Neringa Rekasiute’s “We. Women” Photo Project Places Women In the Throes Of A Major Fear — And Is An Ode To Raw Self-Love
What is a beautiful woman? Our media is full of images, attempting to construct what a perfect woman should look like. Sexualisation and standartisation of a female body in the media have direct negative consequences in the society. Objectivisation of body encourages the society to focus on physical appearance of women instead of embracing their personality and inner feelings. As a consequence, about half of women are dissatisfied with their bodies, which leads to a number of psychological and health problems.
Three Lithuanian women – actress and TV hostess Beata Tiškevič, photographer Neringa Rekašiūtė and communications specialist Modesta Kairytė – decided to protest against the distorted female image in mass media by launching the social project “We.Women”. This project seeks to inspire women to accept and love their bodies as they are: with all their inner and outer scars.
In the middle of October twelve brave women were asked to open up – tell their story and be photographed only in their underwear. Each woman shared her hurtful and profound stories; they fought with physical and mental experiences such as fat-shaming, skinny- shaming, vitiligo, anorexia, bulimia, depression, self-harm and breast cancer.
“This project showed us lots of deep scars in our society,” says Neringa.
Lithuania is usually praised for beautiful women and women are forced to keep up with the standard. This fosters permanent female dissatisfaction with their body and poor self- esteem, therefore, it was necessary to speak up about these issues.
“Media tends to sell the perfect woman image which is one dimensional and usually photoshopped. Yes, we are perfect, with all our stories, scars and experiences,” says Modesta.
Beata emphasises that we tend to forget that “we are not only our body – the body is only form rather than content”.
When the project idea and invitation for women to participate was posted by Beata on her Facebook profile, women from all over Lithuania started writing and telling their stories. After reading all of them, 12 women were chosen to participate in the project.
As Neringa says, “it was a healing experience for all the participants and so inspiring for us all. We still keep in touch, help and advise one another, and we feel very bonded and strong”.