The opportunities to get involved at JMU are quite endless, and our Bare Naked Ladies club is an incredible example of how everyone at our university has a place to feel loved and right at home.
Who are JMU’s Bare Naked Ladies?
The Bare Naked Ladies (BNL) of JMU are a group of women dedicated to promoting body positivity and self-love throughout campus and our community. Founded in 2013 by student Samantha Summerford, BNL strives to change the way that students see beauty in themselves and their fellow Dukes.
What do the Bare Naked Ladies do?
We experience a great deal of self growth during our college years, and it is important to remember just how effective positivity can be during this time of growth and change. The Bare Naked Ladies provide an inclusive and confident environment for JMU students to begin to understand themselves and others when it matters most.
BNL is a special group on campus because of their strong mission to enhance each member’s individuality and spirit. The group meets every other week during each semester to come together and practice exercises of self-love and acceptance. Some practices that BNL incorporates into meetings include “self-love challenges of the week” in which each member is prompted to accomplish a part of their personal goal of positivity. When together, the ladies also discuss topics relevant to their daily lives, such as the portrayal of body image in the media and how to combat the pressure to fit the media’s mold of beauty.
However, BNL does not stop there. These ladies also take their mission to campus to educate and empower all students. BNL creates campaigns to get our university involved and interested in living a life of self-love just as they do. In recent years, BNL has created campus wide efforts focusing on various areas, like selling homemade bath bombs to fundraise for National Eating Disorder Awareness Month and a “Proud2BMe” campaign to encourage students confidence.
In January of this year, BNL presented their newest campaign, “Climb to Self-Love” on their Facebook page. This campaign’s unique edge features a video of BNL members hiking to the top of High Knob, a local hiking trail. Once the group had climbed to the top of the mountain, they wrote down negative things that they wanted to let go of and burned them in a bonfire. The video below is a beautiful and symbolic look into the way that the BNL strive to radiate self-acceptance.
A word from the Bare Naked Ladies…
Giuliana Luna (President), Samantha Cohen (Vice President) and Mary-Clement Staley (Secretary) are all important women in the Bare Naked Ladies. Each member has been greatly effected by BNL throughout their time at JMU. I had the privilege to hear some of the powerful things that BNL has taught them in their self-love journeys.
“BNL has taught me to believe in myself; we all have the power to make an impact. It has taught me that one person with a passion can truly make a difference.” –Giuliana
“Comparison is the thief of joy. The only person I need to impress/compete against is myself. The best me is the happiest me. Numbers do not define me.” – Samantha
“BNL has taught me to accept all parts of myself and to fully embrace them. To listen to my body and love it for all that it is. That my body is simply the carrier of my soul, which is the most important part of me.” –Mary-Clement
These are BNL’s current leaders. Their attitudes combine self confidence with empowering others. With these values, BNL runs on supporting one another through their mission. Pictured below are Giuliana (middle), Samantha (second to right), Mary-Clement (left) alongside two other BNL members.
Proud to be a BNL.
The BNL have accomplished so much in their efforts of spreading self-love within their organization and throughout the rest of our campus. Last year, BNL was recognized for making our university a better place at the 2017 Dolley Awards. The Dolley Leadership Awards are an annual banquet ceremony that celebrates the achievements of organizations and the incredible students involved in them. BNL was awarded the “most outstanding JMU student organization.” Courtney Brown, 2017 BNL president, accepted the award on the organizations behalf.
How can I get involved?
Although the Bare Naked Ladies are predominantly women, the group is gender inclusive. All student are encouraged to get involved and become a member of the self-love club. New faces are welcome to join each semester and begin learning more about acceptance, confidence and positivity. If you are interested in become part of BNL, remember to check them out at the next student org night, or keep up with them on Facebook and Twitter.