BARE is a campaign from Women Enough designed to harness the power of traditional and social media to demonstrate the belief that a woman’s worth exists beyond her beauty. The campaign is designed to bridge the gap between perception and reality…countering the damaging social cues and media portrayal of women that promote unhealthy bodies and putting forth images of real, everyday women who love and accept themselves exactly as they are — and the freedom and power that is the reward.
Designed to empower women in having a healthy body image and self-esteem, nude portraiture and storytelling are at the center of the campaign. By posing nude, participants claim all parts of themselves, and in a sense, go bare emotionally as well as physically. Women of all shapes, ethnicities, ages and sizes are invited to pose bare to encourage positive, realistic images of women for the world to see and celebrate. In doing so, these women lay claim to their own stories.
Michelle Fetsch, the founder of Women Enough and the inspiration behind the BARE campaign, believes the body is the envelope in which a woman’s identity, vulnerability and authenticity are wrapped. “Posing bare encourages women to do the internal work of revealing and confronting that vulnerability — the experience is powerfully and emotionally freeing.”
WE gathered women ranging from 23 to 77 into intimate circles. With a collective spirit of support and empowerment, they shared the darkest parts of themselves, as well as the moments of their lives for which they were the most proud. These women shared facets of themselves they’ve never shared before — their beliefs, fears, situations, shame, and the hiding that they had been carrying around in their physical body.
Then, these women posed for the camera BARE, removing not only their clothing but their shame, their fears, their limitations. They stood for themselves — in releasing shame, in standing for others to be seen and accepted — just the way they are.
The women who dared to BARE challenged themselves to be so vulnerable, so naked. They’ve shared their photos and their stories so that others would know they weren’t alone — and that, finally, there would be realistic images of everyday, courageous women in the media.
“I don’t believe being ‘naked’ is necessary or right for everyone but for those that have done so — it’s been said to be one of the most confronting, cathartic and freeing experiences they have ever had.” — Michelle Fetsch, founder of Women Enough and creator of the BARE Campaign
See the courageous stories of some of the extraordinary women who have dared to go BARE.
Going bare is more than simply posing nude, it’s about going bare to discover, recover and claim all parts of ourselves.
We’ve been programmed to believe that we should look and present ourselves a certain way — so when we see ourselves in our natural state — when we really take the time to look at ourselves, we’re confronted by our humanity and darkness. It is only when we go bare that we can accept the hidden and shamed parts of ourselves and access the strength and freedom from that darkness to step into and celebrate all of who we are meant to be.
Women all over the globe are courageously responding to the call to shed their self-doubt by shedding their clothes… to go BARE. You can, too!
The goal of the BARE campaign is to provide real images of everyday women in their most real and unique essence. The aim is not to be “simply beautiful” or “sexy”, but to be real, authentic and free. Our mission is to empower women now, and in the next generation, to own their worth beyond their beauty.
If you are ready to dare — and experience one of the most confronting, cathartic and freeing experiences you may ever have — here are a few guidelines:
• Models must be completely nude
• Photo must be taken by a professional photographer, shot against a white backdrop
• Photographer must shoot the model direct to the camera — not from “a flattering angle”
• Models must not be wearing any jewelry or false eyelashes
• Models should sit on the floor or on a chair or be standing straight and not leaning against anything
• No sticking chest out, no curling toes, no arching back
• No photoshopping AT ALL
Its normal to experience some anxiety leading up to, during and after the photo shoot experience. By going BARE, you are confronting yourself head on. The core conversations that have created your identity will surface through this process.
Note: by submitting your photos and stories, you authorize Women Enough to publish any or all of your submission. These stories and the BARE campaign may be picked up and ran in several other publications around the world.