Amy Pence-Brown, a mother of four from Boise, is making a stir on the internet for her bold public performance wherein she stripped down to a bikini, blindfolded herself, and invited strangers to write on her nearly naked body. The project was done to promote self-love and healthy body image, and Amy was blown away by just how positive the response was.
For the project, the daring mother found a spot on a busy street, took off most of her clothes, and set up a sign that read, “I’m standing for anyone who has struggled with a self-esteem issue like me, because all bodies are valuable. To support self-acceptance, draw a <3 on my body.”
Before long, strangers started stopping by to participate, taking a few minutes to write encouraging messages on her bare skin. These ranged from simple words like “Love” and “Strong,” to full-on compliments like “You are very beautiful!” One father stopped in front of Amy Pence-Brown and informed his two young sons, “this is what a beautiful woman looks like.” Others even went so far as to give Amy hugs and kisses on the cheek, or to verbally thank her for her bravery.
“The effects of what you are doing here are far reaching,” one man whispered directly into her ear. “It’s absolutely amazing. The power of this moment will go on and in ways you never thought possible. You are changing more lives than you know.”
You can see Amy Pence-Brown putting herself out there in the images below.
A full list of the messages written on her body can be viewed at the blog post Amy Pence-Brown wrote about the project, which you can read here.
“I was scared that I might get asked to leave by the police or that people would yell terrible things at me or that no one would draw a heart on my body and I’d stand there alone and crying for minutes that felt like hours,” Amy Pence-Brown said on her blog. “Well, none of that came true. Except for the crying part.”
Amy Pence-Brown did the project to show the world that everyone should be proud of their body, even with flaws. She spoke to BuzzFeed about the performance.
“You will also see other things in these photos — the sweat running down my rolls of back fat, cellulite (on strong legs that have carried me for four decades), a wonky bikini top with sagging breasts (that nourished three babies), stretch marks (that represent my transition from a chubby adolescent to a curvy teenager to a woman who’s been pregnant four times), and darkly tanned skin (from a summer spent at the Boise Public Pools with my friends and my children).”
Amy also started the Boise Rad Fat Collective, a Facebook group full of body-positive activists who want to eliminate the stigma surrounding the human body.
“We can’t truly love one another until we fully love ourselves,” Pence-Brown said. “And once we do, I guarantee, that together we can move mountains.”
Do you think Amy Pence-Brown is making a difference?
[Image credit: Amy Pence-Brown]