The What’s Underneath Project: Jacky O’Shaughnessy

4175438-3x2-700x467 has created a wonderfully revealing series entitled The What’s Underneath Project where while sitting on a stool in front of a camera, women share their stories. Stories of what it feels like to be them, to be in their bodies, their quirks, irks. They share their relationship the their bodies  in the world surrounding them. There are some very authentic and touching stories, some poignant moments where they share their frustrations of not being ideal, and the constant struggle to reach that unobtainable ideal. But here is the twist, as they share, they take items of clothing off  eventually they are left in their skivvies… Now physically as well as emotionally exposed.

I came across Jacky O’Shaughnessy’s interview on Facebook and became intrigued first by Jacky (the 62 year old American Apparel model) who shares both her heart breaking story of dating a younger man for 6 years while  in LA, and the evening he told her that she was too old to be seen with in public, and  how she was discovered by a woman at American Apparel. In O’Shaughnessy’s story we can easily see ourselves, when she talks about that decision to stop dying her hair!!! when she says “I’m done!” I get it, I get her, she is me she might well be you too. Her surrender is palpable, it is admirable. She is the woman we all hope we can grow up to be, even as she informs us that she just got there ! Which, makes us love her more!

check out her interview

As I perused the stylelikeuyoutube station and watched more, I found that I had to agree with some of the comments on the pages that took note of the fact that the majority of the participants are thin, and very attractive, and white. There are a few minorities that I found, also a transgendered woman and a full figured one as well, but I have to agree that the ratio was off. Where I have to give them kudos for the sentiment of the project, not having more cultural and physical diversity might well move against task. It could be read as once again ,only people who are closer to the commercial ideal should be seen naked, or are asked to take their clothes off. Conversely it could say that even people who seem to fit the ideal have body issues and insecurities too… Which I agree with and support wholeheartedly, and have shared my personal thoughts on

It’s a toss up. personally as a woman of color I like to be included, I mean not just represented by one or two, but I enough to create a spectrum of the diversity that is present within my race. There are Asian, and Latina women who have stories to share and those stories need to be heard so that women who look like them know that they are not alone. That having been said, it’s a start. Check out their page here