19-year-old model asks strangers to write the body-shaming comments they'd been told on her skin

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A 19-year-old model asked strangers to write body-shaming comments they’d received on her bare skin to raise awareness for how these hurtful messages negatively impact mental health. 

Ainoa Cerdeira Gonzalez, a freshman at Parsons School of Design in New York City, was thinking about her final project for her Mental Health by Design class when she came up with the idea for her short film ‘Be Ashamed of Body-Shame.’ 

‘I was like, it’s gonna be very tough to do this, because I struggle with my body image,’ she told Yahoo Life of her decision to use her body as a canvas. ‘But at the same time, I was like, it’s going to be so powerful if I let other people express themselves about their bodies on my body.’

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Ainoa Cerdeira Gonzalez, 19, asked people to write body-shaming comments they'd received on her body to raise awareness of the negative impact these messages have on mental health

Ainoa Cerdeira Gonzalez, 19, asked people to write body-shaming comments they’d received on her body to raise awareness of the negative impact these messages have on mental health 

The freshman at Parsons School of Design in New York City was filmed standing in Washington Square Park in a bandeau top and shorts while holding up her sign

The freshman at Parsons School of Design in New York City was filmed standing in Washington Square Park in a bandeau top and shorts while holding up her sign 

One by one, women started coming up to her and writing the cruel things they'd been told on her skin using a black Sharpie marker

One by one, women started coming up to her and writing the cruel things they’d been told on her skin using a black Sharpie marker

Cerdeira Gonzalez was filmed standing in Washington Square Park in a bandeau top and shorts while holding up a sign that said: ‘College girls: If you’ve ever been body shamed, what were you told? Feel free to write it on my body!’

One by one, women started coming up to her and writing the cruel things they’d been told on her skin using a black Sharpie marker. 

‘Try not to gain weight,’ one person wrote on her stomach. 

‘You’re not sexy enough to model,’ another scrawled on her thigh.

‘You should gain some weight. You look ill,’ someone else added. 

Cerdeira Gonzalez decided to let young men join in as well after a guy came up to her and said:'You know, we get body-shamed, too'

Cerdeira Gonzalez decided to let young men join in as well after a guy came up to her and said: ‘You know, we get body-shamed, too’

'Lose weight and you'll find a boyfriend,' one person wrote, while another scrawled on her leg:'Do you eat?'

'Lose weight and you'll find a boyfriend,' one person wrote, while another scrawled on her leg:'Do you eat?'

‘Lose weight and you’ll find a boyfriend,’ one person wrote, while another scrawled on her leg: ‘Do you eat?’

Cerdeira Gonzalez was thinking about her final project for her Mental Health by Design class when she came up with the idea

Cerdeira Gonzalez was thinking about her final project for her Mental Health by Design class when she came up with the idea

Cerdeira Gonzalez, who spent three hours in the park, told Yahoo Life that she decided to let young men join in as well after a guy came up to her and said: ‘You know, we get body-shamed, too.’ 

Once she hid the portion of her sign that said ‘college girls,’ more and more men started participating in her project. 

‘That was very impactful to see that it’s not only the girls,’ she said. ‘Sometimes, on social media, it seems that it’s just the girls who get body shamed, but in reality, it’s not. It applies to both genders.’

Some people hugged her and thanked her for what she was doing. At one point, she was so overcome with emotion that she started to cry. 

In her short film,'Be Ashamed of Body-Shame,' people were seen hugging her and thanking her for her project

In her short film, ‘Be Ashamed of Body-Shame,’ people were seen hugging her and thanking her for her project 

A number of people praised her efforts, but there were some critics who wrongly assumed she had never been body shamed before because she is a model

A number of people praised her efforts, but there were some critics who wrongly assumed she had never been body shamed before because she is a model

Cerdeira Gonzalez told Yahoo Life that she has struggled with body shaming, saying people have told her she look's'anorexic' and is'as flat as a table'

Cerdeira Gonzalez told Yahoo Life that she has struggled with body shaming, saying people have told her she look’s ‘anorexic’ and is ‘as flat as a table’

Cerdeira Gonzalez received more attention for her project after photographer and fashion editor Scott Schuman, who is known as ‘The Sartorialist’ on social media, shared photos of her holding up her sign with his 1.1 million Instagram followers. 

‘The school project at Washington Square Park, New York City,’ he captioned the street photography post, which has been liked more than 8,600 times. 

A number of commenters praised her efforts, but there were some critics who wrongly assumed she had never been body shamed before because she is a model. 

Cerdeira Gonzalez told Yahoo Life that she has struggled with body shaming in the past, saying people have said things to her like ‘You look anorexic’ or ‘You’re as flat as a table.’ 

‘I was body-shamed by people from my personal life … my family members, closest friends, even my ex-boyfriend,’ she explained. ‘It really affected me in a way in which I feel like I have a very unhealthy relationship with food.’



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