Like many teenagers, Tallulah Willis suffered from body image and self-esteem issues. This, she says, led to struggles with body dysmorphia and substance abuse. These are difficult challenges for any young person, but, since she was raised by two famous parents, her insecurities played out on the public stage.
Now 20, Willis is learning to love herself and be more self accepting. On Tuesday she fearlessly shaved her head and shared video of the transformation on Instagram, something she may not have had the confidence to do when she was younger.
“I had people when I was 13 telling me how ugly I was, and how could two beautiful actors create such hideous troll children?” the daughter of Bruce Willis and Demi Moore told Yahoo Global News Anchor Katie Couric.
Willis shared her story for “The What’s Underneath Project,” started by StyleLikeU founders, former fashion stylist Elisa Goodkind and her daughter, Lily Mandelbaum. They had become frustrated with the celebrity-driven fashion industry, feeling that it was obsessed with status and selling a singular image of beauty.
The raw video series features individuals of all shapes and sizes speaking freely to the camera as they remove articles of clothing, down to their underwear.
“As the clothes come off, and as you pay attention and ask questions and make that heart-to-heart conversation happen and that connection happen … people just come to life,” says Goodkind.
“I think that’s really healing to viewers to see other people be super-real on another level. If you’re taking your clothes off, it’s a vulnerable process in and of itself.”
For Willis, it is a way to proudly celebrate her sobriety, and she hopes to help others by sharing her story.
“So many people are telling me, ‘You inspired me.’ I guess I didn’t understand that this is such a communal fault line, that is running through every individual on this planet that whether it’s hidden or not hidden, that we all feel this certain sense of insecurity.”
Goodkind and Mandelbaum are hoping to expand their series into a documentary featuring people from all over the world as they tell their stories. They have launched a Kickstarter campaign to help fund the project.
“Change the world,” Goodkind says. “We hope for the world to be a place where people have a greater self-acceptance and self-love, and therefore more community, more connection, more positivity and, you know, a happier place.”