Would you like to see an excellent short, creative film that headlines a bevy of inspirational and badass women, who do inspirational and badass things on the daily, across all inspirational and badass spectrums? WELL THEN.
Titled Incredible Machines, the mini-feature was released by the famed British department store to celebrate the opening of their brand new Body Studio, a 37,000-square foot space described by their site as a a new “hub” that aims to bring patrons “the latest in fashion, fitness and wellbeing.” Their wares include lingerie, hosiery, loungewear, and sportswear.
Featuring body activist and professional model Naomi Shimada, trans activist Charlie Craggs, fashion industry mover and shaker Michèle Lamy, WAH Nails founder Sharmadean Reid, and Thai boxing champion Rusqsana Begum, Incredible Machines orbits around a set of unequivocal truths: that we should “treat our bodies kindly,” that “they’re actually incredible machines that do so many amazing things very well,” and that when it comes to the media’s depreciation of those concepts, “maybe we take that for granted.”
This idea is supported by some of the first few opening lines of the film itself: “Men dream of women, men look at women, women watch themselves being looked at. [...] Behind every glance is a judgement. Sometimes the glance they meet is their own.”
The emotional lynchpin of Incredible Machines comes from Craggs, who details her struggle to not only find happiness with her body, but to triumph over external adversarial forces.
“For two decades, I spent my life wearing the wrong gender’s underwear,” she says in the short, “and I was so uncomfortable. I fought my battle, and now I’ve won. I’m wearing my glory.”
“Why is every one scared of being a size 14?” asks Shimada. “Why is there, like, so much anxiety and shame attached to that?”
“I want the tokenism to be taken away. There just needs to be more of everything [portrayed in the media], that’s the only way to truly diversify and create a new aesthetic,” she adds.
In tandem with the release of the short, director Kathryn Ferguson went on the record to speak out against the correlation between unattainable beauty standards and objectification, as well as the stark realities faced by ordinary women on a daily basis.
“For so long underwear advertising has been dominated by sexualised imagery of women in heightened poses and impossible designs. When in reality, this is worlds apart from the everyday act of putting on your pants and the choices we make in the morning. I hope the film helps to cut through the noise and show amazing women appearing stripped back, as they are, speaking truthfully. All five have achieved great things and for that reason I wanted to go back to basics - finding out how they felt about themselves. I would love people to feel inspired by these women; leaving them more positive and celebratory of their own bodies.”
This isn’t the first time Selfridges has gotten behind the fight for body inclusivity. Earlier this year, the department store became one of the first retailers to showcase performer Beth Ditto’s plus-size fashion collection.
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Image via YouTube.