The What’s Underneath Project from style website Stylelikeu has a mission that’s not about fashion: Style is not what you wear; it's being comfortable in your own skin. In the site's video series, individuals remove their clothing as they tell the camera what their style means to them — both what it expresses and what it hides.
In the fourth and most recent installment, artist Eryn Lefkowitz opens up for the first time about her battle against anorexia and addiction to prescription medication. She gradually strips down to her underwear as she talks, first removing accessories, then clothing, and finally her heavy makeup, which she wipes off with a cloth. “Everyone was always telling me, ‘You should model,’ or ‘You have a sick body,’” she shares, her voice and body radiating emotion. “No one ever said, “Oh my god, you look so skinny.”
Even though she weighed 93 pounds, Eryn herself didn’t recognize she had a problem until her mother intervened. Since beginning treatment in January, she’s gained 30 pounds, but her struggle continues every day. “I don’t really know what I look like,” she admits. “How you look at me and how I look at me is totally different. People don’t realize what comes with an entire new body.”
And, while some people recovering from an eating disorder might find stripping down on camera triggering, the main sentiment Eryn communicates is hope: “I know what I’m doing is right, as uncomfortable as it is, because I’m happy. I’m not totally secure in my body yet, but I’m more secure in my life.”
If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, find help and support at the website of the National Eating Disorders Association.