I recently had the privilege of being interviewed for a wonderful project called ‘Style Like U’, a series of body-positive videos created by an amazing mother and daughter duo, Elisa Goodkind and Lily Mandelbaum.
Elisa and Lily are truly wonderful, with a bond like no other. I can only assume their connection is what has made this series so successful – it’s their joint passion of wanting to spread awareness and positivity that makes the videos so powerful. They also have an incredible way of making you feel welcome and at ease, which is why I opened up so much on camera.
Stripping to my underwear and going make-up free for the project was slightly nerve-wracking to say the least, especially for the entire world to see. I’d watched Style Like U’s other videos, featuring the likes of Dita Von Teese, Shaun Ross, Chloe Norgaard and Orange Is The New Black‘s Lea DeLaria, and envied their confidence and charisma. When I was invited to be interviewed, I asked myself: could I do this?
What I love most is that the series features people of all colours, heights, genders and backgrounds – it excludes nobody. Everyone who features on Style Like U is fascinating, with their own unique story to tell. You begin realising that other people share your experiences and problems. I guarantee that your life story will resonate with someone else’s on there, which is what makes it so magical.
There are, of course, people featuring on the series who’s problems delve far deeper than mine, and that was what I was most hesitant about. Watching the ‘What’s Underneath‘ videos can be very emotional. There are women talking about physical and sexual abuse they’ve faced; people who have struggled with racism, being young mothers or who have faced homophobia. As the saying goes: “Everyone is fighting a battle we know nothing about.”
I know that in the grand scheme of things, I don’t have much to complain about. I am exceptionally fortunate, in more ways then I sometimes realise. But I felt the interview would be a great way of showing how far my confidence had grown. Opening up to the team was very therapeutic for me. As I left the beautiful apartment we’d been filming in, I felt like a weight had been lifted from my shoulders.
When my agent Trudi sent me the link to the video this week, I was so nervous about watching it. I really hoped I hadn’t made an idiot out of myself. I ran the shower and put my iPad by the sink, letting the noise of the water counteract with the sound of my voice that was echoing on the tiles. But as I heard myself talking in the background, I felt a wave of pride. I realised just how far I’d come.
You can learn more about this amazing project by visiting StyleLikeU.com.