A Body Positivity Mall Dressing Room Decorating Party
It all started when Jackie and I, inspired by our new dating lives, ventured out one Friday evening for a Victoria’s Secret underwear sale.
This idea was born. The full story below.
Concept: We’ll gather for a community breakfast at the Lloyd Center mall teamed with sticky notes, pens, and our messages of body positivity and being our own beauty. Our day is strategically timed with the flush of families and youth that are school shopping. After time to connect and meet one another, we’ll spend the day going from shop-to-shop decorating dressing rooms with notes of body celebration, beauty, and enoughness. This event is for people of all genders (let’s get in all the dressing rooms)!
There is also the vision that this work can be taken to schools (bathrooms, locker rooms), doctors offices, workplaces, movie theaters, your grandmother’s house, your bathroom … everywhere beauty belongs.
Date: Sunday, August 26
Location (PDX): Meet up at 11 am @ Bridge City Cafe in the Lloyd Center
If not in Portland, OR, we invite you to host your own local #beyourownbeautyproject party in a mall, store, school bathroom or locker room near you!
Event hashtags and additional resources are below.
Facebook Event link here.
Questions? If you’d like to get ahold of Leah or Jackie please use the message feature on the Facebook event page or contact Leah at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A reminder. This topic stirs so much all of us. You are not alone. If you need support, please reach out to those who you trust. If you are isolated without support, a reminder that the Crisis Text Line is a teamed with people who are ready to be with you in your truth.
Calling all bodies. All genders. All ages. All languages. All abilities. All of us.
Two Voices. One Tender Story.
My Instagram Post
“I don’t imagine I’ll ever post something like this again, but this story must be told. Victoria’s Secret dressing room. Friday night. My friend Jackie and I are upgrading our underwear collection. We each had a bag of possibilities picked out from drawers of cuts and colors. Between our dressing rooms, I hear her groan in frustration. We talk like we’re peeing in stalls next to each other. “My body has changed so much this year.” “Me, too,” I said tenderly. The framed images outside our dressing rooms on the bright lipstick walls are of women who scream “fu*$ yes sexy.” They are beautiful. I can so easily make them cruel if I use their curated image to define my worth and ability to love and celebrate my body.
I surprise myself by saying out loud, “Hey. Imagine how many women have hated their bodies in these rooms. Women who wanted to change one thing or everything about who they are or simply be 20 years younger. Those thoughtforms are stuck to these walls.” I feel chilled. I touch my belly. Wrap my arms around my shoulders. I choose to deny this invitation to wish I had another body as I dreamed all my childhood. I tell my body in silent words how I am doing my best to love her fullness in this crazy culture devoid of #bodytrust
I consider taking a picture of myself in the mirror just to claim that I am willing to love this moment. To claim all of my beauty in the ways I practice every day…just for me. And, with the anger in me for all the pain I’ve inflicted on my body over the years, I decide to do it. I then dream of telling this story. A sort of war dispatch reporting…from Victoria’s Secret dressing room.
Ladies, we all have so many casualties we inflict upon and within ourselves. I know this is real for men and all bodied humans, too. As we pursue peacebuilding in our outer homelands and countries, let us dare each other to do the same on the sacred lands of our bodies. May we dare to come home to our own beauty each and every day. No exception. Repeat. No exception. We have very few models for how to do this. @benourishedpdx has been an amazing resource for me on this healing path. Body trust at every size! To the revolution of #enough #joinme .”
Jackie’s Text/Email Sharing
“Leah and I went underwear shopping at the Victoria Secret panty party sale. Underwear shopping is one of the most demoralizing experiences in life. Underwear never look like you want them to look! NEVER! The ones I wanted looked all lumpy and bumpy (the fabric of course). I wanted something NEW and ended up with the same OLD comforts that I have been wearing for a decade. F*$k underwear!
Leah lobbed encouraging words over the dressing room walls. Yet I bemoaned the changes my 48-year-old menopausal body has gone through in the past year. I remembered what I looked like a year ago when I was in the dressing room at the resale shop that was filled with post-it notes “you’re gorgeous, don’t let this mirror tell you anything else.” “You’re beautiful!” I laughed reading those lines thinking how silly they were but I bought the clothes I tried on. In the Victoria Secret dressing room, I could have used those post-its. Thank goodness I had Leah’s words to redirect me because I did not feel beautiful or sexy in those underwear that night. Sooooo…. It only makes sense to organize a post-it put-up party. Dear friends and family, let’s put up post-it notes up in dressing rooms all throughout the mall during back to school shopping. We will tell the sales clerks that it will help their sales if they leave them up! (I’m sure this is true!) An act of FULL-ON AGGRESSION! And kindness, and generosity and joy. Wanna join?”
Do join us! August 26. #BeYourOwnBeautyProject
“What’s on the other side of the tiny gigantic revolution in which I move from loathing to loving my own skin? What fruits would that particular liberation bear?
We don’t know—as a culture, as a gender, as individuals, you and I. The fact that we don’t know is feminism’s one true failure. We claimed the agency, we granted ourselves the authority, we gathered the accolades, but we never stopped worrying about how our asses looked in our jeans. There are a lot of reasons for this, a whole bunch of Big Sexist Things We Can Rightfully Blame. But ultimately, like anything, the change is up to us.” –Cheryl Strayed, Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar
Suggested Event Hashtags
#beyourownbeauty #beyourownbeautyproject (main tags)
#bodypositivity #bodytrust #bodytrustisyourbirthright #LoseHateNotWeight #allbodiesaregoodbodies #bodykindness #bodyimage #effyourbeautystandards #UnTrapped #healthateverysize #nondiet #bodypositive #ditchthediet #antidiet #edrecovery #riotsnotdiets #nourishnotpunish #recoverywarriors #donewithdiets #mindfulness #mindfuleating #mindfulmovement #intuitiveeating #socialjustice #bodykindness #selfcare #selflove #selfcompassion #antidietrevolution #wakeupweightwatchers #TheBodyisNotanApology #bodyliberation #ThisisBodyPositive
“When people say they want to lose weight they often mean ‘I want to be respected. I want to be loved. I want to be seen. I want liberation from fear and self-loathing.’ Weight loss culture will NEVER give us those things because it is founded on fear/hate based systems like sexism, racism, classism, and ableism.” –Virgie Tovar, fat activist, one of the nation’s leading experts and lecturers on fat discrimination and body image
Local PDX Resource
Be Nourished: A Portland-based, women-owned business. Dana and Hilary, believe that people who live compassionately in the bodies they have will change the world for everyone.
Thanks to Kit Stubbs for this beautiful body positive photo shared on her Flickr page.