The What’s Underneath Project

This video came through as I was trying to open my Yahoo account this morning, and I’m glad I opted to watch it. It’s so refreshing to see mainstream media positively covering ways to help people love themselves and get real. If you’ve ever had body or style issues, feel like you don’t fit in, or have been told you’re ugly or not conventionally attractive — or if you’ve ever known someone like that, please click through here to watch Katie Couric interview the creators of The What’s Underneath Project. I hope you will be as pleasantly surprised as I was.

UPDATE: Based on the comment stream below, I will say that if you do not make any distinction between sexuality and sensuality … and especially if you do not make any distinction between adults and children, then you might find this link disturbing rather than empowering and healing. If so, then I suggest you skip the link. I view the project as a way of people reclaiming pieces of themselves that may have been taken, harmed or rejected as children or young adults. The project involves only adults and celebrates the intimate and beautiful connection between body and soul — a connection rejected by such diverse elements of society as fundamentalist religions, Gnosticism, the fashion industry, people who sexually abuse children, New Age thought that extols only the “Light,” and the Age of Reason.

My work as a Medical Intuitive shows me daily just how interwoven body and soul are. Damage to body image impacts the soul, just as soul wounds so often reveal themselves as bodily symptoms. We live in a world that denigrates the sacred and that fails to recognize differences between children and adults. By doing so, we allow abuses to occur, which often result in adults stuck at whatever age the abuse occurred. We develop rigid black or white thinking to compensate for situations in which boundaries were blurred or exploited. In reaction to misogyny, abuse, pornography, the sexualizing of children, superficial fashion, and patriarchal religions we all too often forget the deep connection between body and soul. We can denigrate and damage the body by denying it just as much as we can by actively abusing it. We can reclaim — as adults — our own relationship with our body and through it reclaim our sacred relationship with the material world.

Blessed Be.

11 responses to this post.

  1. […] via The What’s Underneath Project | Laura Bruno's Blog. […]

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  2. Loved it!

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  3. Oh…….no…..this is not a worthy project or ‘movement’. It is a movement of self degradation and absolute exploitation. ‘What is underneath my clothing’ is irrelevant and illustrates nothing of my inherent inner condition; my soul.

    The social sensualizing of an entire culture is at the root of all of these ‘industries’ ,and, all of the dis ease that they create. The woman in the video is part of the problem and so we are to believe that her daughter ( whom was raised with such narcissistic and shallow values ) has the intelligence and profundity to help eradicate the bias her mother’s industry created? So taking off my clothes in front of my webcam is going to somehow free me from the hateful bonds of ‘body profiling’? From misogynistic and mean stereotyping?

    We must be very careful what we disseminate. I have granddaughters and if one of them was influenced to remove her clothing in front of a webcam for an ‘altruistic cause’ then I will have to take serious issue with those that gained her confidence and trust in order to exploit her.

    If anyone wants to know ‘What’s underneath’…then just ask me, I will tell you.

    Disgusting ruse this new ‘movement’.

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  4. Thanks for your comment. While I can see your concerns, that’s just not how I read the energy of this project. I view it as a recognition of the Sacred Feminine in both males and females — the part that loves and delights in the body and the deeper, “uglier” aspects of the Soul’s journey. This is not asking children or only women to take off their clothes, but people in general to take off their masks. For many people, this sort of thing can be very healing. Is it for everyone? No, obviously not. Does it encourage people to see beyond the veils of style, body type and others’ stereotypes of industries, professions, and lifestyles? Yes, I believe it shows potential to help to do that. It reminds me of the series posted awhile back on exopermaculture.com: http://exopermaculture.com/2014/10/25/maiden-mother-crone-our-naked-bodies-painted-larger-than-life/

    This is not pornography. This is (an imperfect but in my sense, sincere) attempt to honor what gets dishonored, shamed, and covered over. If we are to move beyond the “us” vs “them” blame and shame culture, we will need to recognize each other as individual, beautiful souls, warts, wrinkles and all.

    The Inner Patriarch is terrified of sensuality — hence the perversion of it into pornography and misogyny. I respect your opinion, but I do not agree with it. “The Shadow King” by Sidra Stone might shine some light on this desire to protect from exploitation — a valid desire that often extends itself into wanting to blot out anything too feeling, too vulnerable, too physical or too feminine.

