A photographer wants to prove that there’s no such thing as the “perfect woman” by photographing women in their underwear.
Emily Lauren’s ‘Average Girl’ project aims to promote a culture of body positivity to combat the one-size-fits-all idea of beauty often promoted by the media.
“I started this project because I was tired of seeing only one type of woman represented in the media,” the photographer tells The Huffington Post UK.
“The reality is the perfect woman isn’t even real because she is Photoshopped, manipulated and changed by the media.
“When I finally realised that the media profits off of our dissatisfaction with ourselves, I realised that the only way to combat this was to create and put out more sources of body-positive media.”
To date, Lauren has photographed more than 40 women for her project ranging from the ages of 16 to 39. The women are from all walks of life, from students to stay-at-home mums and business women.
“Sometimes I get asked about why I called the project ‘Average Girl’, as if I am referring to only one type of woman,” Lauren says.
“I think ‘average’ is a place where we all fit, [but] we all feel that we don’t fit in. That’s normal! Hence, ‘Average Girl’. Skinny, medium, large... it does not matter. We all face the same kind of pressures in society.”
Lauren says the majority of women in the project chose to keep their names anonymous, but the most memorable person she photographed was a teenager she refers to as “Miss J”.
“She was only 16 and had got her parents consent to do the photo session with me,” Lauren says.
“After interviewing her, I realised how much she was going through on the inside and how badly this book is needed.
“The teen years are especially hard and it’s crucial that we teach young women how to identify and challenge the things that make them feel bad about who they are and what they look like.
“We need to get these women healthy again, in mind and body.”
Lauren is currently crowdfunding to publish a book featuring the images, titled ‘Average Girl: A Guide To Loving Your Body’, but says her main priority is promoting body positivity.
“I don’t care to make a profit off of this book, I only want to raise enough funds to get it in the hands of the people that need it most,” she says.
“I want to make this book because I needed it so badly when I was in my teen years.
“My goal is that every person that reads it will see someone who reminds them of themselves and this will remind them that they are not alone.”
See more images from the ‘Average Girl’ project below or donate to Emily Lauren’s Kickstarter page here.