Recently I have been thrust into the limelight as a contestant on Skin Wars, a body painting competition series on GSN (Game Show Network) which aired it’s first episode last week, August 6th and runs for 8 weeks. I went to Las Vegas for a body painting convention this past weekend for the Bodypainting Jamtacular hosted by Suzanne Luganno of SyFy’s Naked Vegas. I was recognized for being on the show first by the doorman at our hotel. Then it happened everywhere. I got my first fan asking for an autograph, then photos, met one of my fans from Instagram… it was really wonderful. There was nothing but love and admiration.
After the second show aired the comments on Skin Wars Facebook page and the comments on YouTube were less than complimentary. Some of them were outright mean, or nasty. Fortunately I have not met any of those people in person. Also shows like this are very high stress environments, and are meant to put contestants under extreme pressure. Editing also plays a factor in these shows and for as many years as all of us have been watching these should know that we are not watching reality, but an edited version of it meant to entertain. So personally, I was not painting at my best and it showed.
I have posted to my personal friends and family asking them not to engage with the naysayers because they don’t know me like they do. They are responding to a fiction. In reality I am a badass bodypainter, who paints to help heal people. Competition reality shows are not conducive to the spiritual or healing experience. I went on this show because I need the exposure in order to reach more people with the love and light that is my bodypainting. I am here to help people love themselves more and hate their bodies less.
Over the past few weeks I have reached the limit of friends you are allowed to have on Facebook, 5,000. I have many who lurk, love my posts but don’t comment or respond, but my postings are a part of their daily life. I have even had people send me private messages like this:
“you had a post about letting go and something better waiting… no other post on my news feed was able to show… just yours right at the time I needed to leave a very dangerous, bad, unhealthy situation I was fighting desperately to stay in for work to get what they owe me and such… and my pride wouldn’t let me walk away…Your post once again changed my life for the best. Thanks.!!!” ~Rana Richards
We never know who is watching, paying attention, and how that positively impacts others. I am not culling my Facebook list to get rid of real friends, just the ones who aren’t participating, closed accounts, no activity in months… etc. Also anyone is welcome to follow my public posts even if they aren’t on my friends list. I actually had someone who thought I was cutting out real people and was getting egotistical. I did it because I know of the lives I help… and wanted to help MORE of those who participate in my life. What being on this show has taught me is that many people will think untrue things about me. This doesn’t change me, my value, or who I am. I cannot fight people who are committed to misunderstanding me. It is a waste of energy.
In asking my friends not to engage in the negative posts I have found more love and compassion in both my real and social media friends. I am a skilled artist. I showed that with the following image.
This is only the beginning. I am going to use this exposure to spread more self-love, care, compassion, and healing through bodypainting. Skin Wars has opened a door for me. Good or bad… exposure is exposure. I intend to use it for good.