Our Neon Moon X V&A Collaboration Was A Huge Success!
Posted on 28 June 2016
When we heard there was a new underwear exhibition at the V&A in London we knew Neon Moon had to get involved! We wanted to host an event for Friday Late at the V&A that is body positive, feminist, inclusive and all around fun!
So our CEO and Founder Hayat had a few meetings with the Victoria & Albert Museum curator who created the undressed exhibition and brainstormed the most amazing idea - a Body Positive Life Drawing evening where our Neon Moon Models would exude in beauty amongst the neoclassical statues which were once idolised in their day for their beauty. We love delving into what beauty means to you, instead of what society perpetuates beauty "should" be.
So we thought it was a perfect balance of having our beautiful models that do have acne, stretch marks, scars, body hair, cellulite, freckles and any other attribute society considers as "flaws", amongst stunning statues of adorned women of their day. We wanted to see how people depict another person’s beauty through art, what society states are “flaws” and also how you’d depict your own beauty. Our Neon Moon Models and amazing supporters make our lingerie look beautiful, not the other way around, and it was incredible to meet so many amazing supporters, friends and family throughout the night who have seen Neon Moon blossom over the year!
We are so proud to have affiliated and collaborated with such a renowned British establishment here in London. Our beautiful Neon Moon Models, of all shapes, sizes, ethnicities, sexualities and genders, spoke to hundreds of people and were drawn by just over 1000 people. There was buzz all around the V&A for our event and we were so happy to get such an incredible and positive reaction!
But don't just hear it from us! Our Neon Moon Models speak about the night from their perspective:
Cai: "Surrounded by the classical figurative sculpture of V&A, I was absorbed by my stark corporeality against history, public gaze and internal tremor of nerves. Five women in Neon Moon’s feminist underwear, barefoot, unruly and silently revolt against the shame and pain the female body has be subjected to throughout history. It was an evening of acceptance, love and empowerment endured with dignity and pleasure, and a celebration of the female body. It is powerful and privileged to be a woman amongst my new found sisters, and affirms my devotion to insist on a better future all women and girls."
Rebecca: "Being a part of the V&A life drawing with Neon Moon was a real positive and open-minded experience. Everyone there was incredibly respectful, and the overall atmosphere was vibrant. One of the biggest things I remember thinking was how nice it was to be in the open as a women, and instead of being sexualised by showing my body people saw me as one with the art, a whole being instead of just parts, as women are so often regarded. The interactions I experienced with everyone were overall wholesome, and the other models were extremely empowering and uplifting. Though we were all different, we still appreciated one another as a unity, and I feel like that connection resonated within the crowd and brought everyone together. Overall I feel blessed to have been part of it. Beauty to me means admiration of something, and since that can be subjective it's important to respect that everything has the capability to be beautiful. Though some days I don't feel beautiful, it's important to remember to cherish myself as something that is, and to cherish others as the beauty they hold inside them too."
Robyn: "The V&A late event was a really liberating experience, and was the perfect step up from my Neon Moon ‘Celebrate You’ photo and video shoot as it proved to me how much progress I have made with coming to terms with my newly scarred body. The photo and video shoot was a massive step for me as it was the first time that people outside of my immediate family and friends had seen the scars from my suicide attempt, but took place in a very safe space with only four other women in the room. The V&A event turned out to be an equally safe space, filled with supportive and kind people who wanted to talk about feminism and body positivity. A particularly touching moment was when a little girl drew me and then came up to speak to me afterwards and asked me to sign the drawing she had done of me, it filled me with hope that she would grow up knowing about feminism and sharing the body positive views that Neon Moon express so well. I see beauty as something much more holistic than just the way one looks. It’s about your actions, the way you treat others; being tolerant, kind and compassionate."
Kitty: "So last night I did something I never thought I would ever have the confidence to do. I was a life model wearing Neon Moon lingerie at the V&A museum! Neon Moon took over a section of the V&A and held a body positive life drawing session where anyone could come along and draw some of the lovely Neon Moon models, including me. It was absolutely surreal but honestly one of the most empowering things I have ever done. My mental health hasn't been great recently - my anxiety is totally not chill at the moment and I've been feeling really down about myself and my body. When I was first asked to do this my first thought was 'honestly, I don't know if I'm at that point in my body love journey yet'. The thought of being in my underwear in front of people made me want to cry. There is still so much negativity about myself I am trying to unlearn. In a snap decision I decided to just go for it. Surprisingly, when the session started all my body woes and anxiety melted away. I was standing with beautiful pieces of sculpture and art whilst people were actually drawing little old me, because I guess they saw some kind of beauty in me. By the time I had to leave I was walking down the V&A in my undies with pride, like the aisle was my catwalk. The road to loving yourself is bumpy. You will have set backs. You will wake up and feel like you've made no progress at all. But know that that doesn't make you lesser. It's so hard to own your body and love it for what it is. But know that you and your body are absolutely beautiful. No matter what. Thank you to the lovely Hayat of Neon Moon for getting me involved and to the other Neon Moon models for continuing to inspire me."
Izzy: "This was an act of defiance. It was showing a society that taught me to hate myself that I had won, because I refuse to spend another moment being ashamed of who I am. As summer approaches, we are being bombarded with tips on how to achieve that bikini body we have always wanted. Women everywhere are being told that they cannot be happy unless they look a certain way. They are being shamed into changing who they are, or avoiding doing things they want to because they don’t look right. I refuse to stop living my life because my thighs don’t look the way you think they should. I have spent so much of the dark periods of my life feeling unworthy of love, of friendship, of living, I refuse to feel that way ever again. I am so much more than my body. I am a sister, a daughter, a friend, a lover, a student, a campaigner for Mental Health awareness, a huge fan of avocados and a person that is trying to ensure that others feel wanted and needed. I am me. I love me. Learning to love myself has given me the confidence and, one could go as far as to say, the permission to finally enjoy being me. Beauty is a superficial expectation that used to suffocate me. I had grown up in a world that taught me that it didn't matter who I am, or what I did, because if I didn't have beauty, I had nothing. My talents would never matter, because if I wasn’t beautiful, no one would want to listen. To all young women out there, external beauty is not the key to happiness and it does not define you. I now believe that true beauty is having the confidence to be yourself and encouraging others to do the same. Empowering each other and celebrating our differences can only make the world a more beautiful place, so lets get to work!"
Big thank you to all who made our Neon Moon X V&A collaboration a huge success - our amazingly beautiful Neon Moon Models, our incredible supporters, our friends and family and new supporters who met us on the night! Huge thank you to all at the V&A who made this possible. Thank you to all of you, of all artistic levels who got involved with our Body Positive Life Drawing! Here are some drawings shared by Stefka Koleva on our Facebook groups event page:
And of course our very own Neon Moon CEO and Founder Hayat Rachi showed solidarity by getting in her very own Neon Moon bra, and gave talks throughout the night about each individual Neon Moon Model, and our amazing feminist lingerie brand!
It was an incredible night, and we were so proud and humbled to showcase our incredible lingerie brand in the biggest and best way possible in London, England! If you want us to come to a hometown near you, let us know below! We're keen on meeting all of you wonderful Neon Moon supporters wherever you are in the world. Neon Moon loves you!
So, what does beauty mean to you? What do you think of our V&A event? Were any of your friends or family involved, or did they attend? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!