Body image activist Jae West's latest campaign has seen her being praised nationwide for her courage. The young Australian stood on London's busy Piccadilly Circus in just her underwear holding markers so that members of the public could draw hearts on her body, to promote self-acceptance of all body types.
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Members of the public quickly took to drawing hearts on Jae
"I'm standing for anyone who has struggled with an eating disorder or self-esteem issue like me…" read a placard alongside Jae to explain her project to initially bemused members of the public. "To support self-acceptance draw a [heart] on my body."
Jae, who is part of The Liberators International group, admitted that she felt extremely "vulnerable" and that she worried about "offending" people as she initially got prepared.
"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," she wrote in a post for blog Inspiralight.
Jae stood next to a sign explaining her cause to the public
"Observing the members of the public on a casual Sunday lunchtime, oblivious to the fear-ridden chatter that was going on in my head," she continued. "I’d seen a large number of families and individuals of different cultures in the area and was worried about offending them with exposing my body in the act of freedom that I was about to embark on."
Jae also admitted she was nervous that the project was not going to work. "I was scared that no one was going to draw a love heart on my body," she revealed. "And I was going to be left out there in the open in my underwear on show to be ridiculed."
Luckily, she need not have worried. Within minutes people of all ages were taking the pens and drawing hearts on Jae, applauding her for her courage.