It sounds like something out of a bad dream we had once: You arrive at work, and suddenly, you realize that you're naked. No one seems to be reacting, but you know you're exposed nonetheless — let the cold sweats begin.
That's kind of what happened to this young woman, but it wasn't part of her dream. Instead, she did it intentionally. No, she didn't just walk out into the world totally butt naked — instead, she enlisted the help of body paint that looked exactly like clothing, entering into public spaces with just pigment and a tiny bit of cloth covering her body.
It sounds like a crazy experiment, but it also teaches a powerful lesson about perception, body image, and realizing that no matter what you look like, it's what's inside that counts. See more of the story below.
This is Julie.
She decided to do a little experiment, wherein she would only wear body paint for the entire day and see if anyone noticed.
Julie said that one of her motivations was a lifetime of self-consciousness.
Her body image issues stemmed from a classmate’s careless comment about Julie’s thighs after Julie had performed in a leotard for a high school musical.
Professional body painter Pashur House painted Julie in jeans and a white T-shirt
The process took hours, and involved many coats of paint (as well as a pair of pasties, of course)
She had underwear on the bottom to cover up.
Some jobs, paint just won’t do.
But the level of detail here is truly amazing.
He even painted perfectly ripped holes in her jeans for added effect.
And the cuffs really did look 3D.
But despite the awesome paint job, there were some definite concerns for the subject of this experiment.
The whole process was incredibly emotional for Julie.
“You feel naked or you feel all these negative things about yourself that no one else sees,” she said. “And no one else understands.”
But her biggest challenge was yet to come.
When the painter finished, it would just be Julie and her body heading out into the world.
And despite the fact that the paint covered her body, it was still more like being naked.
As you can see, there’s not much different between her skin and the paint — so from a distance, it tricks the eye, but Julie definitely felt exposed.
Here, he puts the final touches on the paint.
He had to coat it with a sealant of sorts, so it didn’t rub off over the course of 24 hourse.
Here she is right before she stepped outside.
Would you feel brave enough to do something like this?
Julie made her way into the outdoors for the first time.
Judging by how realistic that looks, it’s so hard to believe it’s body paint.
Many people she encountered didn't notice.
You’d have to really get up close and personal to be able to tell.
The coolest part of Julie's journey comes at the end.
She walks around in her body paint, and most people don’t even notice what she’s “wearing” at first.
For Julie, the whole thing felt like a metaphor.
“You feel naked or you feel all these negative things about yourself that no one else sees, and no one else understands,” she said. “Be strong and to not listen to what other people say and to not let it matter so much because it doesn’t. What matters inside is what counts the most, and that’s where your strength and your beauty comes from first.”