Paralympian Rae Anderson, 19, of Wamberal, is the brand ambassador for Modibodi underwear.
Paralympian Rae Anderson, 19, of Wamberal, is the brand ambassador for Modibodi underwear.

These pictures are real life. They’re powerful and beautiful

For years, brands and advertisers have tried to convince us that being "beautiful" means sharing the same common traits - lithe, long-haired with flawless skin, perfect teeth and the right tan.

I remember when taking a photo or family snap simply involved trying to make sure the sun was behind you and everyone was looking at the camera.

Now, thanks to Instagram and filters, quick touch-up tools make our pics instantly look like a professional photo shoot with just a few swipes and clicks.

But it hasn't stopped at basic filters - now we have the arrival of face and body tuning apps.

"You, but better," has reached a whole new level.

Slimmer, fitter, blonder, bigger lips and the perfect jawline can now all be achieved before you've had your first coffee of the day.


Relatable, right? Picture: Modibodi
Relatable, right? Picture: Modibodi

But is it really the authentic you in those pics?

There's nothing wrong with wanting to look and feel your best, but when we make a sunset that bit more colourful or change our appearance to better suit a generic idea of beauty, we're altering what really happened in the moment and losing a piece of ourselves at the same time.

Our real beauty comes from our diversity - from body shapes to hair colour and beyond.

In addition to being comfortable with how we look, I believe that women should also be open to discussing how issues such as periods, bladder leakage, discharge and sweat affect us day-to-day.

Let's get real. It's common. Most women have or will get their period, it's in our DNA and one in three mums experience bladder leaks.

When I started Modibodi, Australia's leading leak-proof underwear, I wanted to empower women to embrace their bodies and have absolute confidence in themselves.

The idea first came to me when I was a full-time mum of a two-year-old and five-month-old at the time, living in Seattle, USA surrounded by tech start-ups.

How refreshing it is to see women we can actually relate to. Picture: Modibodi
How refreshing it is to see women we can actually relate to. Picture: Modibodi

I was out jogging, in fact, I was training for a marathon and had been experiencing occasional but embarrassing light bladder leaks.

The available solutions were ugly, inconvenient, uncomfortable and a hazard to our environment - disposable hygiene. I just felt we deserved something better. Once I realised how problematic moisture issues were, I also couldn't understand why with all the advancements in technology, underwear and disposable hygiene had not evolved.

I knew instantly that I was going to have to create a whole new product category for women. I am really proud that I took that idea and turned it into a product and now apparel brand that can more conveniently, comfortably and reliably manage menstrual flow, incontinence, discharge, breast milk leaks or sweat, and reduce the amount of single-use products ending up in landfill and damaging our environment.

After two years of development, which included endless conversations with textile engineers scientists and industry experts, and then sourcing and conducting more than 1000 scientific tests, I had a patentable product. I then sought some opinions as to how I should market this range of life-changing undies.

I was repeatedly told we'd need super glamorous models to make supposed unmentionable topics (menstruation and incontinence) tolerable to Australian women and the media.

I refused to believe this was the only way we could have a presence in the market and from day one we've sourced customers or everyday women from diverse backgrounds to help model and sell our products.

Six years later we have customers contacting us daily to take part in our photos shoots that celebrate women of every size, ethnicity and age. From mums to athletes, nans to our movers and shakers in the business world, you'll see every type of woman, and all remain photoshop free.

We're keeping it real at Modibodi because we know that women are always at their best, they can be themselves.

Apps, filters and photoshop hide our real power and beauty as women, so go filter free and know that the best version of you, is just you.

Kristy Chong is the CEO and founder of Modibodi