First I want to say thank you to Elisa and Lily for creating Style Like U; a platform that celebrates all forms of beauty, breaking down barriers and changing the look of mainstream media’s ideal of beauty as well enforcing self acceptance as the new aesthetic standard. Showing others what it truly means to love unconditionally. You might not have to get it or understand but you are teaching others to appreciate confidence, to see beauty in that, so we can teach our children that it is more than ok to color outside the lines.
Second and excuse my French I was a bit scared sh@tless when asked to participate in the “What’s Underneath”; a project showcasing that “style is more than just the clothes we wear”. It is one thing to reveal your most intimate secrets but to do it while undressing to your undies is like a surreal episode of Fear Factor, but I was also hesitant because it was not only my story but my twin sister’s and Mother’s story of how our father violently abused us every week for over a decade. With their blessing I realized I had to push past the fear in order to bring courage not only to myself but to others in showing there is more to life then just those moments, you are not alone and with positive support and outlets, it can and will get better…your past does not define you!
Shortly after this experience I soon realized my story did not only belong to me but to so many other young women. Every single email and comment on social media just further supported my beliefs that we are more connected than we may think. One particular email I received literally left me breathless when a young woman emailed me from Scotland and begin to tell me how her little sister revealed their father was physically torturing her during the eldest’s absence from home due to college. She revealed this abuse after watching my What’s Underneath story. She then said she wanted to thank me because her little sister is only 13, and not sure if she would have had the strength to open up until that day…in that moment this is what The “What’s Underneath Project” represents…that in revealing a core part of what makes us who we are…a part of us that might not be so pretty, but it represents a strength that connects us, in return giving someone else the strength to reveal and connect with another. Collectively making us stronger, better and more compassionate individuals.
“Struggle is strength “
Now this inspiring Mother and Daughter team need our help in transforming the “What’s Underneath” project into a documentary film. Taking the movement globally in further sharing more courageous stories around the world to unite us. Click this link; I Am What’s Underneath to find out more info on donating and rewards (including a 1 hour skype call with anyone of your favorite “What’s Underneath” participants).
“Some of our subjects had already liberated themselves from the scars of this cultural conditioning, while others were in the process. But what was so moving to us was to see What’s Underneath become a stage for catharsis — a stepping stone towards self-acceptance.
And true self-acceptance is not about looking like some made-up ideal of perfection. It is about the bravery to be in this world, exactly as you are, and not in the image of others. That is what gives a person style. That is what makes a person beautiful.” -Elisa & Lily
More on the "What's Underneath" Kickstarter here