When Amanda de Cadenet started the #girlgaze project almost two years ago, she could not have imagined just how expansive the project would become.

“The majority of images that we see on magazine covers, marketing campaigns, editorial that depict us are taken by men. And this is no balance,” de Cadenet said. “And I thought, why is no one doing anything about this or saying anything about this?”

Exquisite Eye capturing Jamillah McWhorter (Bree Holt/@exquisite_eye)
Exquisite Eye capturing Jamillah McWhorter (Bree Holt/@exquisite_eye)

De Cadenet created @girlgazeproject on Instagram as a way to create awareness of the imbalance. Female-identifying photographers could submit work with the hashtag “#girlgaze.” They would gain exposure and get a chance to shoot an editorial for Teen Vogue.

Ms. Brazil (Luisa Dorr/@luisadorr)
Ms. Brazil (Luisa Dorr/@luisadorr)

“It was kind of a call to action with a job opportunity at the end of it,” de Cadanet said. “But what we didn’t realize was that we were going to have over a million submissions of images.” That was after only six months. Today, #girlgaze has had over 2.8 million submissions.

Outtake from "A day at the Inn' | shot by the lovely @kate_sweeney #girlgaze

A post shared by #girlgaze (@girlgazeproject) on

De Cadenet was so moved by the response she was able to offer enough opportunities to photographers to shoot enough editorials to fill the entire 2016 September issue of Teen Vogue. The photography from #girlgaze was featured in an exhibition and led to paying jobs to women with brands like Gap, Warby Parker and Shinola.

Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Lynsey Addario, director, photographer and visual artist Sam Taylor-Johnson, and fashion photographer and one half of Inez and Vinoodh Inez van Lamsweerde worked with de Cadenet to curate the recently published book “#girlgaze: How Girls See The World.”

Detox (Sinai Centre) from the series Women in Recovery (Petra Droogsma/@petradroogsma)
Detox (Sinai Centre) from the series Women in Recovery (Petra Droogsma/@petradroogsma)

The book showcases work from women around the globe. Filled with photos by mostly Generation Z women, de Cadenet sees the book as a reflection of how girls see the world in 2017. The photography touches on themes like body image, mental health, race and gender, providing a beautiful representation of the female gaze from many different backgrounds.

Goodbye My Chechnya (Diana Markosian/@markosian)
Goodbye My Chechnya (Diana Markosian/@markosian)

In addition to the new book, another #girlgaze exhibition, “UNCENSORED,” opened Friday in Los Angeles. The exhibition includes imagery that some may consider provocative, the photos show themes involving sexuality, nudity and menstrual cycles. The photos can be seen at the Subliminal Projects space through Oct. 28.

Women can continue to submit their photography to the project by using the hashtag #girlgaze on Instagram.

‘These are all our kids’: Why these 8 women attended the Families Belong Together rally in D.C.

More than 30,000 people marched to protest the ‘zero tolerance’ immigration policy

Meet Mexico’s female pro wrestlers

Photographer Diana Bagnoli was fascinated with the sport