10 Women Strip Down to Show What Real Bodies Look Like

A short film celebrates diversity by sending complete strangers into the woods wearing little more than body paint.
Aug 17, 2014·
Kristina Bravo is Assistant Editor at TakePart.

Sports Illustrated did it first, but this three-minute video does it better.

“Shine,” the brainchild of filmmakers Sara Landas and Holli Rae, features 10 women of diverse backgrounds and body types. They’re all strangers, and they wear nothing more than twigs, bark, and body paint as they go back to nature. Throughout the video, the women share their thoughts on beauty and body image.

“Making a commitment to be part of this was kind of terrifying,” says one participant. “Being naked is one of the most vulnerable feelings in life.”

The result is, well, revealing.

“We were inspired to make ‘Shine’ to help women move past their limiting beliefs of what is beautiful and powerful,” Landas and Rae told The Huffington Post. “We have both personally experienced the damaging effects of trying to fit into society’s body image mold, and we believe that every ‘body’ deserves to be seen and appreciated for their individual beauty, talent, and light.”

From Katy Perry’s self-empowerment anthems to Hannah Horvath to retailers taking a no-Photoshop pledge, body image campaigns have gained big wins in recent years—almost to the point of sounding trite. Yet we need only look up at billboards or walk by any magazine rack to see that when it comes to diversity—whether in body type, cultural background, or gender—the media has a ways to go.

Landas and Rae now have their sights on a bigger project: a full-length documentary that features the hundred or so women they met while traveling 10,000 miles across the country. The duo plans to release the film, titled The Goddess Project, next year if they receive enough funding through their Kickstarter campaign, which ends this week.