Last month we brought you the story of Jae West, a body positivity activist who stripped down to her underwear in London’s Piccadilly Square, tied a blindfold around her eyes, and held up a whiteboard with the following message:
“I’m standing here for anyone who has struggled with an eating disorder or body image issue like me… To support self-acceptance draw a ‘<3′ on my body.”
West held a handful of markers in one hand, and was thrilled to feel the markers leave her hands as dozens of hearts were drawn all over her body.
We were so inspired by this experiment, as was artist Amy Pence-Brown of Boise, Idaho, a self-described “nearly 40-year-old fat feminist mother,” who recently replicated the experiment at Boise’s Capital City Public Market, but put her own twist on the presentation.
“[Jae West] was thin, and white, and young,” Pence-Brown told USA Today. “So what if you were fat, what if you were about forty, and a mom, and what if you were somewhere different, like Boise, Idaho?”
Pence-Brown was also conducting the experiment for a different reason—to show her kids how important it is to stand up for body positivity.
“‘All bodies are good bodies’ is something we say in our house,” Pence-Brown told USA Today.
Pence-Brown’s sign was also a little different. It read:
“I’m standing here for anyone who has struggled with a self-esteem issue like me, because all bodies are valuable. To support self-acceptance, draw a <3 on my body.”
Like West before her, Pence-Brown was also “really worried” that no one would draw a heart. However, Brown only had to wait a few seconds before the first heart was drawn.
Not only was Pence-Brown’s body covered with hearts by the end of the experiment, but those who participated also wrote words of encouragement and praise, like “Badass,” “Awesome,” “I love you,” “You are beautiful,” “You rock,” “You look great,” “Stand strong,” and “You are gorgeous.” Pence-Brown also had people encourage her out loud, and she received many hugs from supportive strangers.
“Oh, Boise, you restored my faith in humanity, you blew my mind with your kindness, you saw the beauty in my body and your own,” Pence-Brown said in a blog post about the experience. “You are ready for a body positive revolution, and I’m honored to stand by your side. Take my hand, if you need, and I’ll pull you up.”
We love that this experiment worked just as well the second time around, and expanded what this kind of public presentation can accomplish. We also love that Pence-Brown was able to prove to her children how many people in their community support body positivity and that “All bodies are good bodies” is a truth believed by so many people around them. We can’t think of a sweeter gift to give one’s children than the gift of showing them that their community will embrace their self-love and acceptance with open arms.
Check out the video below:
Image via Vimeo