Behind the Scenes at the EM Campaign Photo Shoot

This week saw the launch of the inspiring new beauty campaign EM. Led by Ashleigh Howells, chair of the Fashion, Beauty and Lifestyle Society, this campaign aims to make everyone fall in love with their bodies and embrace their flaws. Today, the campaign kicked off with of its body positivity photo shoot, with everyone encouraged to be themselves and embrace their body. The Knowledge was given exclusive access behind the scenes with Oliver Hill, the campaign photographer and Ashleigh, campaign founder, at the helm.

Aiming to produce a showcase in January that will raise money for body dysmorphia charities, in collaboration with various other societies such as The Photography Society, The Knowledge and Sexpression, the campaign has its sights set on smashing the conventional stereotypes of beauty. The mastermind behind this campaign, Ashleigh, wants to start challenging societies body obsession and fight against the ever growing social pressure to look a certain way.

Promoting the campaign on her blog, Ashleigh states:

I have started a new campaign, ‘EM’, which will promote positive body image and work with local primary schools to educate the new thinkers of our society on what is right and what is wrong. What is right here being, to love yourself no matter what, and to be healthy, not an off the hanger replication of a plastic Barbie doll that doesn’t exist without Photoshop anyway…It’s a beautiful dream and I knew I had to join the bandwagon after my gorgeous 11 year old sister came home in fits of tears because her face was too round and she thought she was too chubby. It seems girls, and boys too we must remember, feel the pressure to look a certain way younger and younger each year. It needs to stop.”

Talking of experience in the modelling industry, Ashleigh argues that the pressure put on people, especially girls to look a certain way is extraordinary. If you weren’t a size zero or 6ft tall, you were abnormal, you didn’t fit in and if you didn’t fit in, your confidence took a knock. Ashleigh wants to inspire everyone with her story in the hope that, one day people can be confident in the skin they’re in; whether you’re tall, skinny, short, fat, black, white, everyone can join in.

“I don’t diet anymore or panic when I miss a leg day at the gym. I still get days where I feel a mess and wish my face was the replica of Angelina Jolie or Khloe Kardashian but on the whole I am comfortable with my figure with all its flaws and wobbles. It’s about acceptance. I am a woman not a doll and the next time I am told to wax my eyebrows, tone my legs or lose 10 pounds, I will have the strength to walk away with one finger in the air, because what’s it all for? I’d rather focus on being the best me I can be instead of the best version of whatever someone else envisions. We don’t need that kind of negativity in our lives. We are beautiful. Join the cause. EMbrace you.”