Ask yourself, how much time per day you spend focusing on self-doubt or negative thoughts? Now imagine what could be achieved if all those negative thoughts became positive. Imagine all the things we could achieve if we focused that same time and energy into things we loved rather than on hating our bodies and minds.
This project is about showcasing the diversity of women’s bodies and sharing the stories that shaped them rather than succumbing to the fictitious default stories that have long been associated with various body types.
As diverse as we are as people, our bodies are equally as diverse. Each of us on our own individual journey, we will encounter many things that will alter, improve, challenge and change us both physically and mentally. Sometimes our journey is etched onto our exterior façade, but what you see on the surface isn’t always the truth. For that, you will need to look a little deeper, read a little further, let down your guard for a moment and hear us out. Initial judgments on appearance are only human, it's what we do after that first thought that's important. Our first judgment of another woman can so often be misled.
Society (us) have developed a myriad of stereotyped responses to certain body types. 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". What if you actually knew these people? What if you took the time to hear their story? You’d hear that the fat girl goes to the gym 4 times a week and is on her journey to becoming a personal trainer. You’d hear that the skinny girl has terminal Cancer. The beautiful girl is living with depression. The disabled woman is perfectly able. You’d hear and see truth. How beautiful is that?
Your lifestyle is not determined by your exterior façade, so why would we assume to know someone else’s based on appearance alone? The thing about thoughts is that they belong to you. Only you can change the way you perceive yourself and those around you. Only you can make the choice to open yourself up to the possibility of self-love and in return begin to see the real world around you, not the one that has been thrown in our faces for decades in a quest to prey on the insecurities of women, that, coincidentally, were created by those very same people.
It’s time to stop perceiving a woman’s confidence as arrogance and disguising self-depreciation as some type of modesty.
This is about embracing our own journey and respecting another’s journey too. It’s about acknowledging where we are in our present journey and still choosing to love ourselves regardless. How long will you wait until you start living your life? How many goals will you set yourself before you choose to embrace your present self?
This book is being created to show people that we can start loving ourselves now. We don’t need to wait anymore!
Throughout this entire journey so far, I have received so much support from both the women involved in the project and those simply wanting to help in anyway they can. Whether that be assisting on the day of the shoot, lending a hand with hair or makeup (should the women want it), or of course, designing the actual book. I have learnt to accept help when others have offered and realised in the process of this journey that my thoughts and views on this topic are so widely shared by those around me. Now, I'm asking for help one last time, to see this project through to completion, the production of the final book.
With the production of this book, it will see the completion of this stage in my journey, but the beginning of yours! You will see the true diversity of women in both physical appearance and the stories UNDERNEATH that exterior. You will see the many ways in which women are born and the ways in which they change and develop through their entire lives. Our bodies and minds are ever changing and this change is what make us all who we are. Its time to start embracing that change and difference!
Through raw, honest and untouched images of 100 women, you can begin to appreciate the diversity that is WOMEN and in turn, learn to appreciate your own uniqueness!
Underneath THEY are WOMEN!
BUDGET & STRETCH GOALS
Reaching our goal set in this Kickstarter Campaign will allow me to print 400 books in total. Printing a larger quantity of books means that I can then offer a much more affordable unit price for our backers/buyers (you!).
This time last year, I raised $4k to give me the leg up I needed to kick off the photographing component of this project. That $4k allowed me to photograph women in 3 states of Australia. I stretched that money as far as I possibly could and since that has run out, I have been funding this project from my own pocket. That includes, the production of a video for the project, setting up a website, funding the design component of the book and the funding of two additional shoots, in total, just over $7,000. But this project is important to myself and my family and therefore the justification was 100% there to put this money toward something that is going to benefit our daughters future. But, now its time to ask for a little help...
I also have a few plans in place if we (and hopefully we do) exceed our goal of just over 30k.
Once the book is completed and printed, we will be officially launching it to the public through an event/book launch, and as much as I am making use of any and all contacts I have to bring this project together as affordably as I can, these things unfortunately do cost money. $10,000 over the initial goal of $30k will see us put on an exceptional launch that will reach as many people as possible.
At this stage, the entire project has been shot within Australia. However, we have had many women outside of Australia that have applied too. If we were to exceed our initial goal, I would then be able to set up teams of people around the world to help assist in photographing some of those women from outside of Australia to be included in this book. A further $38,000 on top of the initial goal of $30k would see us photograph up to 30 women outside of Australia as well as holding book launches in various cities around the world. This project has always been about inclusion and diversity, so to have the option of gaining a wider reach of women from various cultural and geographical locations would benefit the projects overall outcome immensely.
To put all of that in perspective, if this campaign were to raise just shy of $70k, the project and final book would have the greatest potential of reaching, helping and educating as many people as possible! That is, producing 400 books, photographing 100 women from around the world and holding multiple book launches in various cities around the world to bring this message to as many people as we possibly can!
Many people have expressed their interest in participating or supporting this project without the want/need to be photographed for the book. The rewards being offered for this Kickstarter Campaign is a way to do just that. Whether it be a t-shirt, a custom engraved bangle or pre-ordering the actual book, I have tried to give ways in which both women AND men can help support the project monetarily AND receive something awesome in return!
My incredible designer, Brent Leideritz, has come up with not only an awesome logo for the project, but also a way that both women AND men can support the project through these custom T's for either guys or girls!
Working on this project for the past 12 months has made me realise that sometimes having a small reminder throughout the day of how awesome and capable you actually are can be an incredibly uplifting thing, and sometimes, it's exactly what you need to get you through the day! So I worked with the amazing Adelaide based jeweller, Kate Sutherland to bring you all a custom engraved bangle that does just that! With your own custom word engraved into these gorgeous sterling silver bangles, you can have that little reminder with you, every single day!
The pictured bangle has been engraved with Underneath I Am Resilient. But you can choose whatever word you'd like...confident...awesome...fierce...unbreakable!...
And of course, what you've all been waiting for! THE BOOK!
Again, working closely with my designer, Brent Leideritz, we have come up with a book that so beautifully showcases the images and stories of 100 women. We even had a sample copy printed out to test colours, design, font sizes and of course, to grab some shots just to show you exactly how it will look!
The final book will be printed by our friends at Open Book Howden in Adelaide, South Australia.
Applications for the project are still OPEN and can be submitted through the project website at www.underneathIAM.com Just remember to make your pledge first!
Thank you to everyone that has supported me and this project for the past 12 months, now let's get this message out as far and wide as we possibly can!
Risks and challenges
The project is still in the process of creating content for the book. This means, I have only photographed 42 of the 100 women so far.
The estimated time to complete photographing all 100 women and gather their stories is February 2017 with the launch of the book in May 2017. Because of this timeline, backers selecting either the Open Edition book or the Limited Edition book should expect their reward to arrive in May 2017.
Backers selecting the book as their reward will be kept up to date on the progress of the project from the actual photo shoot days right up to the printing and production of the final book.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)