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This Body-Positive Project Shows How Amazing Women Really Are

Underneath We Are Women will show 100 women at their realest.

Underneath We Are Women is a project by Australian photographer Amy D. Herrmann that aims to show the incredible diversity of women's bodies — and souls.

Amy D. Herrmann / Via Facebook: underneathwearewomen

Each model is asked to strip down to her underwear and tell her story, including one adjective she'd use to describe herself underneath it all.

Amy D. Herrmann / Underneath We Are Women

Herrmann said that last year, she came across a sketch about the project that she'd made years earlier, and decided to finally go for it.

Amy D. Herrmann / Underneath We Are Women

"I had just had my second daughter at the time and thought how powerful this project would be for my kids — a project that showed true diversity through untouched and natural photographs," she told BuzzFeed.

Amy D. Herrmann / Underneath We Are Women

And although Herrmann's models — including mothers and moms-to-be, women with disabilities, trans women, and survivors of illness — have all been incredibly different, there tends to be a common thread on shoot day.

Amy D. Herrmann / Underneath We Are Women

"The most surprising thing about this project is the change that happens when these women are photographed," said Herrmann. "They come into the studio extremely self-conscious...but during the shoot, there is always a moment when I see them let go."

Amy D. Herrmann / Underneath We Are Women

"It's a beautiful thing to see a woman who has been so unhappy in her skin for so long completely let her guard down, even just for a couple of minutes."

Amy D. Herrmann / Underneath We Are Women

"There's such joy in that, and I'm lucky that women trust me enough to capture that vulnerable side of them."

Amy D. Herrmann / Underneath We Are Women

One of Herrmann's favorite parts of the process is reviewing the shots with her models after their shoot.

Amy D. Herrmann / Underneath We Are Women

"They start by saying things like, 'Oh, that one is pretty,' or 'No, I don't like my tummy in that one,'" she told BuzzFeed, "but then we get to the images where they have really let go, and their personality truly shines."

Amy D. Herrmann / Underneath We Are Women

"That's when they start to use completely different language about themselves, and start looking at themselves as a complete person."

Amy D. Herrmann / Underneath We Are Women

"They say things like, 'Wow, I am fierce in that shot!' It's wonderful seeing that shift in their attitude toward their bodies and themselves."

Amy D. Herrmann / Underneath We Are Women

"I hope this project will empower people," Herrmann, who is running a Kickstarter to turn the project into a book, told BuzzFeed. "I hope that it will shed some light on the types of bodies and stories we don't see or hear about in the media."

Amy D. Herrmann / Underneath We Are Women

"I wish there was a project like this around when I was younger; if there was, perhaps women wouldn't feel the need to be involved in mine, just to gain their lives back after years of self-depreciation."

Amy D. Herrmann / Underneath We Are Women

"I wish this project didn't need to exist at all," Herrmann said. "But it does, and it is important."

Amy D. Herrmann / Underneath We Are Women
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