“The feeling of the felt pen on my skin was one of the most overwhelming feelings of relief, gratitude, and love that I’ve ever felt. I just burst into tears.”
Jae West had an eating disorder in high school and into her early 20s. She now works with the crew of the Liberators International, which created the incredibly powerful video below.
Her inspiration for this piece came from watching Amanda Palmer talk about getting naked and having fans draw or write on her skin in order to better connect with them and to “experience the visceral experience of trusting strangers.”
For Jae, experiencing what happened in this video was a way to put all of those body-image issues out into the world, be vulnerable in front of hundreds of people (and, since the video went viral, now millions), and ask the crowd of people walking by for help.
And boy, did they respond—with hearts of love.
Here’s a taste of the short video:
She recalls how hard it was in an article she wrote about the filming of this clip.
“I was scared that no one was going to draw a love heart on my body and I was going to be left out there in the open in my underwear on show to be ridiculed. As the minutes passed it felt like hours. ... All of a sudden I felt one of the pens in my left hand slip out of my grasp. The feeling of the felt pen on my skin was one of the most overwhelming feelings of relief, gratitude, and love that I’ve ever felt. I just burst into tears.”
It’s really worth your time: