Iman Fandi is the face that tops off our #BareWithMe stories with WearOhWhere.
“Better an “oops” than a “what if”.”
– Iman Fandi, Model
For those who don’t know, #BareWithMe is a campaign we kicked off with Lucinda Law (Founder of WithinArtNature) and WOW back in 2017 — a spinoff from #FoundationFreeConfidence. Porcelain has always told the story of good skin from within and preached the benefits that going foundation-free would do for it. Natural beauty on the outside. How about on the inside? We thought, there lies so many parallels between physical and inner beauty, skincare journeys and personal ones. How do we inspire confidence not just on a surface level, but from within?
We reached out to old friend Karman,
the maker of WearOhWhere, storyteller of people’s — well, stories. There was no one better to help us capture the essence of people — inspirational women, to be exact. And to capture their experiences, triumphs, flaws, journeys and definitions of beauty. It was no longer just about physical beauty; we wanted to go beyond skin-deep. And when said influential women bared to us how they were (are) equally fallible human beings, we all hoped to spur others to similarly bare their own stories. Owning them. Finding strength in them. (Re)gaining confidence both outside and within.
Just like that, Bare with Me was born.
It’s now 2019. Bare With Me came further and lasted longer than we expected, together with Viola Tan, Co-Founder of Love, Bonito and Olivia Eleazar, photographer, stylist and self-proclaimed unicorn. We began planning a capstone story to top off the series and to kickstart the year. This story would take the form of a video, showcasing a woman stripping off her makeup after a day with the world. Symbolism of emancipation.
In all honesty, when we first started talking about this, I had in my mind a 40-something-year-old woman who had reached enlightenment, or something close to it. Someone who had seen much in life. Probably glamorous and strong on the outside, fun and strong on the inside (yes, “glamorous” and “fun” are antonyms in my head). The video would take on a darker, more somber look and feel. Adult.
What we ended up producing was this:
I got it completely wrong and the production team got it completely right. Well, I got one part right — Iman is a girl who’s glamorous and strong on the outside (as a model), and fun and strong on the inside (as herself).
“To anyone out there who doesn’t feel beautiful, I want to tell you that it’s OK not to be OK, and we all go through phases where we just shut down, but in the end, everything will be all right — it just takes time. It took time for me to understand what I like about myself, and how I can improve myself. With body image, I go to the gym and eat healthy, so that’s how I try and basically take care of me. You just have to figure out what is your way.”
– Iman Fandi, Model
We wanted to portray a typical day in her life as a model by day, Iman by night. The idea was to showcase a woman who displays to the world her game face and who then slowly relinquishes that persona to become… her. And as we went from shooting scenes to interview time, Iman literally morphed from professional model to bare-faced girl with candour and ease. And as we uncovered her story, we found someone who was precocious, wise beyond her years and brimming with positivity for the future.
And if life ever gets you down, our 18-year-old girl/woman has wise words for you:
“It’s OK not to be OK… everything will be all right.”
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