By Ernest Rollins Herald-Times, Bloomington, Ind.
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) In an effort to raise awareness about body image issues, three Indiana women wore bikinis, blindfolded themselves, and then asked passerbys to write and draw on their bodies. Some of those walking along accepted the invitation and wrote encouraging messages. One read..."Thank you. You are brave, beautiful and amazing,"
Standing blindfolded in bikinis with markers in hand, three Bloomington women invited passers-by on the B-Line Trail Saturday morning to write and draw on their bodies.
The act was a demonstration organized by Bloomington residents Georgia Boonshoft and Amber McKoy to bring awareness to the body positivity issues women face and to stand for those who have experienced body and slut shaming, objectification, eating disorders, sexualization and low self-esteem. Scout Marks joined them as well.
Some of those walking along the trail accepted the invitation from the three women and wrote encouraging messages and drew hearts.
"Thank you. You are brave, beautiful and amazing," one person wrote on Boonshoft's right shoulder. McKoy said at first standing there blindfolded was nerve wracking, but as more people approached, some offering gratitude for what they were doing while others engaged them in conversation about body positivity issues, it became more exciting.
"There were so many, especially women, which doesn't shock me, that just said 'thank you,'" McKoy said.
Boonshoft said one memorable moment for her was hearing kids stop and ask their parents what was going on and hearing the parents' explanations. She said it was encouraging because she feels they can influence a younger generation before they have to deal with such issues. Both McKoy and Boonshoft said they would be willing to do something like this again, given the positive response.
The idea is not new, Boonshoft said. Similar demonstrations involving other women around the country can be found on video.
Boonshoft said she became very passionate about body positivity issues, having struggled in the past with loving her own body.
Things were so bad, she said, she developed an eating disorder. Through support and therapy, she was able to overcome it.
She said she never planned to become an advocate. It started with posts on social media about her experiences as a way to cope, but it became much more.
"It was also touching people," she said.
Soon, she started getting messages from people expressing their thanks and applauding her courage to share. She said such feedback helped fueled her passion to raise awareness that people do struggle with self-love and need support.
"We are just trying to let people know there is a community of people that are here to support each other," Boonshoft said.