Style isn't always about the clothes you wear.
The What’s Underneath Project from StyleLikeU is an attempt to show the connection between personality, body and style. The video series features brutally honest interviews with individuals while disrobing down to their skivvies.
The project's latest subject, Kelsey Lu McJunkins, grew up in a strict, Jehovah’s Witness, interracial North Carolina household.
Between religious meetings, church, field service -- all under the intense scrutiny of her parents -- McJunkins felt smothered.
Unable to pursue her passion for the cello, McJunkin took her talent to the University of North Carolina School of the Arts where she was promptly offered entry to the music program.
But McJunkins was unable to keep her studies a secret, and her mother’s abusive disapproval pushed her to flee home.
“Music was literally my escape... Music was everything. It was my only way of expressing, it still is.”
Yet even with an near full scholarship, the runaway teen found herself struggling to make ends meet. Looking back on her brief stint as a stripper, McJunkins recognized the choice of survival is one that she does not regret.
“I paid for my books, I paid rent. I did what I needed to do.”
Since then young cellist has rekindled a close bond with her parents and lives in Brooklyn, New York. As for advice to her advice to her fourteen-year-old self?
“Don’t be afraid to be yourself. There’s a reason for everything. What you’re thinking about and how you’re feeling about life shouldn’t be ignored.”
See more What's Underneath Project videos here.