Why A Woman Stood in The Middle of London in Her Underwear and Asked People to Draw on Her
By Jae West / inspiralight.wordpress.com

As I stepped onto the streets of Piccadilly Circus with white board and markers in one hand and blindfold in the other, I couldn’t help but feel an overwhelming sense of vulnerability at what I was about to do. Observing the members of the public on a casual Sunday lunchtime, oblivious to the fear-ridden chatter that was going on in my head. I’d seen a large number of families and individuals of different cultures in the area and was worried about offending them with exposing my body in the act of freedom that I was about to embark on.

As my clothes fell to the ground and I placed the blindfold over my eyes I could feel a shift of attention and confusion stirring in the air. My heart was racing while all the worst case scenarios were going through my head. I was scared that no one was going to draw a love heart on my body and I was going to be left out there in the open in my underwear on show to be ridiculed.

As the minutes passed it felt like hours. Usually during public experiments we have a couple of people planted in the crowd to act like onlookers and step in if nothing happens, however I knew that Elliot and Pete were the only ones out there and both of them were on camera’s so I really was putting full trust in the public to step up to the plate. All of a sudden I felt one of the pens in my left hand slip out of my grasp. The feeling of the felt pen was on my skin was one of the most overwhelming feelings of relief, gratitude and love that I’ve ever felt. I just burst into tears. I don’t know who that first person was but I am so thankful for their contribution. After that first love heart was drawn it felt like others were liberated to follow suit because soon all the pens were leaving my hands at a rapid pace!

One of the most moving and inspiring moments for me was listening to a Father explain to his children what I was doing. He was acknowledging the fact that everyone should love themselves exactly as they are and appreciate the bodies that they are given. It warmed my heart to know that his children and others would grow up understanding the impact of this global issue and have a feeling of contribution after drawing a love heart on my body. If everyone could know and appreciate how beautiful they are from childhood I think this world would be a very different place.

With the growing prevalence of eating-disorders and self-esteem issues around the world, this public act of self-acceptance aims to get people to question the true relationship that they have to themselves and body-image.

This was made as part of the Liberators International tour through Europe & you can watch the experiment here

What did the Police say?

The English police were supportive of my decision to stand and simply asked if I had others watching over me in the space for safety concerns. At the end of the experiment, i got dressed and was able to give a hug of thanks.

Where did the idea come from?

Body image and self-acceptance is something that I have always been passionate about endorsing after experiencing an eating disorder myself through high school and my early 20’s. As Richard Bach said ‘we teach best what we most need to learn’, so I believe it is part of my purpose for being here. One night I was watching Amanda Palmer’s TED talk ‘The Art of Asking’ and was truly inspired by her vulnerability and courage. She described how she had stripped naked to allow her fans to draw and write anything they wanted on her. That night as I was going to bed, the idea of linking the vulnerability of nudity with self-esteem issues in a public setting came to mind. Just the thought of looking down at my body and seeing it covered in love hearts from other people brought tears to my eyes. It was a reality check of how harsh we can be on ourselves, we really can be our own worst critics. The unrealistic expectations we place on ourselves can cause us to reject the love that others openly give because of a feeling of unworthiness. I knew this was a global concept that many people could relate to, so putting myself in that situation really was a stand for everyone out there that has been confronted with self-doubt in relation to the way they look.

