Thanks to campaigns and movements from brands like Aerie and high profile celebs like Ashley Graham and Ariel Winter advocating for more body diversity in the media, the body positive movement has gained the attention it needs. And while we're thankful that there are changes being made, there's still a lot more to be done.
Now, Amy Herrmann, an Australian photographer, is taking things into her own hands with a photo series she plans to turn into a book showcasing different women of different body types posing in lingerie.
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 modelling 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 modelling" – you cannot judge a book by it's 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! #regram via @carolynuphill Make your pledge via our #Kickstartercampaign (LINK IN BIO) #acceptance #loveyourself #loveothers #bodypositive #bodylove #dontjudgeme #modelsarerealwomentoo #bodypositivity
According to the project's Kickstarter page, her goal is to share the stories that shaped them, "rather than succumbing to the fictitious default stories that have long been associated with various body types."
She plans to photograph 100 women of different backgrounds and body types to demonstrate that everyone has their own relationship with their body, and also that there is a story beyond what's at the surface.
"Society (us) have developed a myriad of stereotyped responses to certain body types," Herrman writes on the project's Kickstarter page. "That is, the fat girl who needs the gym. The skinny girl who needs to eat more. The disabled woman who needs sympathy. The beautiful girl that is always happy. But these are simply programmed responses created by us and for us to suit a greater societal ideal for what is deemed acceptable and 'normal.'"
"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." — Underneath I AM ADAPTABLE — What an incredible woman. We photographed this very special lady over the weekend in Melbourne. Proof that the shyest of introverts can throw themselves into the most confronting of experiences and come out the other end feeling totally empowered and accomplished. I love the way in which Sarah has completely embraced her newly formed exterior embellishment that runs almost the entire length of her abdomen. Her attitude toward what the body is capable of rather than the aesthetic byproduct of major surgery is perfect! On a personal level, this woman is a complete superhero in my eyes. Not only was she incredibly nervous, she also had her three young children with her on the day of the shoot, and STILL managed to keep her cool the entire time and long enough to end up with this final shot that perfectly encompasses her chosen word — ADAPTABLE. What a perfect role-model she is for her children. They must be three of the most blessed children to have a mother like you Sarah. #rolemodel #mothers #bodiesareamazing #underneathiam #underneathwearewomen #adaptable #coolcalmandcollected #bodypositive #bodylove #whatcanyourbodyaccomplish
Each photo has an overlay that completes the "Underneath I Am…" phrase. For example, you'll see "Underneath I Am Vibrant" and "Underneath I Am Fierce within the project.
A little peek into our last shoot in #Adelaide South Australia. This is Mathilde. An absolute inspiration of a woman. Strong, intelligent, fun, quirky and in her own words, "RESILIENT". I could talk about how incredible this girl is all day but I'll let her photograph do that for me. 💪❤️ #underneathIAM #resilient #woman #adelaide #southaustralia #thisgirl
Herrmann hopes to publish her book in May of next year and even wants to make it available in schools to inspire young girls.
This article originally appeared on InStyle.com/MIMI.