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Staunton photographer empowering and connecting women with Skirt Project

Published: Sep. 9, 2021 at 7:45 PM EDT
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STAUNTON, Va. (WVIR) - A Staunton photographer is promoting body positivity and empowering women with the Skirt Project.

Amanda Shrader planned to stop collecting skirts after she reached 20 in her client closet. Just over one year and 52 skirts later, and all the colors of the rainbow, she is not even close to being done.

“I’ve always been a plus-sized girl,” said Shrader. Things changed after she had her son. “Having him my body just, I felt different and I didn’t feel pretty.”

She needed something to wear for a family portrait, so she ordered a skirt.

“This ain’t gonna fit. This is not gonna fit,” recalled Shrader. It did. “When I tried it on something magical happened.”

Shrader knew she had to share her story giving birth to the Skirt Project.

“All these ladies, when the skirt comes on something lights up,” said Shrader.

The women wear one of Shrader’s skirts and she captures the moment and their story. “No matter their size, shape, age, race, or stage of life,” said Shrader. “We all have a story to tell.”

The Skirt Project is reaching all kinds of women, connecting them. Katie Garner’s story involved surprising her husband with life-changing news.

“The entire time I have never been able to surprise him. He outsmarts me,” laughed Garner.”

It happened in a field of sunflowers. “She’s writing, you’re gonna be a dad, and she turns around,” said Shrader. “He was so surprised he literally dropped on the ground,” said Garner.

One woman celebrated a year of sobriety, another honored her journey of lost children and motherhood. One woman triumphed over years of negative body image.

“If some woman is able and confident and just willing to share their story other women will connect with them,” said Shrader.

Each skirt is named for a woman who has inspired her.

Shrader has photos of the women and the skirts on Instagram.

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