Last week, a blindfolded young woman named Jae West, survivor of an eating disorder, stripped down to her underwear at a busy intersection in London’s Piccadilly Circus, holding a placard which read:
Obviously, the video uploaded on YouTube on August 14 has gone viral with a vengeance, gathering over a million views. The idea was to celebrate her body, imperfections and all, and encourage others to do the same, and this statistic will help explain why:
‘60% of adults report feeling ashamed of the way they look’ – Centre for Appearance Research 2012.
The statistic above is appalling but not surprising, considering we are bombarded every day with advertisements selling a particular type of body, appearance and personality we must fit into. As actresses like Kristen Stewart slam the unreal standards of beauty they are held up to, what hope is there for the rest of us? Little wonder then, that so many of us are racked by self-doubt, besieged by body acceptance issues.
And so, this social experiment that Jae took part in.
In a blog, Jae says she was inspired to do the project after watching Amanda Palmer’s TED talk “The Art of Asking” in which Palmer undressed and asked her fans to write 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”, reads her blog on Inspiralight.
Let us then leave having watched this video, a little wiser and perhaps more confident. Here’s to celebrating ourselves and our bodies because, as they say, age and weight are just numbers and none of us need to do the math, do we now?