‘You’re sense of self-worth is not relevant nor proportional to your shape or your size, or of anyone else’s.’
Model Olivia Langdon spoke candidly to the camera, her insecurities worn on her sleeve.
In a world where women are constantly faced with pre-determined ideals that define the perfect body image women are comparing themselves, hoping to fit the mould.
But Miss Langdon, together with five other curvy models, are challenging society’s perception.
Sydney’s Jessica Vander Leahy, 27, has founded #ProjectWomanKIND, a video web series of honest and raw conversations that encourage women to embrace the beauty that makes them unique.
‘Women feel negatively about themselves and about their body image due to a number of factors,’ Ms Vander Leahy told Daily Mail Australia.
‘I can’t narrow it down to one specific thing, but society has a very narrow interpretation of what it means to be beautiful.
‘Probably why so many women struggle with it so much is they don’t understand why we feel like we have to fit in to this really narrow ideal.’
It is this battle to conform that first encouraged Ms Vander Leahy to start #ProjectWomanKIND featuring herself, Olivia Langdon, Sophie Sheppard, Stefania Ferrario and Margaret Macpherson.
Working as models has meant the women featured in the web series are no strangers to having their bodies scrutinised, with rejection part of their day job.
Most agreed the industry was a double-edged sword – while they had been made at times to feel bad about their body image, the experience taught them to override any insecurities with confidence.
Ms Vander Leahy said she chose to use models for the series because they were placed under an expectation to constantly feel 100 per cent happy with themselves.
‘I think that’s why I wanted to get curvy models in particular because it was so important for me to show that everybody, no matter what size you are or what job you have, might experience in everyday life struggles with moments of low self-esteem,’ she said.
It is this journey to confidence Ms Vander Leahy captured and shared with the hope of inspiring other women to do the same.
‘Being the director of the project I was conducting the interviews and trying to coax honest answers out of them, but you want to hide those insecurities at whatever cost,’ Ms Vander Leahy said.
‘The girls were really brave and really courageous.
‘They just really put it all out there, and I think the way they were so frank and open … is something so relatable for women to watch.
‘We captured the real moments women feel every day, the natural highs and lows.’
In her web series, Olivia Langdon confessed she spent many of her teenage years focused on what she did not like about herself.
In a bid to conform to what she believed it meant to be beautiful, she went on diets and embarked on lifestyle changes that ultimately left her unhappy.
When asked what advice she would give to her 16-year-old self, Olivia’s answer is inspiring.
‘You’re sense of self-worth is not relevant nor proportional to your shape or your size, or of anyone else’s,’ she said.
‘I think that (advice) would have made my childhood much easier to take.’
As well as to open the floor for discussion, #ProjectWomanKIND asks woman who they are, and aims to move society towards an acceptance of all body types.
Importantly, model Sophie Sheppard said the change included the way women spoke to one another.
‘Women can be so mean to each other, it’s horrible and something I think has such a major impact on young girls,’ she said.
‘There is no need.’
Sophie said there was nothing wrong with being bigger, curvier or slim, and woman should ‘learn to accept’ who they are, not who they are supposed to be.
Ms Vander Leahy said the feedback from the series had been overwhelmingly positive.
The fact that the insecurities were shared in a public forum helped normalise the issues that Ms Vander Leahy said each women, no matter what her profession, faces.
‘Through #ProjectWomanKIND we wanted to show that you have days where you feel natural highs and lows, and that’s okay, that’s totally normal,’ she said.
‘I want people to watch it, get something positive out of it and share the body love.
‘I think the new mantra for women should be – be kind to one another.’
Ms Vander Leahy hopes to expand the web series to include candid interviews with everyday women.
‘I’m really proud of the project, I’m excited about the good it can do for people,’ she said.
‘For me, if just one woman watched this project and felt better about themselves it would all be worth it.’