Amy Pence-Brown, we wish we could give you all of the high-fives for this social experiment. The 40-year-old mother of two from from Boise, Idaho started a Facebook group called Boise Rad Fat Collective, a body-positive group dedicated to "living a happy and healthy life at every size," and social activism for the body positivity movement.
During one of their online discussions, the group saw an empowering video by The Liberators International that showed a young woman shedding her clothes in London's crowded Piccadilly Circus. Armed with markers, a blindfold, and a sign, the girl asked people to draw hearts on her body if they supported her self-acceptance after overcoming an eating disorder.
Inspired by her courage, the Collective decided to perform a social experiment of their own. On her blog, Pence-Brown says they wanted to know how a statement like this would be received if the woman had a less "socially-acceptable" appearance—if she was overweight or a mother.
To test America's outlook on body love, Pence-Brown opted to perform the experiment herself. She stood in a crowded marketplace in downtown Boise wearing a bikini and a blindfold, next to a sign that said: "I'm standing for anyone who has struggled with a self-esteem issues like me, because all bodies are valuable. To support self-acceptance, draw a (heart) on my body."
Within minutes people started covering her body with hearts and kind words to show their support. And it didn't end there. Several men and women asked to give her hugs and kisses, thanking her for her strength and courage.
After standing on the street for an hour, Pence-Brown was overwhelmed by the compassion she received from complete strangers. In an interview with Buzzfeed she said, "I made peace with my body long ago, and I want to help other people get to that place."
Preach. The video is from last summer, but it's no less powerful now. And it's a great reminder for all of us to #LoveMyShape (that's our body confidence movement where we highlight the strong, beautiful, badass women who inspire us every day).