Talented mother and daughter duo Elisa Goodkind and Lily Mandelbaum describe asking “A select group of individuals to participate in a project in which they will remove their clothes… To honour how style is not the clothes you wear. Style is not a facade, it is comfort in your own skin, it is knowing who you are, it is what’s underneath.”
With such a raw, real and unapologetic ethos, a minimalist, open and honest aesthetic, naturally I fell in love with the series. If you are at all interested in body image, style, and empowering women then you need to check out ‘The What’s Underneath Project!’ In the words of the creators “We have harnessed a new wave of fashion where style is not about celebrity status, trends or airbrushed photographs. Style is self-acceptance and at the core of every person’s identity… the time to change the conversation on beauty and style is now!”
For me personally, witnessing other women go against the grain as they say fuck the status quo! Living authentically, choosing to be happy, all the while succeeding in life! It is such a wonderful source of inspiration and has the effect of really building me up. Naomi Shimada is one example of such a strong and spirited woman.
Other individuals describe a diverse range of experiences and an array of accounts. Accounts that touch on or directly involve domestic abuse, sexual assault, rape, victimisation, discrimination, issues surrounding gender and sexuality, stories of substance abuse, ongoing problems with addiction and mental health issues. Such sensitive subjects would ordinarily be considered as taboo, very often swept under the carpet and ignored. However, here we see them being addressed confidently, with dignity and tact, in a manner that can only be described as brave and courageous. Also, the comfort and beauty that each individual radiates in their own skin despite having endured some of the most harrowing of human experiences is just breathtaking. Both astonishing and remarkable, the life stories encourage you to find the same sense of comfort, beauty and freedom within, irrespective of our own relative circumstances.
Always intrigued and forever curious, I am wondering as to what your thoughts are? What do you make of ‘The What’s Underneath Project’? What does body image and style mean to you? Just as in the videos, I would also like to ask all of you … What do you think your style says about you? What do you like most about your body and what do you dislike most about your body? When do you feel the most vulnerable? When do you feel the most beautiful? Why in your body is it a good place to be?
I firmly believe that sharing our thoughts and communicating our experiences will aid us as individuals and also serve to help other women. In doing so we are creating an environment that is accepting and non judgmental, all the while being open, honest and real. Here we share a complete freedom and a platform where people can feel completely at ease and comfortable with themselves. A luxury that not all women are privy too and so for this freedom I am forever grateful. Please do drop me a line, as always I would just love to hear from you.