The What's Underneath Project

I just came across this video of model Melanie Gaydos from the What's Underneath Project.

What an amazing, humanizing, project and video. Usually stuff like this rubs me the wrong way, but this felt different and lacked that exploitative quality (maybe because it's not a project specifically about disabled/chronically ill people?)

I love the way she talks about her body and her life so much - I can relate to her story even though her personal and health experiences are magnified by the severity and visibility of her illness, and the intensity of the history with her family...

That sense of acceptance and peace with what is, is something I've been working towards so intently these past couple of years.

"Even though I've been through a lot, they're my experiences, and I like where everything has brought me today. I like where I am."

I was curious about her modeling career and did a Google image search (contains nudity), and was amazed at how her unique appearance has been used as a foundation for such amazing photos. It's become an asset in a career that I'm sure many people never thought she could pursue.

There's certainly a ton more to her story, and many ways to interpret it, but it stood out as an amazing embodiment of combining creativity and disability/chronic illness, so I had to share it. You can see the rest of the What's Underneath Project on