College junior Martina Maya-Callen stood outside in the snow last Friday, wearing nothing more than a nude body suit and carrying a sign that said, "Write on me."
Maya-Callen braved the freezing weather to raise awareness for eating disorders and negative body image. On her body were words like "ugly," "fat," and "unworthy" written in black ink. But those weren't the words her fellow students wrote on her body, they're the words she wrote on herself.
"I stood and wrote words all over my body in black marker that I had previously felt about myself," she wrote in an Instagram post about the project. "Then I invited the public to write on my body in the color of eating disorder awareness."
The student also constructed an 8.5-foot closet, which she stood next to during the hour she was outside, according to The Flyer, a student newspaper at Salisbury University where she goes to school.
Inside the closet was an art project that shows the thoughts of someone who has an eating disorder or negative self-image. According to The Flyer, the walls and ceiling of the closet were blacked out and covered in ripped magazine pages, measurement tapes, and weight scales with disparaging self-descriptive words.
Maya-Callen kicked off the art project by stripping down into her body suit, writing disparaging words on herself, and making a speech to the crowd about body image.
“What a crazy idea, to be happy with yourself just the way you are!” she said during her speech, according to The Flyer.
Students who had gathered around were then encouraged to write body positive messages on either Maya-Callen or the closet door. While she was only outside for an hour (and, props to her for making it a whole hour outside in the snow, wearing just a body suit), the closet was up throughout the day for students to look inside or write on.
The project was a huge success, and we're hoping that Maya-Callen, who is no stranger to activist art projects, decides to take on more live art performance. She clearly has a knack for it.
"Truly, I am so proud and happy with the result," Maya-Callen wrote in another Instagram post. "Would have never imagined even a month ago that I would have the strength, self-love and power to do this. I've come along way."
Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?