Mandi Lynn

Everybody is a Treasure

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Imagine a golden sparkly caravan covered in golden torsos of women of all shapes and sizes. The front of the caravan is the home to a mermaid-like golden bust of a woman. When the door opens golden glitter blows into the town. The Golden Shield Maidens have arrived.

Hi...I'm Mandi Lynn, New Zealand's 2017 Creative Photographer of the Year, and I head this merry band of social artivists who started the #Everybodyisatreasure project.

It Started at the Kitchen Bench

So the story begins with a golden bath bomb and some cider. We were enjoying ourselves making bathbombs for Christmas presents when I became fascinated with the sparkles of the mica on my hands. I got the crazy idea of mixing the golden mica with bentonite clay and covering myself and some friends and photographing our torsos. The result was playful, inspiring, and it started a trend in our region. We challenged our other friends to join us and pretty soon there was a waiting list of over 100 women volunteering to get their kit off and gild their torsos.

Comfort Zones Pushed

It was challenging and confronting for some women and liberating and inspiring for some. But everyone who came in contact with the project was asked to stop and at least consider the relationship she had with her body. And then we asked the question...what would be different in your life if you treated your body as your best friend?

The Golden Shield Maidens

The women we have photographed so far range in size from a size 6 to a size 30 and age 18 - 78. We have two-breasted women, and one-breasted women, women with lumps, and women with scars, women with rolls, and women with flat chests and "boy bodies"...their words not mine. Some women really struggled with their relationship with their body. Some of them were finally embracing all that they were and accepting their perfect "imperfections".

We Made Award-Winning Art

The image we created ironically ended up winning a coveted Gold award at the National Professional Photography Awards in June 2017. People came up to me at the awards and said that seeing this image had changed the way they viewed their own body. The exhibition of the image was spreading the intended seeds of self love to the people that were seeing it.

I Smell a Road Trip

But there is much more of a story to tell with this project. So what if....what if we took this project on the road and out of just the Wellington region? Could we start a Mojolution? A revolution where women begin to treat their body as the treasure that it is? We could reduce the amount of time and energy being wasted on worrying about lumpy butts and instead free up energy for creating more kindness and creativity in the world.

Our plan is to create a limited edition book that celebrates the diversity of bodies in New Zealand, not just the genetic 1-2% featured in the mainstream media. A book that can be displayed to give society a reality check on the human female form...one that isn't informed by photoshopped magazine ads, carefully curated social media, or porn.

So what do we need to make this happen?

We want to do these free of charge for people, so we are looking for some help to offset the costs of shutting our photography studio down for two months to do this project.

We have friends all over New Zealand so between our van and a tent, accommodation costs will be light and we will shoulder that ourselves. It is a smell of an oily rag sort of adventure and we would love for you to come along with us in spirit.

Our Boosted Goal: $3000 = North Island with 6 stops (your generous donations will help to cover venue hire and transport costs)

Our You-Are-Super-Generous Goal: $4200 = we swap islands and start on the South Island (additional funds raised will help to cover ferry costs). We are based in Welly so doing the South Island first would make sense because it is easier to then do the North Island later from our base. 

Our Dream Goals: If all you wonderful people can help us to raise $7200, we can travel around both the North and South Island. Raising $13,000 will enable a cinematographer to join us to shoot a documentary (don't worry we will only feature people who want to be seen in the documentary...the project itself is completely anonymous).

How you can help...

Step One: If you feel it and can spare it, you could donate something towards petrol costs. For your money you might get to see golden boobs driving around this summer spreading glittery self treasuring vibes in their wake. It will be like a unicorn, only golden and in the form of a vintage caravan and a well-used people mover.

Step Two: Like us on facebook @mojomidwifery and/or instagram @themojomidwife

Step Three: If you are feeling brave enough... become a Golden Shield Maiden yourself and feature in the book we are making. You will need to drop your normal life for a few hours in an evening and come and get gilded and let your true soul colours shine (the shoot is anonymous...no faces just torsos so if you are gunning for prime minister or something like that you can still get away with it). You can get on the waiting list for your area here: http://themojomidwife.com/everybodyisatreasure/

That's it. You are awesome just as you are. Not 10kg from now, not just when you had less wrinkles or grey hair...but right now in your epic brilliance that is you in this perfectly imperfect moment in time. You are a treasure. And I hope to meet you on our travels.

Cheers,
Mandi Lynn


P.S If you know of anyone at Interislander or Bluebridge make sure you stick this under their nose to see if either of them will let us hitch a ride and sponsor the project!

UPDATES

  • 3 days left to help us get to the South Island as well!

    2 MONTHS AGO

    We need an extra $1200.00 to cover the ferry costs - please spread the word!

    3 days left to help us get to the South Island as well!
  • We can't leave out the SOUTH!

    2 MONTHS AGO

    Help us cover the cost to bring the Caravan down to the South Island and spread our body positive message down there too.

    We have already applied for grants for the ferries but we will not know the outcome for a while, so let's try and raise the $1200 to get us across.

    If we do get the ferry grants then the $1200 will go towards the cost of having a film maker join us for part of the adventure.

    Our big goal is to make a short film and webseries about our body positive adventures as we create the Great New Zealand Treasure Hunt

    We can't leave out the SOUTH!
  • 100% funded for North Island leg!

    2 MONTHS AGO

    We did it!!!! Thank you so much to everyone that donated to get us on the road.  A wave of free body positive courses are set to be taught all over the North Island! 

    100% funded for North Island leg!