One of the things I love about New York City is that you can literally walk into incredible events taking place right on the street. The other day as I was waking back from the Amish Market (the best place in the city to get wholesome, delicious food) I noticed a crowd at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza on 47th Street, so I went to take a look.
There, under the dappled shade of the trees, were hundreds of spectators gathered around more than 100 volunteers and dozens of artists participating in the third annual NYC Bodypainting Day, which celebrates freedom of artistic expression and body acceptance.
The volunteers were all nude and the artists used their bodies as canvas, painting an extraordinary array of colours and imagery that clothed them for the four hours it took to create. The objective was to promote human connection through art, to share the unique voice of artists with the public, and to accept each other, and ourselves, in all our different shapes and sizes.
I was so incredibly moved by the beauty of the art and by the courage of the participants who were able to expel the shame that we often associate with our naked bodies, overcoming our twisted perceptions of ‘beauty’ driven by the bombardment of advertising and media.
I left the plaza feeling liberated, feeling connected to the people around me, and somehow more comfortable in my own skin. It was a reminder of the power of art and of the human connections that can be formed through such simple acts of honesty.
The banners were absolutely correct: beauty is diversity.