Tallulah Willis, 20-year-old daughter of Bruce Willis and Demi Moore, spent her entire adolescence like most of us: trying to find herself. But the difference was, that the whole world was watching her do it.
In a new interview with Yahoo Global News Anchor Katie Couric, Willis explained “Not only [was] I trying to discover myself, I [was] having to discover it under the very cruel gaze of a lot of other people,” which isn’t exactly the easiest thing to accept as a 13-year-old girl. Willis never felt like she was enough; as a teen, she was called ugly and asked: “How could two beautiful actors create such hideous troll children?” Because she didn’t feel OK with who she was, Willis pushed herself intro struggles with body dysmorphia and substance abuse.
Tallulah Willis is just one of many brave women willing to share their stories of insecurity on the “What’s Underneath Project,” a platform to heal themselves. Hosted on their site StyleLikeU, the project was created by former fashion stylist Elisa Goodkind and her daughter, Lily Mandelbaum. Goodkind created the project after becoming uninspired by all the cookie-cutter models in the fashion industry, whereas Mandelbaum realized how wrong it was that she, just like many other women, felt badly about not looking like that beauty ideal. Together, so the pair embarked on their mission to help women share and free themselves of their insecurities.
The What’s Underneath Project includes confessions from women of all sizes, shapes and ages. As they tell their story, they slowly strip down to their underwear, taking off their protection and revealing exactly what’s underneath—both physically and emotionally. “As you pay attention and ask questions and make that heart-to-heart conversation happen, people just come to life and they become so beautiful,” said Goodkind.
“What makes a person have style is something that’s inside,” Mandelbaum explained to Couric. “So we wanted to prove that to people and to explore that notion.” What they ended up with was footage of women being super real, which is healing for viewers, she added.
o speak to as large an audience as possible, Goodkind and Mandelbaum have started a Kickstarter campaign to raise money to make a documentary, called “I Am What’s Underneath.” They hope to bring this cathartic experience to more women, taking them one step closer to complete self-acceptance.
“We hope for the world to be a place where people have a greater self-acceptance and self-love and therefore more community, more connection, more positivity and a happier place,” said Goodkind.