This Model Got Undressed on the Subway for an Important Reason

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For most of us, standing in a crowded subway car wearing nothing but underwear is the stuff of nightmares. For model and body-positivity activist Iskra Lawrence, however, it was simply a way to spread a message that’s important to her. 

The 26-year-old British model, who has been featured in campaigns for brands such as Aerie, stripped down to her underwear in front of subway commuters before giving a passionate speech about body acceptance and self-love. Captured in a video for the #UNMUTED series, Lawrence’s speech seemed to make commuters uncomfortable at first as many kept their eyes diverted from the model’s skimpily-clad body. “I want to make myself vulnerable today,” she told the crowd before explaining how the media used to make her feel bad about her body. 

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“I grew up hating what I saw in the mirror because society told me I was not good enough,” Lawrence said in the video. “I thought there was something wrong because I didn’t have a thigh gap, that I had cellulite, that I wasn’t skinny enough. That is the media, that is society making a small standard of beauty, when we are so much more than that.”  

Lawrence then urged viewers to work on accepting their bodies rather than criticizing them. “I really hope by sharing this with you today is that you are going to see yourself differently,” she said. “Every single one of us has so much value and so much worth that is so much more than just skin. This is just our vessel, so please, when you look in the mirror when you get home, don’t pick our your insecurities, do not look at the things that society has told you was not good enough, because you are so much more than that.”

Lawrence wrapped up her speech by adding that she hoped listeners “connected” with her and took something away from it. “Thank you for all being so different and special and unique because that’s what makes us beautiful,” she said, beaming as the crowded subway car followed her speech with a round of applause. 

Lawrence has used her platform to spread self-love messages before, especially via social media and also as the managing editor of body-positivity website Runway Riot. Explaining why she decided to deliver this speech in this particular way, Lawrence wrote, “I strip down to share my voice and use my power to start a conversation about the relationship with ourselves and each other.” It certainly got everyone’s attention and now, thanks to the power of the Internet, Lawrence’s empowering message has been spread far beyond that one subway car.  

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