Sammy Nickalls
July 15, 2015 1:09 pm

Underneath it all, who are you? What words would you use to define yourself? These are the questions that one amazing woman is making us consider with a new Pozible campaign titled “Underneath, We Are . . . Women.” Amy Herrmann—a visual artist from Adelaide, Australia—has a mission: to photograph 100 women dressed in only underwear to celebrate the wide array of body diversity in our world. That is, she’s taking pictures of women. . . without airbrushing out the things that make us real, human women.

“Underneath, we are. . .  young, fat, tall, we are trans, skinny, disabled, we are mothers, we are short, scarred and old,” Herrmann writes of the campaign. “We are the many labels that society has created for us. But what if I told you that underneath, underneath it all, I am. . . determined, tenacious, strong, capable, loud, resilient. . . would you see me differently?”

The photographs portray women of all shapes, sizes, and ages. “The goal is to photograph 100 women,” Herrmann explains. “But educate [thousands]. Education is key to giving women and men a better understanding and appreciation for the diversity of the female body and the ways in which it grows, shapes and changes over time and with different life experiences.”

The project is an attempt to combat the lack of body diversity all around us in the media and the low self-esteem and body-hate many girls and women feel  because of it. Of course, we’ve been making strides with amazing plus-sized models like Tess Holliday, but the intense Photoshopping and unrealistic body standards persist in the media. Herrmann, a self-proclaimed feminist, aims to change that with her project.

While Herrmann is also a visual artist and portrait photographer, this photo project is particularly near and dear to the women’s rights activist’s heart. “I am a mother to two beautiful girls, and I would love nothing more in this world. . . than to see them grow up with a healthy appreciation for their body and its capabilities no matter what life (and genetics) gives them,” she writes on the campaign’s page. “. . . I want them to appreciate the diversity of the body in others. To be appreciative and accepting of the beautiful and simple fact that we are all born differently and we are all presented with different experiences throughout our lives that gives us our forever changing and forever unique bodies.”

In order to photograph 100 women, Herrmann explains on her Pozible that she needs $2,700 to kick off the project. These funds will allow her to photograph seven more women and create a starter promotional video to use on the project’s website and social media pages. With 32 days to go, Amy has already achieved that number — 67 supporters have donated over $3,000.

“Interest in this project has been beyond what I ever could have hoped for,” Herrmann told Mashable. “Women from all over the world are putting up their hands and registering their interest for this project in hope that it might give them more confidence and better self-acceptance of their own bodies.”

The positive effect of the project is evident in the women who have participated in the photo shoot. “Seeing them genuinely love the image of themselves has been incredible rewarding,” she explained to Mashable.

We totally love this project and can’t wait to see how far it goes. Body diversity is something that is so, so essential, yet sadly rarely seen in the media. With projects like these, we can chip away at unrealistic beauty standards portrayed in popular culture and help women love themselves just how they are. After all, underneath, we are women.

Images via Amy Herrmann

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