Whenever I see another campaign consisting of a woman undressing in public to promote body positivity, I anxiously wait throughout the video for something bad to happen. This method of proving a point about how we view ourselves and each other has been a popular campaign tool over the past couple of years, but I don't think that makes it any less successful.
Gini, a "happiness researcher," writer and film maker has made numerous self love videos seeking to inspire others and interviewing those that inspire her. Her latest series, "Acts of Kindness with Strangers" has been exploring the human connection and many of the aspects of what does make us human — and which of those traits we may have lost in our busy, media led lives.
The latest video in the series, "Standing for Self Love in NYC" is taking a tried and tested formula to see how the public will react to a woman stripped down, wearing a blindfold and holding two pens. Her sign reads, "I am standing for anyone who has struggled with a self-esteem issue like me ... All bodies are beautiful. To support self-acceptance draw a [heart] on my body."
What happens next may have already happened to other women who've performed this feat, but the results are nonetheless heart-warming.
Even though we've seen this kind of performance before — even this specific kind of experiment was performed this summer in London, by yoga teacher Jae West — the results are still never exactly the same. It all relies on the public, the moods and views of the people who happen to be walking past that day. Although West's stunt was specifically in support of eating disorders, Gini set her sights wider, only asking for people to draw a heart if they believed in the power of self love.
What stands out about this experiment is that the results are wildly positive. Everyone in the video — and surely many of those who didn't make the cut — are not just supportive but are in awe. Although most of us have probably seen this stunt online already, I'm sure the act of being confronted with it in real life would be a stark reminder of the importance of self love and body positivity.
It's amazing to me that the public has proven time and time again that they are open to and in love with acts of self love and body positivity on this scale. It makes me question whether the obsession with perfection and adhering to traditional beauty standards actually comes from the every day person or if it's simply perpetuated by the media. After all, this is a common pressure we all feel and can all relate to. And if we honestly believed in the beauty standards we're confronted with every day, I doubt that Gini would have ended up covered in Sharpie hearts in the same way she is here.
What Gini and people like her have proven through these types of videos and projects is that we can always find hope and love not just in ourselves, but in other people too. Not only are Gini's brave actions admirable and inspiring, so are the actions of every single person that stepped up to draw a heart on her body.
Bustle has reached out to Gini for comment on her video and will update this article if she responds.