It's no secret that a woman's appearance tends to, sadly and unfairly, be the first (and sometimes only) thing that she is judged by. While various comments and judgments from others aren't always negative, they still aren't necessarily asked for.
By creating an incredible dress (and work of art) that exposes every comment ever made about her physical appearance, U.K. designer Jojo Oldham has found a therapeutic and encouraging way to face these kinds of comments head on and to celebrate her body in the process, and we seriously couldn't be more inspired.
"The piece comes from a positive place and is a celebration of my body and who I am," Oldham told MORE. "So it felt good to get some of those comments out of my head and onto the dress."
The 31-year-old designer, who runs a website appropriately titled Lovely Jojo's, wanted to start a necessary conversation by painting comments she had received throughout her life on a plain, white dress that, when finished, left practically no blank space to be found. These remarks ranged from compliments on the size of her breasts, her "mighty fine ass," and a "smile that lights the world," to nastier judgments like "big butch arms," and comments on her "horrible teeth."
Oldham told MORE, "Growing up, I felt so much pressure to be a certain size from so many different places. And from chats with parents of young kids, that's only getting worse. So, I wanted to show what 31 years of comments on someone's appearance looks like and start a discussion about how we treat each other and how we talk about our bodies and other people's. I realized that even though I feel comfortable with my body, the things people have said to me about it over the years still swirl around my head and pop into it on a daily basis, and I wanted to do something positive with them."
A recent U.K. report proved her statements to be sad but true, finding that the more that one-third of girls are unhappy with how they look — which is a 30 percent rise over the past five years. With this white, bodycon dress, Oldham didn't want to make it a pity party about herself, but instead she chose bright colors to make it a fun and body-positive piece of art that would start these obviously necessary conversations.
"I wanted to celebrate my body and show that we all own our own body image and get to choose how we feel about ourselves, regardless of what other people say," Oldham expressed.
While it's not fair and it's most definitely not OK that women are significantly more scrutinized on their physical features than men, we are absolutely in love with the statement that Oldham is sending the world that while a compliment can be a day-changer, who are we to make judgments on anyone else's body? Especially if those judgments are cruel and unsolicited. And while we all know how much harder it is some days versus others, she gave MORE a much-needed reminder that loving the skin we're in will get us so much further than hate ever could.
"Go easy on yourself, and be kind to your body," Oldham urged. "Maybe it's a bit more jiggly than you'd like, and maybe it doesn't look as awesome as you'd like in denim hot pants, but don't spend your whole life battling it. It's such a waste and only makes you miserable."
*insert all of the praise hands emojis*