There are a lot of challenges to being a woman. Whether it is worrying about our weight, our uncontrollable hair, wearing the right clothes, having the right chest, nose, cheekbones, and more, it’s daunting to feel never good enough for the rest of the world. While there are great strides being made in the world of women and their self-confidence, there is still a world of problems ahead to conquer, and an Adelaide-based project is looking to tackle body image head on with their “Underneath We Are Women” campaign.
Australian photographer Amy D Herrmann is working on releasing a collection of these photos soon, and the excerpts that have been placed online have been truly inspiring for women across the globe! Women are truly beautiful, in all of the different shapes and sizes and colors we come in.
Support the project here, and check out some of our favorite photos and quotes yet below!
1. Underneath I am “Vibrant”
On this, the model explained:
“Underneath I am..VIBRANT 🌹💜🌷💙🌈 My body – all six foot of it – hasn’t changed all that much since I was 12 years old. I spent most of my younger years trying to shrink into invisibility. I didn’t want to stand out, be stared at or get any extra attention. I’ve suffered an eating disorder, largely at the hands of the modeling industry. And underneath my confident, positive exterior I’ve had ongoing issues with at-times-crippling anxiety. I’ve heard everything from “you’re too tall” to “you’re too happy” to “you should try plus-size modeling” – you cannot judge a book by its cover people, you will never know the story inside if you do. Every body is beautiful and every freckle, hair, blemish, scar and wrinkle is a trophy to be proud of! 💖 Our bodies do so many wonderful things for us – let’s stop punishing them for it 💜💙💚💛 100 women. 100 stories. We need your help to make this dream a reality and to spread diversity and acceptance as far as it will reach!” – @carolynuphill
2. Underneath I am “Fun-loving”
The incredible woman is glowing inside and out!
3. Underneath I am “Fierce”
On taking a part of the UWAW project, the unnamed, yet remarkable, woman notes:
“This image of me makes me feel nervous. I can portray a confident and extroverted person to those around me, but in reality, that is not who I am and certainly not when it comes to my body image. There are many things about myself I do not allow people to see. Like many women, I don’t have a positive body image of myself. As a person with a disability I wanted to challenge society’s perception of the disabled body image and the idea it is something to be covered up, hidden, seen as unattractive and to be fixed. These are the reasons why I love this project so much. Challenging ideas. Amy is challenging, no, correcting us as a society, showing us that no matter what we look like no matter our size, shape, challenges, differences, beliefs we are all the same. Underneath we are all women. I look at this image of me and I cannot help but see all the things I don’t like, the things I am uncomfortable with. But I now also see a ‘Fierce’, brave person; I see strength and growth happening.
Please support this Awesome project go to the Kickstarter and donate even the smallest amount.” – @ek_photography_sa
4. Underneath I am “Unapologetic”
“I’ve had a storm in my mind over the last few days. Conflicting emotions; some good, some not. I thought hard about whether I wanted to actually post this full image from the @underneath_we_are_women campaign.
I’m smiling in this photo – I think it’s a wonderful portrayal of my personality and general attitude. I was smiling, but I was also terrified as this was being shot. As much confidence as I may exude and portray to the world in my everyday life, the reality is I’ve harboured quite strong feelings of resentment toward my own body for a lot of my life. Feelings, I think, which are a reflection of society’s deeply internalised attitude towards the disabled body; that it is unattractive, undesirable, shameful, broken and that it should be changed, fixed or covered up. When I note that it’s not in fact my stomach or my arms or my hips that I find it difficult to look at, or that I’m wearing almost nothing, some people may be surprised. It’s my legs and feet. They’re swollen as a result of lipoedema and look different because of my disability. I’ve been very good at hiding them from the world for years. Facing the pressures placed upon women to conform to idealised standards of beauty has been somewhat easier for me than it has been for me to live in this world as a woman with a physical disability.
This is why I have decided to post this picture. It needs to be seen. I wish, as a little girl, I had seen something like this. A disabled role model telling me that I was allowed to love myself, that I didn’t have to hide, be ashamed of or apologise for my body. That I existed. I had to figure this out (for the most part) on my own, and at times it was incredibly lonely, traumatising and isolating.
This shoot was incredibly liberating and has taken me a step further toward my self-acceptance and ability to live unapologetically in this body and in this life. 💕🌿✨🐬”
5. Underneath I am “Compassionate”
Pregnancy is truly beautiful!
6. Underneath I am “Adaptable”
Every woman’s body is truly magical. Sarah Somervell explains further-
“After I had my surgery I was never really self-conscious of the scar, it was just a reminder of what I had been through… I don’t want it to fade… I always want this reminder of how amazing my body and mind really are.” – @sarah_somervell
7. Underneath I am “Strong”
She is an inspiration!
8. Underneath I am “Positive”
She radiates amazing energy!
9. Underneath I Am “All-Encompassing”
Women could and should be anything they want to be- powerful and strong!
10. Underneath I am “Resilient”
Mental strength > everything.
11. Underneath I am “Iridescent”
She’s beautiful inside and out.
12. Underneath I am “Strength”
Women radiate power in a way that can’t be easily proclaimed, but this photo does a great job!
13. Underneath I am “Creative”
Women are creative and beautiful in their imagination!
14. Underneath I am “Perseverant” and “Evolving”
Women are enduring. We can adapt and conquer anything!
15. Underneath we are “Women”
We are women, we are strong, and we are amazing!
For those interested in the project, Amy D Herrman plans on coming to the US. Find more information on her upcoming trip in 2018, and register to be photographed here.
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Source: Demilked/Bored Panda/Instagram
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