This idea formulated many moons ago, though, it wasn’t even my idea — the phrase just struck so soundly within me that it deserved, and deserves, repeating. I want women all over town to take this message to heart; I want girls to feel love and wonder for their limbs, not resentment or a belief that they don’t measure up.
This problem is bigger than the media; we’ve got to personally strip over-saturated and self-critical language from our mouths. Turn the tide back to our bodies being sacred, or, more simply, the shell we are given to experience this life. Good or bad, it’s all we’ve got.
Several years ago I embarked on a conscious effort to change my perceptions of my own figure, to stop evaluating it. And I can’t say in a brief way what an impact that effort had on my life — I can say it changed everything. It’s work I still tend to, but what has carried over is a greater sense of joy. Quiet in the mind, a small but sure river of confidence. And relief.
When I read about a stencil project over at Oh Happy Day, I felt inspired to make my own stencil with this phrase, and, something like seven months later, I’ve actually done it. It’s clear I’m at the bottom of a major learning curve regarding the use of spray chalk, and I’m aiming to find a more rigid paper for the stencil. For this piece, I used tyvek, a fairly indestructible waxy paper used in my bookbinding projects, which worked fine but did not lend itself to distinct edges on each letter. Alternately, I do want a material that’s fairly lightweight, so I can keep the stencil in a trunk, bag, or back pocket, if need be.
Here’s hoping you east bay folks happen to see this piece of street art in your neighborhood soon, and that it inspires some conversation.