Even people with the healthiest body image have all been there before – at least once. You’ve stood in front of the mirror and thought to yourself: ugh. If only I could change [blank] or lose [blank] pounds. You begin playing the comparison game. You may even visualize advertisements or celebrity red carpet moments.
While this is to be expected from time to time, for many, the horror that they perceive to see in the mirror is enough to turn away and never want to face it again. This poor body image and low self esteem may even prompt a bevvy of disorders and mental health problems.
Lithuanian photographer Neringa Rekasiute and journalist Beata Tiskevoc are putting this issue front and center. They invited 12 women to participate in their project, WE.WOMEN, which prompted them to face their bodies head on and love themselves for who they truly are.
The series is powerful not only in that they toy with the typical dysmorphic body image that circulates the Internet (typically a skinny girl staring back at a curvier version of themselves) but also because of the stories behind each portrait. For the photo shoot these women were invited to pose in just their underwear and stare back at exactly what they look like, but each volunteer was said to have a darker story in their pasts – making the exercise that much more emotional.
“Our models have experienced a variety of poor body image problems: anorexia, bulimia, breast cancer, vitiligo, depression, fat-shaming, skinny-shaming… It is as diverse as we could get for this one project.”
On that note, we see that the images are not only about self-acceptance and self-love, but also about judgement acceptance of others. So often the only thing many people focus on are exteriors, but the truth of the matter is that exteriors change and morph. It’s the underlying story and past that we need to keep mindful of. You can poke fun at someone, but you don’t know what they have been through or what lies in their past. Think before you pass judgement. You wouldn’t want someone pointing their finger at you.