The Body Shop ran advertisements a few years ago featuring a "plus-size" Barbie-esque doll lounging on a couch above the following words: "There are 3 billion women who don't look like supermodels and only 8 who do."
Simple images like that jump-start new thoughts. Or so says Jessica Devaney, a 21-year-old Palm Beach Atlantic University student. "About a year ago, I saw Jamie Lee Curtis in More magazine," she explains. "She was wearing boy-cut underwear and a sports bra. She had love handles. That image of a 45-year-old woman saying 'This is who I really am' stuck with me for a long time."
That image also led Devaney, along with cofounder Kristin Bryant, to create noplainjane.org, a website devoted to chewing the fat on negative body image. "Just the concept of women saying 'What's up? This is what I look like' is empowering," Devaney says.
But don't expect a bunch of girls in their underwear on noplainjane.org when it launches next month. Well, actually you can, but... uh, let Devaney explain: "Our website will be a venue for girls to do the same thing as Jamie and to stand in acceptance of their body as it is. Along with each picture will be a personal statement by each girl, where they can talk about their concept of body image. It's not going to be overtly sexualized, but I can't deny that women are sexual beings."
Devaney planned to launch noplainjane.org on October 1, but the site still needs to raise at least $800 for startup costs, advertising, and the nonprofit application fee. So the new launch date should be November 1. In the meantime, Devaney wants to recruit as many girls as possible to contribute to the cause. "The response has been surprisingly positive," Devaney remarks. "Actually, a lot of the feedback has come from guys. They're like, 'What about us?' and I have to say, 'Maybe one day... '"