Recently I've watched several videos where young women strip to their underwear in public, put up a cardboard sign with a text, and then put on a blindfold and wait what will happen.
On the sign they are asking people to hug them and / or paint hearts on their bodies because they have overcome their eating disorder and / or have finally learned to accept their body, fate, life or what have you.
The various films got lots of "likes" on Facebook and who would have expected anything different?
I, however, have mixed feelings, to put it mildly.
Here's some of my spontaneous reactions:
First off, you look pretty awkward trying to hug a person or to even really embrace her with a knee-high cardboard between the both of you.
I don't doubt that it takes courage to undress in public unless you are an actor or an otherwise exhibitionally enclined person, however, the videos I saw took place in rather safe locations where you could expect people to act in a civilized way.
I guess the worst imaginable thing happening would have been nothing happening at all, i.e. all the people walking by and not showing any reaction. Which - when a human being gets no resonance whatsoever from other human beings - presents one of the most horrible experiences I can imagine. But that is a different story.
What happened was what you could expect and what the women experimenting surely had hoped for: lots of hugs were exchanged and lots of hearts covered bare skin after a short while.
Soooo. What does it mean? Nothing much, I believe. As soon as the first person crossed the barrier and hugged or painted, what followed was only logical human behavior.
And the one aspect that keeps bothering me is the following:
What's with the blindfold?
Maybe the experimenters wanted to put their "target audience" at ease. Maybe they wanted to make it easier for themselves. However, both options seem to contradict the very messages on the signs.
If you are OK with yourself and your fellow humans why do you have to cover your eyes? Doesn't this turn you into the object that you no longer wanted to be?