, but what she got was, well, a little bit of a revolution!
"They started kissing at one point [and] I was just like, 'Damn!' So juicy and so real. I had to stop at one point. I had to stop at one point because mascara was running in my eyes," Jade said.
"My wish is for an epidemic of self-love."
Jade's larger mission as a photographer is to show images that are so real, beautiful, and moving that they crack open our human hearts and leave a permanent crack in the idea that there's only one standard for beauty.
"All my life I've been hyper-aware that my physical body dominates people's perception of me, and that's always felt really awful," she said. "When I look at magazines, I think, 'Well they're beautiful.' But it just makes me feel so ... unseen."
"I craved images that were beautiful and diverse and celebrated things that we think need to be Photoshopped away," Jade said.
I'd say she's satisfying her craving, don't you think? And she's changing minds one beautiful viral photo at a time!
Since posting that first photo on social media, Jade has been inundated with emails from people over 60 requesting to have their pictures taken — and shared online.
Here are some of her other recent photos from the series:
"As soon as somebody opens the door, it allows permission for others to realize maybe it's not so scary — maybe it's incredibly healing for themselves, and maybe they could affect thousands of other people," Jade said.
She has even noticed younger folks in the comments sharing a sense of celebration, support, and also ... relief.
"Young people are saying things like, 'Maybe it's gonna be OK and we don't have to be afraid and ashamed of growing older.'"
Jade's wish for the world is pretty noble: unwavering self-love.
"I find that when I can love myself unwaveringly — just feel at peace in my body — it allows me to connect on deeper level with my other humans. To see their beauty deeply inside and their perfection on the outside, and not what I've been trained to see, which is a one-body-type, one-skin-type definition of beauty," she said.
"My wish would be for an epidemic of self-love! I see the ripple effect. When I photograph people and they start loving themselves a little bit more, I see their lives get better."
"I see [people] become better parents, better spouses" when they love themselves, Jade said.
"I see them walking taller. I see more peace in their lives. Less judgment, less conflict. So that would be my wish. "