The What’s Underneath Project: Jacky O’Shaughnessy

When you are young you imagine all sorts of things about the kind of older woman you will become – what you will do for a living, where you will live and what you will look like.

In many ways we were lucky enough to grow up in an internet free age when young women were free from the almost constant online scrutiny and over sharing that girls todays girls are subjected too. But that doesn’t mean that many of us don’t continue to have self esteem and body issues that can haunt us well into old age.

The Whats Underneath project was launched three months ago by former fashion editor Elisa Goodkind and her daughter Lily Mandelbaum. who write the wonderful blog Stylelikeu. Elisa was ‘disheartened by the increasingly soulless fashion world,’ and created the project to empower people to realize that true style is not about money, trends, Photoshopped imagery or a singular ideal of beauty.’

The series of intimate and moving films focuses on a diverse range of women (and some men) many of whom have had issues relating to their looks.

In this film Jacky O’Shaughnessy, the 62-year-old ex-legal secretary who shot to fame when she became an American Apparel model, talks poignantly about about her past issues – saying, ‘I would think, “Why is my weight fluctuating and why do I drink too much wine sometimes, why am I not sleeping?” The bottom line is, I wasn’t happy with myself. I think there’s just an epidemic of poor body image, certainly for women at my age and getting older”.

Elisa and Lily hope that these films will help redefine ‘true style’ saying ‘We feel that everyone with true style possesses a comfort in their bodies and an authenticity in the way they dress and express themselves, and that’s what makes them beautiful and cool to us.’

1 Comment

  • steffi says:

    Oh God this is so amazing.

    “All the time wasted. Caring about this shit.”

    When she said that, it really sums it up for me too. This is so poignant and should be on every frickin’ news channel, on every blog, radio and other media channel.

    Thanks for posting this. My heart broke a little for her, for me and for every woman.


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