Photographer Victoria Janashvili is on a mission to combat body image issues. The fashion photographer has dedicated her latest photo series to women of all shapes and sizes, which she hopes will inspire others to embrace their curves and individual shapes. To achieve that goal, she's launched a Kickstarter campaign in the hopes of producing a photo-book collection of these images.
TODAY sat down with Janashvili along with one of the book's featured models, Denise Bidot, to hear more about her beautiful cause.
Janashvili said that even after years working as a fashion photographer for notable titles like Cosmopolitan, Elle and GQ, she had never seen a plus-size model before. She never even knew what they looked like. That all changed with one photo shoot.
"I never had a picture that touched me so much," Janashvili said of the spread with model Katya Zharkova for PLUS Model magazine. The images later made headlines for their empowering stance on what defines modern beauty.
Social media responded as well, with women around the world thanking Janashvili for offering a new perspective on their own bodies. Many said that her images helped them feel beautiful despite industry standards.
"I felt so special because I never thought something as superficial as photography could change somebody's life," she said. Now, Janashvili has dedicated herself to taking artful images of people of all different shapes, sizes, ages and races.
As for Bidot, she didn't even know that there were plus-size models until she became one herself for the agency MUSE NYC. She's since been the face of brands like Forever 21, Macy's, Old Navy and more.
"I'm not 6-feet tall and I'm not a size 2, so I never thought there would be an industry for me to fit into," Bidot said.
"As a mother, I think it's so important to change the perception of beauty," she added saying that she's proud of the position she finds herself in.
It wasn't always easy, however. As an actress, Bidot often heard that she needed to lose 10-15 pounds just to be considered for a role. Looking back, she said she's glad she stayed true to herself.
"You can be curvy and still be absolutely flawless," she concluded.
You can donate toward the "Curves" photography art book Kickstarter campaign here.