What started with a Marlies Dekkers Lingerie competition entry in a Brisbane backyard has turned into incredible body positivity events inspiring Australians to de-robe and go all out in glitter, creating glowing goddesses of all sizes, shapes and colours.
"It was definitely a case of amateur hour, but it was just kind of magical" Speaking with Penny Johnston one of the co-founders of Positively Glittered we heard how the movement grew from humble beginnings "...we put some time into finding bulk supplies and testing various methods to get the glitter to stay put and function how we wanted...we were just a bunch of fools laughing and asking each other if our under boobs and butt cracks were covered or not. Which is quite ridiculous, but one of those memories that you cherish with close friends."
"All of a sudden the things that we weren’t so happy with on our bodies were just too beautiful to look at the same way as we once did, and we looked at our friends and just saw glowing goddesses"
- Penny Johnston, Co-Founder, Positively Glittered
In an article written by Carol Rääbus and the ABC, One long-running survey of 57,000 Australian women found 78 per cent of respondents of a healthy weight were unhappy with their weight, and the numbers on the scales were but one of the thousands of things women were recorded hating about themselves. Positively Glittered challenges the negative body perspective and dysmorphia women have by creating an inclusive, asexual environment where women celebrate their bodies and shape of all sizes are welcome. "I am most proud of the strength a vulnerability shown by the people who participate in this with us," Penny tells The Social Catalog. "Most often it is not easy, and there is a lot of anguish in the process to let yourself be that vulnerable around others. But there is something really beautiful about removing the external stimuli and just seeing people for exactly who they are."
I will never forget is the numerous messages we have received from all over the globe from people who had never seen their body types represented in the media before," Penny Explains. "People find themselves in such a foreign situation and push themselves out of their comfort zone for their own personal growth. That may be so easy to say, but it is a huge thing."
It does ring true that you feel incredible covered in glitter. Surrounded by like-minded women of all ages, styles, shapes and beautiful glittered colours.
"It is quite special that a group of women can be completely naked and it not feel strange or unnatural. It warms my heart that this can just feel right, which is exactly how it should be."
-Penny Johnston, Co-Founder, Positively Glittered
This powerhouse team of women have always been supportive of each other in the Instagram lingerie space, we asked Penny what her favourite memories of the shoots are "at some point in our Positively Glittered experience there has always been a time where we have seen someone that has our exact body shape and it is quite surreal and kind of an out of body experience." She explains "But it is a wonderful thing to see someone else glistening in the sunshine, look at them in awe and realise that is also you. It adds a whole new level of appreciation and respect for your own body when you can link it to something that you see and react positively too."
"I will never forget is the numerous messages we have received from all over the globe from people who had never seen their body types represented in the media before," Penny Explains. One of the most powerful and impactful memories for Penny was when she realised Positively Glittered had such a meaningful place in the minds of those who before were not as comfortable with their bodies after seeing what is portrayed in main media. "Early on we received a message from a 13-year-old girl saying how awful she had always felt about herself while looking at Instagram or Facebook. But that she has finally seen herself represented and how beautiful her body can be, which made her appreciate her body in real life at that moment. That she felt accepted because she was able to see a body like hers represented in a positive light."
Positively Glittered events range from small couple photoshoots to maternity and their bigger group events have held events at Gold Coast, Brisbane, Dean in Victoria near Melbourne, the Blue Mountains and Sydney. "Each event that we hold involves 2-3 months of planning, and while all our photographers are paid, ourselves as organisers are just passionate about the feeling it gives people to take part and organise the events in our own time between work, study and motherhood. But we always tried to keep it as affordable as possible so that more people could come along for the experience and that wouldn’t be a reason why they would have to miss out. We also try to donate one or two spots every shoot to someone who may just need it to feel empowered, or couldn’t afford professional photography on their own but would really benefit from the experience."
With COVID-19, unfortunately, there are no current Positively Glittered events planned we look forward to their magical and shimmering return in 2021.
We recommend opting for their bio-glitter option and keeping an eye out on their Instagram @positivelyglittered for future events.
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