Beauty Defined – Honest Portraits by Neringa Rekašiūtė
Neringa Rekašiūtė is the daring Lithuanian photographer who is behind these captivating black and white portraits of women. WE.WOMEN is actually a social project launched by actress and TV hostess Beata Tiškevič, communications specialist Modesta Kairytė, and Neringa Rekašiūtė to inspire women to accept and love their bodies as they are. It is also a form of protest against the irrational body standards promoted by mass media. In an interview, Neringa said: “Our models have experienced a variety of poor body image problems: anorexia, bulimia, breast cancer, vitiligo, depression, fat-shaming, skinny-shaming… It is as diverse as we could get for this one project.”
Together, a dozen courageous women volunteered to bare their bodies in an effort to change the definition of sexy. Wearing nothing but their underwear, they faced themselves in a mirror and learned to love themselves as they are: imperfect, but all the more beautiful because of those imperfections. After all, not everyone’s qualified to be a runway model, but just because you couldn’t cut it on the runway, doesn’t mean you’re ugly.
During the same interview, Neringa added that the project showed a big chunk of the psychological scars that mar our society. That instead of focusing on a person’s character, we judge them by their appearance – a concept Beata readily agrees with when she said: “we are not only our body – the body is only form rather than content”.
According to Neringa, the series was a healing experience for the participants. Their shared pain gave the women a strong bond with each other and they still keep in touch to help and give advice to each other. The project was shot in Lithuania where it was greeted with a great deal of enthusiasm.
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