As she stood on a busy sidewalk in London, blindfolded and wearing no more than a bra and underwear, Jae West worried what those who passed by would make of her social experiment.
Specifically, she worried nobody would participate -- that she'd be left standing there nearly naked, unsupported by her peers and ridiculed by those who didn't understand.
But then she felt someone take a marker from her hand and draw a heart on her exposed body. It was the first of many.
West, like many women, dealt with self-esteem issues for much of her life. She suffered from an eating disorder throughout high school and her early 20s.
Her social experiment, in which she stripped down to her underwear in a public square in London and invited strangers to draw hearts on her body as a show of solidarity and support, was designed to combat that ever-present self-doubt. It was designed to remind others we all deal with self-esteem issues and our bodies should be cherished and appreciated — not abused and despised.
Despite her initial fears, West's powerful display proved a success. Since its posting on YouTube, a video of the experiment has more than 100,000 views with nearly unanimous praise.
It isn't always easy to love ourselves. But with this video, West reminds us we must at least try.
Read about the experiment in West's words on Inspiralight, and check out the powerful footage up top.