0.0 ·
0
What's Next
Trending Today
This Text Message Exchange Between a Mother and Daughter is Pure Gold
Belinda Hankins · 7,671 views today · When Belinda Hankins got a text message from her 13-year-old daughter, who was shopping for period products, it started an exchange that will resonate with women everywhere. Enjoy.
10 Provocative Quotes from Ivan Illich's "Deschooling Society"
Daniel Lattier · 7,015 views today · Ivan Illich’s groundbreaking book Deschooling Society (1971) offers a radical critique of the institutionalization of education within modern societies. Illich believed that we...
What Makes Call-Out Culture So Toxic
Asam Ahmad · 5,300 views today · Call-out culture refers to the tendency among progressives, radicals, activists, and community organizers to publicly name instances or patterns of oppressive behaviour and...
Welcome to Marinaleda: The Spanish Anti-Capitalist Town With Equal Wage Full Employment and $19 Housing
Jade Small · 2,950 views today · With virtually no police, crime or unemployment, meet the Spanish town described as a democratic, socialist utopia. Unemployment is non-existent in Marinaleda, an Andalusian...
When You Kill Ten Million Africans You Aren't Called 'Hitler'
Liam O'Ceallaigh · 2,565 views today · Take a look at this picture. Do you know who it is? Most people haven’t heard of him. But you should have. When you see his face or hear his name you should get as sick in...
What You Might Notice If You Forgot Your Phone For a Day
2 min · 2,226 views today · There is a moment happening right in front of you, right this second, and you just might be missing it
Ikigai - Finding Your Reason for Being
Chip Richards · 1,800 views today · What Gets You Out of Bed in the Morning? When asked what is the single most powerful contributing factor to one’s health and vitality, integrative medical...
93 Documentaries to Expand Your Consciousness
Films For Action · 1,675 views today · There are over 800 documentaries now cataloged in our library of social change films. That's probably way too many for any mortal to ever watch in a lifetime, let alone a few...
Superblocks: How Barcelona Is Taking City Streets Back From Cars
5 min · 1,445 views today · Modern cities are designed for cars. But the city of Barcelona is testing out an urban design trick that can give cities back to pedestrians.
Who Are You? Watching This Breathtaking Video Could Be the Moment You Change Your Life
2 min · 1,352 views today · "Normal is getting dressed in clothes that you buy for work, driving through traffic in a car that you are still paying for, in order to get to a job that you need so you can...
Today I Rise: This Beautiful Short Film Is Like a Love Poem For Your Heart and Soul
4 min · 1,158 views today · "The world is missing what I am ready to give: My Wisdom, My Sweetness, My Love and My hunger for Peace." "Where are you? Where are you, little girl with broken wings but full...
Schooling the World (2010)
66 min · 1,014 views today · If you wanted to change an ancient culture in a generation, how would you do it? You would change the way it educates its children. The U.S. Government knew this in the 19th...
Throw (2016)
10 min · 896 views today · The first installment of Invisible Thread, an ongoing ELM passion project series, Throw tells the story of an outsider from East Baltimore, an area challenged by gang violence...
11 Traits of People With High Emotional Intelligence
Raven Fon · 843 views today · Lately, new ways to describe human interactions, social behaviours, and many facets of psychology have emerged on the social network scene. One of those descriptions is “high...
John Lennon's "Imagine," Made Into a Comic Strip
John Lennon. Art by Pablo Stanley · 676 views today · This is easily the best comic strip ever made.  Pabl
The White Man in That Photo
Riccardo Gazzaniga · 650 views today · Sometimes photographs deceive. Take this one, for example. It represents John Carlos and Tommie Smith’s rebellious gesture the day they won medals for the 200 meters at the...
Touch Isolation: How Homophobia Has Robbed All Men Of Touch
Mark Greene · 541 views today · Homophobic prohibitions against male touch are hurting straight men as well.
Forest Man
16 min · 527 views today · Since the 1970's Majuli islander Jadav Payeng has been planting trees in order to save his island. To date he has single handedly planted a forest larger than Central Park NYC...
How to Criticize with Kindness: Philosopher Daniel Dennett on the Four Steps to Arguing Intelligently
Maria Popova · 475 views today · “Just how charitable are you supposed to be when criticizing the views of an opponent?”
The Top 100 Documentaries We Can Use to Change the World
Films For Action · 474 views today · A more beautiful, just and sustainable world is possible. Take this library and use it to inspire global change!
Load More
Like us on Facebook?
Why A Woman Stood in The Middle of London in Her Underwear and Asked People to Draw on Her