Artist Paints Every Comment She's Ever Received About Her Body On One Dress
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Artist Paints Every Comment She's Ever Received About Her Body On One Dress

Words don't get under her skin anymore — she wears them.

Artist Paints Every Comment She's Ever Received About Her Body On One Dress
Lucy Ridges

People spoon-feed us their opinions like we're toddlers. We're given compliments, insults, any type of remark like we’re just going to take it. And often times we do. Because for a long, long time, these comments — what people think about how we look — control how we feel about our bodies, women especially. How others talk about our shape informs how we see that shape.

The 31-year-old London-based artist, Jojo Oldham, has figured out a way to embrace these remarks — the good and the bad. SELF reports that Oldham painted a long-sleeve maxi dress with real comments people have made about her.

Big Butch Arms,” say bold blue bubble letters down the left sleeve.

Stunning” and “Amazing” read across her chest in orange outlined hot pink and yellow-dotted capitals.

Next to these praises is a single fraction: “6/10.”

There’s the flattering “On Fire” and “Strong” and the slanderous “Yikes” and “Be nice if you were a bit slimmer.”

These brutally honest words painted on a simple, white dress say so much about our society — we pray on each other's appearance. From a very young age we do this, and the scariest part is that we're so used to doing it too. Just think about the last time you scrolled through your social media feeds. We're all constantly judging even if we don't realize, eyes locked on illuminated screens, minds forever evaluating. But what good is that?

On her blog, Oldham shared that, like many others, it’s been a challenge to discover her inner body confidence especially when the way she looks has always been judged. But, with her newest art project, she hopes to inspire change. Oldham wants people to really think about the comments they make about others' bodies, “A great compliment has the power to make someone's day. But why do we feel the need to share cruel, unwanted and unsolicited comments on people's appearance? ... I think it's a massive shame that we waste so much time thinking badly of ourselves and knocking each other down, when we could all collectively decide to end this madness once and for all.”

Oldham wants us all to realize that even if it's hard to come to terms with how people perceive us, these perceptions don't define us — we do.

“I've reached a point in my life where I finally feel at peace with my body. I'm healthy (cross fingers, touch wood), strong and have a body that enables me to do all the things I love," she wrote. "So what if my upper arms continue waving long after my hand has stopped? Those same upper arms enable me to carry massive boxes all by myself, punch punchbags really hard and wave my arms in the air like I just don't care for a really long time.”

She continued, “The love I have for my body these days is something I've had to learn … So why are we so obsessed with how our bodies look, instead of marvelling at the mind-blowing wonder of them? Because we should all be able to celebrate and love ourselves without fear of criticism from others, whatever shape or size we are.”

Oldham told SELF, “These comments people make don’t define us, and we get to choose how we feel about our bodies. Once you realize that, you can kind of tune out what everyone says.”

Oldham is wearing every comment she’s ever received with pride, not only on her sleeve but on her whole body — the body she's learned to accept for what it is. It’s just another example of the greatness we can achieve with a little creativity and a lot of self-love.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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