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New campaign celebrates body diversity by showing what women really look like underneath

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Hands up who's sick of being labelled? Whether you've been called fat, thin, old, pretty or average, society is all too quick to put us into little boxes and define us by how we look. But one woman is taking a stand against being categorised in these restrictive ways, which don't let us show our true personalities, and place more value than anything on the way we look. 

Amy Herrmann, from Adelaide, Australia, has launched the "Underneath, We Are... Women" campaign to "showcase the amazing diversity that is the female form". Next to photographs of nearly naked volunteers, a strong headline makes clear that what is underneath is far more important than what's on the outside, whether that is being tenacious, loud or strong.

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(Picture: Underneath We Are... Women)

The campaign boldly declares: "Underneath, we are... young, fat, tall, we are trans, skinny, disabled, we are mothers, we are short, scarred and old. We are the many labels that society has created for us. But what if I told you that underneath, underneath it all, I am... determined, tenacious, strong, capable, loud, resilient... would you see me differently? So sure, give us a label, put us in a category, but underneath it all, we are women.

"The aim is to photograph 100 women. Women of all walks of life, shapes, sizes and age, and photograph them in nothing but their underwear. Yep, that's right, I'll be asking 100 women to bare (almost) all, with the end goal of showcasing the amazing diversity that is the female form."

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(Picture: Underneath We Are... Women)

Founder Amy explains on her website that by photographing 100 women, she can help to educate thousands of other women. 

"What if these 10 women passed on their newfound knowledge of empowerment over body awareness and acceptance to another 10 women?" she wrote. "That would be 100 women that have now been informed of our goals to educate and stop body shaming. And what if each of those women all told just 2 more people? The net widens...

"Education is key to giving women and men a better understanding and appreciation for the diversity of the female body and the ways in which it grows, shapes and changes over time and with different life experiences. And what better way to educate than through honest and uplifting photographs of 100 amazing women?"

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(Picture: Underneath We Are... Women)

Amy also explained that being a mother to two girls has helped her shape the campaign, based on what she would love her children to see as the norm as they grow up.

"I would love nothing more in this world, than to see them grow up with a healthy appreciation for their body and its capabilities no matter what life (and genetics) gives them," she wrote. "But not only this, I want them to appreciate the diversity of the body in others. To be appreciative and accepting of the beautiful and simple fact that we are all born differently and we are all presented with different experiences throughout our lives that gives us our forever changing and forever unique bodies."

The campaign, though in its infancy, has kicked off by shooting a handful of confident women, boldly declaring an element of their personality alongside their confident poses. Amy is still on the lookout for more women to take part, and is also raising money to make the project possible via crowdfunding. 

Her focus is on diversity, and she is looking for women of all shapes, sizes and ages to take part in the project. The campaign needs $2,700 (Australian dollars) to start the project off, giving Amy the resources to photograph seven women and make a promo video, and thereafter $1,200 to photograph another seven women, until they reach their goal of 100 women. Amy is not far from her first goal, with a total of $1,886 in donations so far

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Sifting through just some of the applications for the campaign

Amy has faced some negativity around the project, from people dismissing the body-positive campaign and saying they've seen it all before - but she hasn't let that hold her back.

"People dismiss this sort of thing and say 'we've seen this before'," she told MailOnline, "but to that I say 'have you taken that message it is trying to get across on board?'". 

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An Instagram shot of one of the participants at her photoshoot

"I've said to the people taking part it might change after the first four women, or it might be after the next seven or the seven after that. Or we might get to the end of the 100 and people still won't have changed," Amy added. "But we're going to keep doing everything we can and keep trying until that message gets across."

To learn more about the project, click here.

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