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This is what happened when a woman publicly stripped to her underwear to ask everyone for body image acceptance

Jae West body image experiment 2.jpg

Jae West went to London’s Piccadilly Circus last weekend, stripped down to her underwear and asked passers-by to draw a love heart on her body.

Why? Because 60 per cent of adults report feeling ashamed of how they look, and having overcome an eating disorder as a teenager, it’s an issue that weighs heavy on Jae’s mind.

Explaining the thought process behind her experiment, which was inspired by Amanda Palmer’s TED talk The Art of Asking, Jae writes in a blog post:

“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.”

Jae arrived at Piccadilly Circus on Sunday afternoon with a white board displaying her message, a blind fold and a handful of marker pens. She took off her dress, put on the blind fold, and stood.

Jae West body image experiment Piccadilly Circus

Though she brought two friends with her, they were set up some distance away to catch whatever happened next on camera.

After what Jae says seemed like an eternity, but was actually just a few minutes, people started to respond to her white board message which read:

“I’m standing for anyone who has struggled with an eating disorder or self-esteem issue like me… To support self-acceptance, draw a [love heart] on my body”

But how did she know her job was done? That people weren’t just taking part for fun, regardless of whether they understood her intentions?

The answer was in one brilliant father.

Jae West Body Image Acceptance Campaign Message

“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.”

You can read Jae Wests’s full account of her experiment at inspiralight.wordpress.com

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