EmBODYment Project opens conversation about lingerie, sexuality and self-image

Felicia Guadagni

Lingerie, accurate bra size and a woman’s sexuality aren’t exactly mainstream discussion topics, but best friends and business partners Taylor Mechell and Jonnah Morris are attempting to change the conversation with the EmBODYment Project.

The EmBODYment Project is a campaign sponsored by Kent State’s College of the Arts that is aimed at educating everyone, not just women, on the importance and benefit a well-rounded self-image can have on one’s sexuality. The campaign is an outlet of Novelty Knickers, a startup business lingerie company that was launched through Kent State’s Blackstone LaunchPad.

The campaign’s mission is to make lingerie mainstream and thus help women gain confidence and believe in themselves and their capabilities.

“(The College of the Arts) decided to back our project because it teaches a healthy and positive means of passing information about sexuality and lingerie to the masses,” Mechell, a senior fashion design major and co-creator of the EmBODYment Project, said. 

Morris, Mechell’s business partner, is a senior French major with research emphasis on sexuality and the differences between cultures.

Together, the girls explained that they hope to help men realize they play an important role in the EmBODYment Project’s goal, too.

“We also want to show men through the teaching of the EmBODYment Project that they, too, play a vital role in the way women see themselves and how they can help improve that image with knowledge of lingerie and bra fitting with their actions,” the business partners said.

Mechell and Morris said that Novelty Knickers is still in a startup position and not yet a fully developed company. Mechell initially began the company during her junior year and works on developing the business in her free time.

“We are developing our ideas, product and getting the foundations set for the company,” Mechell said.

However, once Mechell is finished working on her designs, products will be available on the Novelty Knickers website — and Mechell’s goal is to have it ready by mid-2016.

In the meantime, Novelty Knickers and the EmBODYment Project are focused on being active in the community. The EmBODYment Project and Novelty Knickers are official partners with Go Red for Women and the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund. Additionally, Mechell and Morris are currently in the early stages of planning a lingerie race on campus in September 2016.

“Participants can wear their lingerie, sleepwear or loungewear in the race,” Mechell said. “It is meant to be a fun and enjoyable family experience to raise funds for a sexual abuse and domestic violence organization.”

The EmBODYment Project is different from other campaigns due to its leadership. Mechell and Morris acknowledged that they are growing and developing as women while their company becomes more recognized.

“There are no definite answers as to where our project will go next, much like we don’t know where our lives and futures will take us,” Mechell said. “We want to be there every step of the way with our project and watch it grow much like we, as business partners and best friends, have watched each other grow over these past years as Kent State students and soon-to-be alumni.”

Contact Felicia Guadagni at [email protected].