At just 17 years old, Ali Miller was sexually assaulted. Now 20, the young woman has decided to share her story online — a courageous act that has helped her realize just how impactful being vulnerable can be. And in an effort to help other women embrace their vulnerability, Ali created the I Am Movement.
This online photography collective invites 18-25 year old women to share their challenging life experiences in a photo pairing. The photo to the left features them looking directly at the camera, while the photo on the right has them looking away from the camera while holding a piece of paper with their own unique “I am” statement.
As the project’s website states, Ali aims to encourage young women to join in the movement if they are willing to be vulnerable and help other girls to love themselves for exactly who they are.
To date, the movement has garnered the participation of dozens of women and the support of many more, as evidenced through their quickly growing instagram profile. Here are some of the many existing contributions:
This is just a small sample of the entire growing gallery, which you can follow by clicking HERE.
In addition to the photos, each woman also shares her name and a paragraph describing her story. For example, Maria, pictured above with the I am statement “I am NOT defined by the numbers on a scale,” offers this story:
Being overweight as a child opened doors to being bullied and scaring me with insecurities that will stay with me forever. Society has set unrealistic standards of beauty that haunt women, such as myself, every day. But we are more than the way our bodies look, I am more than my figure. Because a number on a scale does not define who I am.
This movement reminds us all, including men, that we each have unique challenges that make us into who we are. Rather than further isolating ourselves, let’s use online projects such as this one to instead bring us closer together by hearing and respecting each other’s journeys. We are not as alone as we might sometimes feel.
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