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Press / Glasgow girls show they’re beautiful even with #NoFilter

Glasgow girls show they’re beautiful even with #NoFilter 13 Apr 2015

If you've ever looked in the mirror and nitpicked at your reflection, you wouldn't be alone.

Bad hair days are universal and there are always those dresses that just don't sit on your body the way they did on the mannequin.

Yet, consistently describing yourself as 'fat', 'ugly' or generally 'not good enough' is something most women admit to struggling with.

It's a disappointing revelation but not a surprising one. It's often blamed on a growing celebrity culture that sees unrealistic ideals of men and women plastered across the pages of lifestyle magazines. But how do you change it?

Glasgow girl Emma Diamond started with herself then got to work on her friends.

The No Filter Project, dubbed a "body image revolution", is the work of Emma and photographer Donna McGowan and, with any luck, will be part of the solution.

It began when Emma realised her insecurities weren't just hers - they were everyone's.

"It's something I'd been thinking about for a while," Emma said. "I was working behind the scenes on photoshoots and listening to models talking about their hang-ups.

"I realised these people, who you'd assume would be really confident, had the same insecurities that my friends and I talk about on a daily basis."

The 24 year old, who works in a hairdressing salon, knew the project needed to be photo-based and was delighted when Donna offered her services.

Emma was among the first to step in front of the camera and, although she joked about needing a little Dutch courage beforehand, said she found the experience "empowering".

"I was really nervous beforehand," she admitted. "But the point of the project is to have these strong visuals. I'd asked all these other girls to do it, so I knew I needed to do it too.

"I just reminded myself what I was doing it for."

Susan Fanning, 36, "You're totally perfect as you are."

Emma thinks magazines have to rethink their strategy of using air-brushed images, but doesn't expect anything to change overnight.

"You see it on adverts for mascara, disclaimers saying that the model is wearing false eyelashes," she said.

"There's hair dye adverts where the text at the bottom explains that the model's wearing extensions. Maybe one day they'll do that for fashion spreads."

She cites recent controversy surrounding a Tweet from Elle magazine promoting an article about a "plus-size model" that looks, well, decidedly not plus-size.

"That's exactly the problem," Emma said. "I've got friends saying they would love to look as 'plus-size' as her. She's what - a size eight or a ten? Is that what's considered plus-size?"

Stephanie Pollock, 24, "Listen to people around you as opposed to magazines."

For the first shoot Emma recruited a mixture of friends, colleagues and Facebook responses. She's now on the look out for more volunteers.

The first photoshoot was exhibited at a pop-up gallery, where the photos were displayed alongside comments from the subjects about their own photos - as well as comments from the public.

"We showed members of the public the photos and asked for their comments," she said. "We wanted to show the difference between how we think about ourselves and how others see us."

Pauline Clark, 33, "I just notice that I'm having fun and look full of life."

Anyone looking to lend themselves to the next wave of No Filter models can get in touch with Emma and Donna via Facebook.

It's not just for ladies either - Emma added that No Filter is "hoping to get males involved too".

"I think it's an important message and something that needs to keep being spoken about," she said.

"We want this project to keep going, get bigger and reach more people."

Photos courtesy of No Filter Project photographer Donna McGowan.

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Article Source: STV Glasgow,

Twitter: @nofilterproject


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