“…style is not the clothes you wear.
Style is acceptance of yourself and others,
It is immaterial,
It is your spirit,
It’s What’s Underneath.”
That’s how most videos of the What’s Underneath Project series begin, giving the viewer a rough idea of what’s about to follow. This series was created by two women, Elisa Goodkind and Lily Mandelbaum mother and daughter, who decided back in 2009 to differentiate themselves from the prevailing fashion and beauty industries and redefine style by StyleLikeU.
“From the moment we are born, the fashion and beauty marketing machine saturates us with monolithic and unattainable notions of beauty and fashion. Obsessed with youth, meaningless consumption, photoshopped “perfection,” and celebrity-worship, we have been brainwashed to hate our bodies, dread aging, yearn for fame over integrity, and spend our lives paralyzed by a desire to fit in.
Six years ago we created StyleLikeU as alternative to this unconscious self-hate. Home to a series of radically honestdocu-style video portraits that redefine our culture’s notion of beauty, each piece of our content is driving public engagement around the reversal of the fashion and beauty industry’s crippling status quo.
By featuring the diverse stories of unapologetic individuals who are true to themselves and comfortable in their skin, you will be empowered to discover that same sense of freedom and comfort in your own skin.“
Their videos are by far the best thing that I watched in 2016. The stories they share are honest, touching, scary but, above all, encouraging. Women (and some men) who dealt with innumerable difficulties in their lives and who managed to accept, fight and overcome them, are now proud of themselves and their body that helped them through everything, good and bad. These videos play an important role since they show to the audience how ridiculously demanding society is towards women (something that quite a few people still question) and how powerful men can be.
If you don’t know where to begin with, they have created a variety of playlists in their YouTube channel, although most videos belong to more than one category. For a sneak peek of their work, here you may watch the trailer of their most recent series, directed in London. I couldn’t choose a favourite video, since each story has something different to offer.