This Is Me is a book created by women, for women. A book which will move and inspire them.
This new book is a raw and unapologetic look into the the lives and stories of different women. It captures unretouched portraits of women and their journeys to self love and acceptance.
Created by portraiture photographers Julie Adams and fashion and lifestyle journalist Georgie Abay, this project serves as relatable and real look inside the world of women in the modern day.
It all began when Julie Adams asked women and their children to come into her studio and be photographed in their swimsuits. The idea? To celebrate the female body, feminism, individuality and self-love.
It’s not easy stepping into a photographic studio and putting yourself in the spotlight. It’s confronting and it takes courage. Yet hundreds of women did exactly this. The result? A raw, real and most importantly, relatable series of unwavering portraits.
Featuring a mix of women from all over the world, This Is Me captures the journeys of hundreds of girls and women who open up about some of the issues they’ve faced throughout their lives. Anorexia, bulimia, cancer, endometriosis, mastectomies and more.
Julie and Georgie describe the book as a collection for every woman:
"It's a book is for every woman who has ever had a moment of self-doubt, for every woman who has ever questioned herself. It’s for every mother who wants to foster self-love and acceptance in their daughter. It captures the strength of women and reminds us of the power of coming together to stand up for something we believe in," the authors said.
This Is Me is available here. You can read some of the powerful excerpts from the book below.
“The biggest challenge has been to stop comparing myself to other girls and being angry for not looking the way that they do. I have just realised in the past year or so (especially being at university surrounded by other strong, Indigenous females) that I need to be proud and accept that I do look different, but work on my health and work on being the best possible version of me and not care what others think so much.”
“My body confidence has evolved since my teenage years into something positive. I now understand that my body will change and alter in its own unique way andI now embrace my natural form. Living a healthy lifestyle has definitely contributed to the way I view and feel about myself.”
“I was diagnosed with aggressive breast cancer at age 36. It was completely out of the blue. At the time my children were only nine months old, four and six. I was in complete shock, but I immediately went into practical/pragmatic mode and decided I would have anything removed that would give me the best chance of staying alive for my kids. It took me about three seconds to decide whether to have a lumpectomy or a mastectomy. I chose the latter and asked to have both breasts removed, even though cancer had only been detected in my left breast. The surgery was followed by chemo. Suddenly I had no hair, which was actually quite liberating. Then I went ahead and had my ovaries removed as well. That was a tough time, as it sent me straight into early menopause. But I knew it gave me the best chance of seeing my children for as many years as possible. I was absolutely terrified to think of my own mortality.
I look back now and don’t regret any of the decisions I made. I spent many nights crying and feeling very afraid. When I got diagnosed my goal was to be alive to see my son Archie start kindergarten. He is now in Year Four. I have absolutely no regrets.
I grew up with an inspirational father who had horrific skin cancer (he had more than 3000 tumours removed) and he was very facially disfigured. But he was extremely optimistic and would always say to me: ‘I’m not embarrassed about how I look Belinda, I’ll win people over with my brains! And if I can’t, well, they’re not my people’. Having that kind of role model has been a blessing – one that I never thought I would have to channel as much as I have. Thank you, Dad.”
“I was an incredibly late developer in high school. I was scrawny, short and flat chested. I worried that I looked about four years younger than all my friends. When I was around 14, all the girls were talking about bra sizes and periods, while
I was wearing a sports bra that served no purpose, just so I could feel included.
At the age of 18, I underwent spinal surgery. I spent a week in intensive care, another week in hospital recovering, followed by months slowly learning to walk again. I barely told anyone about it, as I didn’t want to be treated differently. After the surgery, I was left with a pretty gnarly scar on my ribs and every time I looked at it, I felt ashamed. I was embarrassed by my body because it wasn’t ‘perfect’. Those first few years, I spent so much time covering the scar up with makeup when I was with friends or at modelling shoots that showed my skin. I constantly felt self-conscious and emotionally exhausted because of it.
Over time, I’ve stopped looking at my scar as a sign that I am different in a bad way. It’s been a difficult journey to rewrite the story I’ve been telling myself. Stories about what my body should do and what it looks like. I look at my scar now and feel
so grateful for what my body was capable of enduring and overcoming. I’ve learned to really own, respect and appreciate my
body for all that it has done for me and continues to do for me. In return, I eat well and exercise often. That is huge for me, because that always felt like such a chore as a model.
When I'm self-conscious now, I remind myself that the best part about having a body is the way it feels, breathes, heals, and grows. Not the way it looks. Becoming an actor has given me confidence because you are constantly stepping into different characters’ personalities and physicalities. It’s vulnerable and rewarding and makes you feel more in touch with all different aspects of yourself. It’s helped me to realise the value in knowing who I am.
Everyone has insecurities and I’m no exception. However, I’ve always loved the quote ‘comparison is the thief of happiness’. The times in my life when I compared myself to others are the times when I have felt the worst about myself. Everyone is on their own journey. Everyone has been given different ingredients in life. Be appreciative of what you do have. And don’t waste your time on measuring yourself up to others. It’s a road to disappointment. People would always tell me this, but it took a while for it to resonate. Now that it has, it’s been a game changer for my confidence.”
Tyarna (left) with her Mother Amarlee
“I’ve always been the overweight girl and it has been a struggle for me. My biggest low time was definitely high school, but not from bullying. It was my lack of selfconfidence. As a young Indigenous person, I rarely see people of my own colour in magazines or in adverts. It was hard to live up to the beauty standards that were around me when I was young. Now that I am older and surround myself with more body positive content, I am the most satisfied with my body. Obviously, there will always be times where I struggle with self-love, however, I focus on the things I love: my legs, my curves and my height. There needs to be a light put on the differences between women. We are so diverse and should not be pigeonholed in one box”.
Grace (with daughter Averie)
“My attitude towards my body has fluctuated since high school. The biggest revelation that I will pass onto my children is that my body size never correlated with happiness. My happiest moments weren’t at the same time as when my body was at its thinnest.”