A Bikini A Day has always broken the rules of the fashion world. By industry standards, we (Tash and Dev) are considered too short; we’re seen as too curvy. We would never get hired for the runway. But you know what, who cares? We decided to ignore all the cynics and started sharing our bikini photos with the world, emphasising the power that every woman’s body can have. Beauty is about so much more than size, and it’s about time that we all believe it.
We have a strong, powerful sense of what it means to be beautiful – whether or not the industry and catwalk sizing agree. Clementine Desseaux and Charli Howard, for example, are both absolutely gorgeous, in that drop-dead kind of way. They would walk down the street and have every single eye turn and admire them. Yet their success in fashion was short lived and both women were dropped – one for being a size 6. We know.
Together, they teamed up to launch the All Woman Project, an organisation dedicated to changing the accepted conceptions of gorgeousness. Using videos and photographs, they have literally collected some of the most stunning women around to show the world what it means to be a beautiful woman, embracing diversity and all sizes.
It goes without saying that the All Woman Project has A Bikini A Day‘s unending support, and we’re so happy to have had the chance to talk to Clementine and Charli, to learn some astonishing truths about the fashion world, how women are misrepresented, and why these beautiful women are changing it all.
First of all, we’d like to congratulate you on stepping up and speaking out for women everywhere. Thank you!
What was the biggest motivator for you to start All Woman Project?
CHARLI: I wanted to present role models or inspirational women that I didn’t feel I had growing up as a teenager. The celebrities at the time were people like Paris Hilton, whose worth was based on their looks, weight or wealth, and I didn’t want another generation of girls feeling they needed those things to be happy within themselves.
CLEM: Just like Charli, I was seriously missing role-models growing up, I was a victim of the lack of diversity and I do not want the next generation to feel the same. We want to see happy strong girls and women to be, believing that nothing is impossible to them, regardless of their color or their weight!
What race is the most and the least represented in fashion?
CHARLI: Caucasian models are clearly represented the most. I honestly believe other ethnicities, other than white, aren’t represented nearly enough in the photos we see.
What about age?
CHARLI: The older ladies definitely aren’t represented enough.
CLEM: We love to have feedback from our supporters and haters. We need to hear what’s needed in order to bring them what they want and need to see.
Why do you think society is obsessed with youth and beauty? Is it the fashion industry’s fault?
CHARLI: I think society has always had an obsession with youth and beauty, and I don’t think that will ever go away. As a species, we will always be attracted to beautiful things. But what we can do is redefine what beauty means and open people’s minds to it.
Tell us about your most grateful moment in doing this project… The one that makes you feel so glad you did it.
CHARLI: There have been so many in such little time that it’s become a bit overwhelming! When women approach me in the street and say they love it, that gives me butterflies
CLEM: Everyday, reading emails of support from women and girls everywhere, in every languages. That means a lot.
What kind of impact will your message have on children?
CHARLI: I hope it plants the seeds into young girls’ minds that all bodies are beautiful, and teaches boys that women aren’t as perfect as the media makes them out to be.
CLEM: We want them to grow up with an open mind. More tolerant than the generations before them.
What are men saying about your project?
CHARLI: We had one man today write, “Nothing wrong with a bit of celly” in regards to cellulite which made me smile. Maybe men don’t care about things like cellulite and stretch marks like we think they do. I think a lot of the time women put a lot of unecessary pressures on themselves when it comes to body image.
How will you inspire retailers to use more diverse advertising and marketing?
CHARLI: Hopefully by proving that fashion images can be beautiful, no matter what women you choose to model.
CLEM: I want to help the industry from the inside. Realizing that including diversity in their brand identity is not only great for women and girls everywhere but also a major selling point.
Where do you see yourselves in a few years? Will you launch your own modeling agency?
CHARLI: We’ve been inundated with offers of all kinds of opportunities, so never say never! Our agency, Muse, has been beyond supportive of what we’ve wanted to achieve though, so we have no intentions on leaving them ever! For now, we want to focus on creating more campaigns and collaborating with fashion brands on spreading the message.
CLEM: No agency in the future for me. I already have Les Mijotes, my production company that produced the AWP campaign and I can only see more ventures in the future.
What models do you admire?
CHARLI: For me, it’s very much Crystal Renn. Her story is so inspiring.
CLEM: I love liya kebede. She’s an entrepreneur and a role model!
Who inspires you and why?
CHARLI: My dad, because he works incredibly hard despite the hardships he’s been through.
CLEM: Women everywhere doing good. Nature always evolving and adapting.