The standard of what society deems "beautiful" is a huge issue for women in the U.S., but our country isn't the only place where media's depiction of women hurts their self-esteem.
After realizing that the conversation of body image hadn't really come up in their home country of Lithuania, photographer Neringa Rekasiute along with actress and TV hostess Beata Tiškevič and communications specialist Modesta Kairytė envisioned a project to change that. Enter the We.Women project, a photo series that depicts women facing a mirror undressed, capturing their reaction to their bodies.
"There are lots of stereotypes about how beautiful Lithuanian girls are and it is a heavy burden to carry around," Rekasiute told A+ in an email. "Yes, we are beautiful, but this unhealthy body cult is very damaging for a lot of young women in Lithuania. We wanted to inspire women to accept and love their bodies as they are."
Using Beata's Facebook page, they called out to women to share their stories of negative body image to find volunteers for the project. In October, they then photographed the women and had them tell their personal stories to the mirror while Rekasiute snapped away.
"Some were laughing, some almost crying, some trying to strike a pose (unconsciously), some couldn't look at themselves at all," she told A+.
In capturing the first "look" at their bodies, Rekasiute, Kairytė and Tiškevič hope that the photos can raise awareness of how these beauty standards affect women, but also bring them peace, too.
"I thought that it was the most important moment," Rekasiute told A+.