Acceptance. A local project is hoping to send an inspiring message of empowerment and positive self-esteem through photographs and true words.
The I Am Project is a collaborative effort between friends Leanne Everett and Abbie Poke, and local models who have posed for photographs baring all – physically and emotionally. Their intent is to show others of all ages that positive role models have imperfections and that is perfectly fine. A message accompanies each photograph. The Chronicle is featuring these women’s stories.
The I Am Project has been a rewarding and challenging experience.
Frustrated by the level of hatred most women I know have about their bodies, I chose to tell the story of my body to illustrate what I believe is a need to stop the self-loathing of ourselves and the judgement of other women.
The battles I have had with my body were mainly the result of sexual abuse. I learnt that my body was not really mine. As a child I learnt that it was a commodity and I had little choice in what happened to it.
This was affirmed by the images and language of popular media and society. How could I love my body that was both ugly and broken?
I used bulimia, countless therapies and ‘self-help’ techniques in an effort to love my broken body.
We as women all have our stories to tell – they influence how we see ourselves and how we see others. My body tells the story of my life and so does yours. I am re-writing my story and hope our stories will encourage you to do the same.
By Kate Cross
I, like many women, am my own harshest critic when it comes to my body and have wasted too many hours being unhappy with the way that I look, often feeling that my appearance lacks femininity. I have never been one you would describe as delicate, in appearance or personality!
This was once highlighted by a male colleague, who went on to comment, ‘No wonder you’re not married.’
But I have come to the realisation that a strong woman can also be a beautiful woman. Beauty and strength go hand in hand and are not polar opposites.
I hope that my part in this project encourages other women to truly love and celebrate who they are, inside and out.
By Jess Popowski
For free support, information or counselling regarding sexual assault, phone Laurel House on 6431 9711, for eating disorders visit Tasmania Recovery From Eating Disorders at www.tred.org.au or www.butterflyfoundation.org.au.
Local support, information, counselling or referral to further support services is also available by phoning Smithton Medical Centre on 6452 2555, Wyndarra Centre on 6452 2722, Rural Health Tasmania on 6452 1266 and Circular Head Aboriginal Corporation on 6452 1287.
To find out more about the I Am Project, led by locals, go to www.chchronicle.com.au or visit the Leanne Everett Photography Facebook page.