True Body Project celebrates 10-year anniversary, keeps disrupting expectations

When Stacy Sims started True Body Project 10 years ago, she wanted girls to identify and connect with their bodies despite what the media told them they should look like.

Sims began engaging girls in workshops, classes and summer camps to study body, body image, gender and media. Each day, those girls connected with each other and engaged their bodies in a different way: positively.

“I felt like the stakes were getting higher for young women to have a healthy relationship with their bodies and themselves,” Sims says. "I know from personal experience how far you can move away from your best self because of outside forces.”

Sims has done work with young girls in Cambodia, Poland, Equador and various cities in the U.S.

Since its inception, True Body Project has created two books, a documentary film and a website by and for girls, My True Space. While the project originally started out for just girls, Sims has plans to make the curriculum more gender neutral to reach boys and young men.

In celebration of True Body Project’s 10th anniversary, Sims decided to launch City Silence, a network of community gatherings where strangers can meditate and practice mindfulness.

City Silence will take place every Friday during the month of February at the Popular Library Lounge at the main branch of the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County

Anyone is welcome to practice whatever form of meditation or mindfulness that is best for them. The weekly meetings are slotted for an hour, but people can come and go as they please, whether they stay for a few minutes or the whole hour.

While True Body Project has a deeper curriculum, City Silence is meant to reach a large group of people in a shorter amount of time.

“I created City Silence with the idea that every human being would be better with more chances to just be still, quiet and meditate,” Sim says. “You become more genuinely understanding of your habits and thoughts."

Do Good:

• Join a City Silence session 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m on Fridays throughout the month of February at the Popular Library Lounge at the Main Library, 800 Vine St., downtown.

• To learn more about True Body project, visit its website.

• Watch the True Body Project documentary.
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