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StyleLikeU: The body-positive movement revealing What’s Underneath


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StyleLikeU is an international movement led by Lily Mandelbaum and her mother Elisa Goodkind, encouraging self-acceptance and self-love.

Mandelbaum and Goodkind reflect on the fashion industry’s unhealthy, limiting presentations of beauty and body ideals, considering the effect fashion images have on us all.

In their 2015 video 'True Style is Self-Acceptance: StyleLikeU's Mission', they claimed that around 70% of women feel guilty, ashamed and depressed after only three minutes of looking at a fashion magazine. Impacting Goodkind as a fashion stylist, and Mandelbaum, who was exposed to the messages' of fashion images as she grew up, they began the StyleLikeU movement.

The What’s Underneath videos on StyleLikeU’s Youtube channel is full of people exposing their bodies and insecurities with courageous honesty. The videos reveal the beauty beneath superficial appearances and deal with their interviewees personal issues of self-doubt and insecurity with sensitivity.

What’s Underneath encourages people to open up about how they view their body and style whilst undressing. As people remove their clothes in the interviews, they reveal more of their bodies and more of their minds.


Screenshot: 'True Style is Self-Acceptance: StyleLikeU's Mission' (Youtube)

StyleLikeU's videos may address issues that are personal to the interviewees, but they are often surprisingly relatable. As insecurities generally manifest themselves in internalised thoughts, it can be difficult to understand how common it is to feel self-doubt and anxiety.

In the videos, people transform internalised thoughts into public statements, allowing audiences to realise that they are not alone in dealing with insecurities and body image issues.

Last week, StyleLikeU shared the latest video from their What’s Underneath Project on Youtube with Jemima Kirke discussing her struggles with anxiety and self-doubt as she undressed. In the video, Kirke talks about Girls, love and mental health, openly describing how she sees herself and how she thinks she is seen by others.

As a public figure, Kirke considers the ways in which her body confidence is affected by the media: "I have the interesting position of knowing what people think about me because people write it... and there's a lot of this, like, care-free-ness, like I don't give a fuck what people think. That is not true."

Seeing Kirke's public success, it can be easy to make an assumption that she leads a worry-free lifestyle, but she speaks with a self-aware perspective on the personal issues she faces. “I have a lot of luxury to do what I want to do," Kirke says in the video. She then adds, gesturing to her head, "everything that burdens me is really in here.”

The honesty of Kirke and all of the people interviewed in the What's Underneath Project is inspiring. The videos show how common it is to struggle with self-acceptance in today's image-saturated world. The more the movement grows, the more its body-positive messages spread, helping people around the world learn to love themselves.

To find out more about StyleLikeU and the What's Underneath Project, visit their Youtube channel here

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