    Blessings…

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  5. The larger issue here is the inherent question, ‘What is underneath’. If we are to superficially define this as material or physical we have again played into the misogynist’s/patriarchal hands. Accepting my body…wrinkles and all is totally irrelevant as to the inherent value of my person. And what better way to continue to degrade the female/male experience than grooming females to become misogynists themselves.
    Sensuality? I do not see myself as a ‘sensual’ being. I see myself as a loving soul who understands the importance and preservation of inherent innocence…the antithesis to sensuality. The misogynists are not afraid of sensuality, Laura…look all around you…we are swimming in it. It is beyond damaging to the child who must float in such baseness.
    I think it fair to say that so many people have been led to this belief by those who wish to guide our energy into unworthy pastimes. Is it feminine to be sensual? I think that is an adulterated lie….and this lie has it’s purpose of course.

    When I first met my husband ( 3rd ) I was struck by his innocence and this caused an overwhelming stirring of happiness and sense of ‘home’ in my soul. My other two husbands were totally sensualized to the point that there was no residue of their former
    innocence.
    I asked my daughter-in-law what was the first thing about my son that caught her attention …..captured her heart….and she replied, “His innocence”. I wonder how many others would say as much if we took a poll?

    We have been led to believe, Laura, that we are sensual creatures and I think that this is so harmful for the child. We are all potential creators of life therefore we are the foundation and environment in which new life must grow. I cannot imagine teaching a child to be sensual.

    The Sacred Feminine actually has nothing to do with sensuality but rather with the mothering, the ability to bring life into the world and then nurture that life with deep and abiding dignity and respect. That, dear, Laura, is a beautiful thing to behold and something that the misogynists thwart at every turn. Rarely is a mother allowed to nurture in an environment of respect, dignity and natural beauty, if at all. This is what the “Inner Patriarch” is afraid of.
    As a mother, I have lived this reality and can say that I have spent my entire life trying to create an environment of health and beauty yet my attempts have been dismantled each and every time by the misogynists.

    Removing my clothes serves no greater purpose other than to further degrade the deeply profound experience of being.
    I wish you all the best…

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  6. I wish you all the best, too. There is a difference between sexuality and sensuality, between corrupted innocence of children and reclaiming of whatever pieces got lost there as children. Again, this is not aimed at kids and is not encouraging children to take off their clothes. There are many layers and facets to the Sacred Feminine, including, but not limited to Motherhood. I am glad that you feel loved and cherished and in innocence. That is also what attracted me to my partner, David, but there are celebratory aspects to the body that can be reclaimed, as well. I agree with many of your points — just not all of them. Many blessings…

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  7. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sensual

    Ok….I stopped by this website to verify that I understood what ‘sensual’ meant and I do not think that I am interpreting the word in error.

    If we look around our world we see very clearly that our societies are ‘sensual’ in that our pursuits are for material gratification. Whether for food, luxury or bodily pleasure.
    I think, Laura, that we walk a fine line between sensuality and pornography and the two are inextricable at this point.
    When I was a child my father was exposed to sensual images of women. They were called ‘pin-ups’. He and my mother thought nothing damaging or morally reprehensible about these images and so would pose us provocatively and snap pictures of us. We were not he only children who were both sensual and sexualized by their parents or trusted family members. I know many victims.
    When my parents were sensualizing me I did not feel safe, loved or cherished. I felt abused and dirty. When a child is exposed to and habituated to sensual imagery they become that.

    I think that many of us have read certain authors and have taken their inner dialogue as truth.

    “Again, this is not aimed at kids and is not encouraging children to take off their clothes.”
    This is the litmus test, Laura. If it is not good for children ( and their environment ) then it is good for no one.

    All the best…..

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  8. I am very sorry that this happened to you, as it has happened to so many people. Different people have different ways of reclaiming parts of themselves that have been stripped away, stolen or exploited at a young age. Sensualizing or sexualizing children is not right. I am in complete agreement with you about that.

    NO ONE posing in this project is a child, and it is not aimed at children. No one is being forced to pose in this project. In a culture completely dysfunctional about sexuality and sensuality, some people really do find it healing to reclaim pieces of themselves that have been taken too soon. Consciously choosing, as adults, to celebrate the body as beautiful and good, intimately connected to their soul, and as belonging to them *can* be incredibly freeing and empowering. I have known abused people for whom this was true.

    NO ONE is telling you to participate in this project. Clearly, for you, it hits all sorts of triggers. That does not mean the project is evil, pornographic or has no healing value for people. Clearly the people participating in the project felt otherwise.

    I would argue that there IS a very real difference between children and adults, and the loss of an ability to discern that has contributed to all manner of ills in our society. So many people have been traumatized at a young age that parts (or all) of them get stuck at that age, so that we have adults who cannot move beyond childhood. That is not natural. Nor is sexualizing children, but again, no one in this project is doing so. The aim of the project is to help adults reclaim pieces of themselves that have been ripped away by abuse, social expectations or a culture that knows how to exploit or disown but not how to celebrate the body.

