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Eighty brave women agreed to have their pictures taken in public — topless. Here, the photographer shares with Cosmo why he did it and what he learned.

Q: What inspired you to do this project?

A: "The initial inspiration came to me years ago, when Janet Jackson's nipple was exposed during the Super Bowl halftime show. There was so much hoopla around it and I got to thinking about our culture of covering up. In New York, it's legal for a woman to be topless in public — so I decided to document what happens when a woman bares her breasts."

Q: What happened? How did people react when you'd do your photo shoots?

A: "The majority of New Yorkers and tourists were very accepting of it. Police couldn't do anything since it was legal, other than cite public disturbance…but rarely was anyone actually disturbed. The book became less political and much more about the empowerment that the women would feel. The photo subjects found the option of not covering up to be incredibly liberating."

Q: What did you learn in the process?

A: "I learned that a woman's beauty is how she perceives herself. Women's perceptions of their bodies seem very destructive; they are so hard on themselves. Once my photo subjects became comfortable with working through their modesty, they were often in no hurry to put their shirts back on. They felt freed. One woman said to me, 'You have no idea what you've done for me.'"

Q: Do you have any favorite shots?

A: "[This picture] is one of my favorites because it is of the most confident woman I shot. She truly loved her body. The amount of self-love she had for herself was a lesson to me. It proved that confidence makes someone sexy. There are words on the rail that say 'Stand Up, Beautiful' and I think it fits perfectly."

Uncovered is now available on or through (Bonus: The books are signed if you order through Jordan's site.) The 160 pages feature stunning photography and insightful personal statements from more than 80 brave women. Plus, ten percent of the profits benefit the Somaly Mam Foundation, a nonprofit public charity committed to ending sexual slavery in Southeast Asia.

Tune in to the Today Show on NBC on August 3 to watch Jordan discuss Uncovered.

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