Roberta, What's Underneath
A Teenage Whistleblower Defies Mass Produced “Bullshit”
"If I wasn't thinking about my body, I could be doing so much more. Instead, I'm in my room, on my laptop, looking up 'What's the best style for a size 12 body?'"

We traveled to London’s Southbank Centre to conduct What’s Underneath interviews as an open call in a public setting. We weren’t sure what to expect, but eager participants stepped up to share their stories as an audience accumulated. Watch six women strip down and open up in our first ever Open Call.

“It’s so much easier to hide in a crowd than to push yourself forward and be the one everyone’s talking about.” So states 18-year-old Roberta, our youngest What’s Underneath interviewee to date, who we fell in love with the minute we saw her in line for her interview in her Turkish slippers and layered antiques. Bombarded with images of blond, smiley, diminutive models her whole life, her defiant attitude towards oppressive mainstream fashion doesn’t preclude her from struggling with the pressure to conform herself. To go from crying on the floor in the bathroom because of her body, to pushing the limits of beauty by considering shaving her head and growing out her body hair, Roberta’s search for her own identity and aspiration to love herself as she is not only the reason she raced to Southbank Center to be part of our Open Call, but the very reason we create The What’s Underneath Project.

Video produced by Elisa, Lily, and Mona
Edited by Madeline Kennedy

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