    I am deeply sorry that this happened to you as a child. I wish you healing and peace.

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  9. Again, I am sorry this triggered you. I have updated the body of the post with the following:

    UPDATE: Based on the comment stream below, I will say that if you do not make any distinction between sexuality and sensuality … and especially if you do not make any distinction between adults and children, then you might find this link disturbing rather than empowering and healing. If so, then I suggest you skip the link. I view the project as a way of people reclaiming pieces of themselves that may have been taken, harmed or rejected as children or young adults. The project involves only adults and celebrates the intimate and beautiful connection between body and soul — a connection rejected by such diverse elements of society as fundamentalist religions, Gnosticism, the fashion industry, people who sexually abuse children, New Age thought that extols only the “Light,” and the Age of Reason.

    My work as a Medical Intuitive shows me daily just how interwoven body and soul are. Damage to body image impacts the soul, just as soul wounds so often reveal themselves as bodily symptoms. We live in a world that denigrates the sacred and that fails to recognize differences between children and adults. By doing so, we allow abuses to occur, which often result in adults stuck at whatever age the abuse occurred. We develop rigid black or white thinking to compensate for situations in which boundaries were blurred or exploited. In reaction to misogyny, abuse, pornography, the sexualizing of children, superficial fashion, and patriarchal religions we all too often forget the deep connection between body and soul. We can denigrate and damage the body by denying it just as much as we can by actively abusing it. We can reclaim — as adults — our own relationship with our body and through it reclaim our sacred relationship with the material world.

    Blessed Be.

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  10. Wow. Thanks for completely dismissing my point of view by accusing me of being “stuck” in the abuse of my childhood! I have noticed that ‘counselors’ who follow the DSM model are prone to label and marginalize the abused. Even the New Ager’s are eager to issue forth this same rhetoric without so much as considering that the person who has experienced abuse is fully capable of understanding the root issues of such social ills.
    Maybe you have too much invested in having your point of view preeminent over those who have lived through such degradation?
    To state that abused souls are “stuck” in their childhood is absolutely arrogant…. and mean…… so I highly doubt that you have gleaned any insight into the subject of that which you speak. Usually, but not always, it is those who have endured the experience that have the most profound remedy for what ails them. Being a student of Astrology for the past 14 years has given me an insight to my personal abuse and has offered me a perspective that is objective rather than subjective.

    Here, I will again provide links to the definition of sensuality;http://dictionary.search.yahoo.com/search;_ylt=A0LEVvPmf29UnRMAa0wPxQt.;_ylu=X3oDMTBsa3ZzMnBvBHNlYwNzYwRjb2xvA2JmMQR2dGlkAw–?p=sensuality&.sep=

    …and here…http://www.thefreedictionary.com/sensual

    “NO ONE posing in this project is a child, and it is not aimed at children.”

    Children don’t live in tiny bubbles, outside of the influence of that sphere. Everything bleeds into their tiny environment like so much pollution. It is no different than a toddler watching Beyoncé on the television and then emulating her movements. I think they have videos of proud parents sharing this ‘special moment’ on youtube.
    We, as “adults” are not safe and this is my point. Children need a safe environment in which to grow in health. Somehow, though, we have managed to create one toxin after another that does not allow life to flourish. We seem to think our ‘mission’ is greater than what is good for all.

    I do understand the deep significance between the body and soul. Having lost a son to the insanity of warring I know this to my core.

    I think it imperative that we be very careful of our influence, and, at the core desire to influence is to “first do no harm”. Our children have no voice. They have no choices. We must be that for all children. This video does nothing to enhance or increase their safety or well being.

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  11. Just to clarify, I was not dismissing you or saying that you personally are stuck but acknowledging that this is a well known pattern in which childhood and adulthood blend together when in a healthy setting, they do not. It would be the parents’ responsibility to monitor what is in the child’s home environment. I admire that you took the experience you had and turned it into a fierce energy to protect your own children. If you have such an issue with this project, you might want to turn that fierce energy onto the project itself or towards educating parents about how to select what television programs to have in their homes or filters on computers — and the very important *why* they should consider such things. Perhaps start some speaking engagements or write a book. Write a letter to your editor or to Katie Couric. This is not my project. I believe it has some merit. Obviously, you don’t. We can agree to disagree on this topic, or you can continue to try to convince me to see otherwise. This is a public blog, so out of respect, I am not commenting on many things I see, and I am purposely not scanning you so as to avoid in any way violating your sovereign energy field. I would suggest that if you feel you have a battle to fight that you take your battle directly to wherever you feel the battle is. My blog is not your battlefield, and I am not seeking to be your enemy.

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