For hundreds of years, art has taken many different forms around the world, whether it be conventional or daring. With that in mind, artist Jen Seidel would certainly fit the latter category. Better known as Jen the Body Painter, she and her daughter recently painted a naked female model before taking her to a Maryland mall to see how the public would react.
Herself a mother of three, Seidel has an interest in body painting that originated with her own open-minded parents. The liberal couple had entrepreneurial instincts, too, and they encouraged their daughter to go beyond the norm and think outside the realms of convention. Seidel’s first foray into body painting, then, came back in 2008 as she tried to win some money at a Halloween contest.
Now nine years later, body painting has become a full-time job for Seidel, while she also offers several other services via her official website. “I started body painting because I love art, and wanted to build a unique brand,” she told LADbible. “I thought body paint would be a good way to stand out and would allow me to make a difference.”
And with almost 50,000 followers on Instagram, Seidel is doing just that. What’s more, she also has a YouTube channel that covers her creative work. The channel, known simply as “Jen The Body Painter,” has over 3,000 subscribers and, as of December 2017, hosts 19 videos. One video in particular, though, has caught the eye of the online public.
In fact, the post in question – titled “NAKED GIRL Walks Around Mall | Does She Get Kicked Out?!” – has received over 10 million views since being uploaded on November 17, 2017. The video begins with the model Maria Luciotti getting a full body paint from Seidel and her daughter. And while Luciotti is actually wearing just pasties and a blue thong, when the artistic pair had finished, the model appeared to be wearing a black shirt and ripped jeans.
At a glance, most people would be none the wiser to Seidel’s work on Luciotti, but they decided to put it to the test. In addition to the body paint covering, the model was given a hat, scarf and pair of boots to wear for a risky trip to a Maryland mall. Unsurprisingly, then, the artist was nervous as she and Luciotti began their secret social experiment.
“My team and I are all about taking risks and this was definitely one of those times,” Seidel told LADbible. “Because it was a bit chilly outside, we threw on a hat and a scarf and jumped in the car. My heart was skipping beats from the adrenaline that kicked in as we approached the entrance to the mall.”
From there, both Seidel and Luciotti entered the mall and began to look around, with a trailing camera aiming to capture the potential reactions. And while the trip started fairly nonchalantly, it didn’t take long for passersby to realize that something wasn’t quite right. Indeed, several onlookers were captured speaking amongst themselves when they caught a glimpse of Luciotti around the mall.
“I love to stand back from afar and watch people react to it,” Seidel told LADbible. “Many do not know the models are wearing only paint. You tell them it’s paint and they look, but it sometimes still doesn’t register until they ask to touch it.”
Then, following the montage of initial reactions in the video, Seidel and Luciotti raised the bar when they entered a clothes store. You see, while looking at a selection of jeans piled on a table, the pair put an unsuspecting shop assistant to the test. “Is there a pair that really looks like these?” Luciotti asked straight-faced of her painted pair of pants.
But while it appeared to take a few moments to register, the shop assistant eventually responded. “Honestly, are those real pants?” she asked, bringing a laugh out of Seidel. The artist then revealed what was happening, which naturally left the surprised young worker in throes of laughter.
Next, Seidel and Luciotti entered an electronics store. Unlike the previous incident, however, it didn’t take long for a shop assistant to notice that something was amiss. Following a few quick glances at the model, the male worker was left somewhat uncomfortable, which didn’t go unnoticed by Seidel. “What’s wrong?” she asked, prompting the assistant to respond, with a sheepish grin, “Nothing.”
But the assistant clearly knew what was going on, and he jogged over to one of his co-workers. Upon seeing Luciotti for the first time, the second shop assistant’s jaw temporarily hit the floor. Then when asked to test out a chair, the model responded straight-faced, “It might mess up my pants,” which eventually left a third shop assistant in humorous disbelief.
Testing the waters even further, the pair went on to repeat their routine at another clothes store. This time Seidel tried to ask a male shop assistant for help, but his boss quickly informed him he was off the clock. Undeterred, though, the pair then called over a female shop assistant, who didn’t appear to pick up on what was happening.
In fact, when the assistant asked Luciotti what size jeans she wears, the model responded with her own question. “Can you check my tag?” she inquired, before the worker knowingly answered back “I can’t check your tag,” breaking into a smile. “The only way I did [know] was because of her butt,” she then admitted to Seidel.
And after that escapade, the pair went bra shopping, with Luciotti trying her luck with a fitting. Amazingly, too, the shop assistant failed to notice that the model wasn’t wearing a shirt until she began measuring her chest. But when the assistant finally realized, she doubled over with laughter and surprise before giving Luciotti a high-five.
“I love everything about this, I love everything about this experience,” the worker told Seidel. “Thank you for choosing me.” And moments later, she then sent her co-worker over to measure Luciotti’s chest again, prompting a similar reaction.
What’s more, a third employee entered the scene soon after, but they too failed to notice the body paint until it was pointed out. After that, Luciotti posed for a few pictures before yet another staff member was called over to take a look. And just like those before her, the worker was also left surprised and impressed by Seidel’s work.
Then, with one last wink to the camera from Luciotti, the video came to an end. So, despite clearly catching the eyes of several shoppers and workers, the pair avoided any potential problems. Perhaps unsurprisingly, though, the women who featured in the video were more inclined to voice their thoughts than their male counterparts.
Artists will always look for different ways to showcase their work to the world. And while her method may be unconventional, Jen the Body Painter has found a way for the public to see her efforts up close. But whether the audience choose to acknowledge the work out loud or not, her wildly popular YouTube video proves that there are many people who are appreciative and open to her art.