It’s not something you see every day in suburban Brisbane, Queensland. A group of naked women adorned in glittering body paint proudly celebrating their bodies and, more specifically, their breasts.
Yet on the first weekend in April, 2017, that’s exactly what’s happening: a glitter extravaganza.
#PositivelyGlittered is a body positivity event on social media, started in 2016 by a group of women who connected via Instagram with a shared love of lingerie. The 18 socially savvy women involved this year are aged between 19 and 35 years old and boast bra sizes spanning from A-to-H cups.
“Not only did I find it was really difficult to find pretty lingerie, but it was near on impossible to find a fuller figured woman modelling it."
Bonnie V is a #PositivelyGlittered member and a strong advocate for driving the movement. She’s also a size 16/XL with a 10H bust.
“I started my Instagram account, Busty Diaries, to show fuller busted woman what lingerie options are available to them after spending years buying ugly, ill fitting bras,” she says.
“I got professionally fitted at a specialist shop and the overwhelming joy of finding lingerie which fit comfortably was so positive that I wanted all women to feel like that, regardless of their size.”
Not long after setting up her Instagram account, Bonnie was contacted by follow lingerie enthusiast, Penny. She was then immediately welcomed into an established group of lingerie loving Brisbane women.
But, bonding over lingerie was just the start. All of the women had another shared passion. A shared frustration at how the media continually portrays a certain body size, over and above a focus on health and wellness.
Bonnie notes that lingerie manufacturers also play a big part in this.
“Not only did I find it was really difficult to find pretty lingerie, but it was near on impossible to find a fuller figured woman modelling it,” she says.
“But this is also true for the really petite girls whose body type isn't always represented either and certain bra designs don’t accommodate them”.
Wanting to make a change and fuel further awareness, the women came up with the idea of stripping down naked, covering themselves in DIY glittery paint and celebrating their diverse body shapes.
“We want to showcase that none of us look like stereotypical models. We’re all different shapes and sizes, yet we can (and will) model our lingerie collections and celebrate the bodies we have."
They shared their pictures online and found the experience both liberating and fun. Their experiment also gained the attention of some major online news outlets and print publications.
“We knew that we had to do it again and continue our focus on encouraging woman everywhere to embrace the bodies they have, regardless of what they’ve been told is acceptable by mass media,” says Bonnie.
“We want to showcase that none of us look like stereotypical models. We’re all different shapes and sizes, yet we can (and will) model our lingerie collections and celebrate the bodies we have.”
Although the movement is based online, Bonnie says it’s about so much more than sharing social media snaps. The event promotes an idea and reminds us that women’s wonderful bodies come in all shapes and sizes..
Bonnie and her fellow lingerie-lovers hope that this ‘bare-all’ movement will grab the attention of women all over the country.
“Body positivity is a long journey and sometimes it is difficult to remain positive, but we share that too.”
Regardless of size, they want to see more women stripping back their insecurities and falling in love with the body they have. In the longer term, they hope to see the movement gain even more momentum.
With a current Instagram following of 2138, Bonnie is certainly gaining attention for all the right reasons and it’s something that she’s proud of. However, she does acknowledge that it’s not easy for everyone to celebrate their body.
“Body positivity is a long journey and sometimes it is difficult to remain positive, but we share that too,” she says.
“It's not about pretending you're okay when you're not. We know it’s okay to not be okay and we're there to cheer each other on when the other is down. We all need support networks like this and we will continue to promote that too.”