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”
So begins Jae West’s retelling of the events that transpired, spurred on by the movement known as The Liberators International – a group dedicated to spurring change through social experiments.
Their videos are full of spontaneous dance parties and general merriment, but this one – a lone social experiment by Jae West meant to bring awareness to eating disorders and self-esteem issues that are often the root of these.
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.”
When we go out into the public – clothed in whichever way we may be, we give the world permission to judge us, if they wish. Some judge a little too freely with catcalls, while others do even more damage with scorns, rolled eyes and disapproving glances. Often, these passes on judgement are the result of the gazer’s own insecurities projected upon the subject of their attention.
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.”
Jae West went out into the public in order to let go of her own insecurities and show others that perhaps not all judgement is bad – that some out there still see the best of us, no matter our physical appearance. Her sign read: “I’m standing for anyone who has ever suffered with an eating disorder or self-esteem issue like me…To support self-acceptance draw a ‘❤️’ on my body.”
They did, and gray London and Piccadilly Circus was soon full of very warm feelings on a summer Sunday afternoon.
Image Source: Jae West