This Saturday, expect to see more shirtless girls than usual at Marina Green! Join the Movemeant Foundation for Dare to Bare: an inspiring, high-energy, family-friendly, charity fitness festival bringing together the city's hottest fitness classes to empower women to find self-confidence and self-acceptance in a sports bra.
“There is no pressure to take off your shirt Saturday,” Movemeant founder Jenny Gaither assures. “The whole concept is that the sports bra is a symbol of self acceptance, but it's a personal journey for each person, for me it's about getting over my belly jelly,” the SoulCycle instructor laughs. As part of the celebration to love your body, the annual Dare to Bare Festival will feature SoulCycle classes, TRX Training, Bootcamps, Funkanometry hip hop classes, live entertainment, and more. While Jenny will be leading the pack in her sports bra, shedding her shirt proudly has been a journey.
Jenny founded Movemeant in 2014 following a personal battle with body image and self-acceptance. The Santa Cruz native describes her “Aha moment” during a Rihanna-themed ride in New York where she was too self-conscious to shed her gold lamé jacket. “I didn’t have self worth. I was super insecure in my body and that impacted my every day decisions,” Jenny admits. “Every day we are bombarded with images that glorify perfection and being thin rather than valuing other qualities. The Movemeant Foundation recognizes and addresses the critical needs of our society by developing an innovative, multi-dimensional approach that utilizes advocacy and awareness for positive body image, peer-based mentorship/role models, and financial grants that make physical movement a reality.”
What started as a rebellion against a gold lamé jacket has since inspired acceptance and encouraged healthy activities for countless children. Through its mentorship programs and community initiatives, Movemeant provides accessible fitness and personal guidance. “Fitness can be an intimidating word,” Jenny explains, “What if we called it something else: snowboarding, dancing, surfing, something that could be the best part of your day.” That was the thinking Movemeant used to help a local middle school launch an afterschool dance program with Funkanometry focusing on fitness, positive body image, and supporting each other.
Community spirit and collective positive thinking will definitely be on display this weekend. “I don’t think people understand the volume that one event really has, at the end of the day, one day of women celebrating, sending a message, we are more than what meets the eye, it’s powerful,” Jenny smiles. “Soak it in, observe the variety of people that are going to be there, and be inspired by those taking the risk and getting outside of their comfort zone,” she encourages. “Everyone has a version of their own gold lamé jacket”