Women Are Posing Naked To Reclaim Their Bodies


Caitlin Stasey’s new project, Herself.com, gives women a platform to embrace themselves completely. Note: this post contains nudity.

Australian actress Caitlin Stasey has just launched Herself.com, a feminist website designed to empower women of all shapes, sizes, ethnicities, sexualities and gender identities.

The website features nude photoshoots of various women combined with in-depth interviews, and will be updated with a new profile every week.

"Herself is a gesture to women for women by women, a chance to witness the female form in all its honesty without the burden of the male gaze, without the burden of appealing to anyone," says Caitlin. "These women are simply and courageously existing, immortalised within these photos."

Jennifer Toole / Via herself.com

The Please Like Me star reveals she was inspired to create the site after recognising the need for a space for all women - whether they be cis, trans, genderqueer or intersex - to talk about their experiences.

"I wanted to feature women from all walks of life in the hope that women who rarely see themselves reflected in the media could find solidarity, could find people LIKE them rather than people they are constantly being told to be like."

Jennifer Toole / Via herself.com

When she started the project, Caitlin says she was struck by how many of the women posing for the photos apologised for their bodies.

"Women's bodies are taken from them, dissected, scrutinised and then sold back to them - we are expected to foot the bill of societally-influenced perfection," she says. "These women were apologising for not living up to arbitrary standards stipulated by the patriarchy, cosmetic industry and ongoing, systemic oppression."

"Working as an actor has always made me acutely aware of how I look, how others look, how others are told they should look and how we all pay fortunes (financially and emotionally) to abide by these arbitrary stipulations. I was always self-conscious as a teen, but working in entertainment has heightened my awareness of injustice when it comes to the female form and the constant criticism of it."

Jennifer Toole / Via http://herself.com

"Jennifer has such an incredible bedside manner that I think all self-consciousness melts away while shooting with her. I know I felt a tad embarrassed at first when I was taking my portraits, but I eventually came to find that there's no reason to apologise for this vessel I was blessed with. All the women who took part couldn't speak highly enough of the experience and I hope have come to find new pockets of confidence within themselves."

Jennifer Toole / Via http://herself.com

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