Being a woman is not for the faint of heart. We're supposed to be good at everything, be model citizens and be "likeable" -- all while fitting into a 00.
Our culture's intense, often unhealthy relationship with body image is why Jessica Andersen, an engineer, and Ashley Simon, who works in media, came together to create My Body Does -- an online community that promotes intersectional feminism and body positivity. One way they're spreading the (self) love is with these genius, totally perfect affirmation stickers:
"We had this idea to have a body-positive community founded in being informative and inclusive and the stickers are our first project as part of that community," Jessica told MTV News this week. "I had started thinking about the stickers, having been trapped in a subway filled with terrible advertisements, thinking, 'You know, I really wish I had some way to speak for myself in this space.'"
@mybodydoes cofounder @jessica.l.andersen has hundreds of affirmation stickers we plan to post all over NYC. Want one? Let us know in the comments! #bodypos #bodypositive #effyourbeautystandards #mybodydoes #yoga #yogaforall #inspiration #feminism #girlpower #curvygirls #yesallwomen #selflove #love #girlboss #beyouloveyou
So after meeting each other in a yoga teacher-training session and hitting it off, the two began to develop the idea. In fact, they said yoga principles are closely tied to the ethos of MBD.
"A lot of yoga is about creating really safe spaces for people," Ashley said. "[Jessica and I] were in this training together and thinking a lot about that, about how important it is for us that our students -- no matter what their ability is or what their size is -- that when they come into a yoga space, they feel safe and they feel supported and they have a positive experience.
"When you map that out into the rest of the world, there's a lot of spaces where women in particular don't feel that way at all, and so we wanted to take that idea out of the yoga classroom and into the world," Ashley added.
Ashley and Jessica said that they both have their own spots for the stickers. "I personally like them in a space where i see them," Ashley said. "I struggle with self-image and body image every single day. And so having this affirmation sticker is not gonna fix that, but it reminds me that there's a lot of positive things about my body and my relationship to it. And that's where my energy should be going."
Regardless of where someone wants to put the stickers, Team MBD hope the affirmations resonate.
"We feel like people, especially women, are told how to feel about their bodies and therefore can end up developing relationships with them that hinge on external validation and narrow standards like thinness, beauty, gender presentation, etc," Jessica said. "We hope that My Body Does helps women connect to internal queues and reflect on what's truly valuable about their bodies."
Ashley and Jessica said that they'd like to build out the initiative by hosting events in New York City and potentially create a newsletter.
But for the near future?
"Stickers everywhere," Jessica said, laughing. "Stickers on every sh-tty advertisement objectifying a woman in the country," Ashley added.
You can order your own affirmation merch on the site.