Beauty of a Woman Blogfest: 1 Billion Rising

Happy Beauty of a Woman Blogfest Day!

Today, women and men of all ages are posting around the country on the topics of women’s beauty and sexuality. It’s a celebration of what each individual connects with, be it their favorite body part, a life changing epiphany, a female mentor they have, their desires for the future, and more!

The blogfest’s creator is August McLaughlin, a writer, dear friend, and founder of the #GirlBoner movement – in which she blogs and hosts a radio show surrounding women’s sexuality.

She’s amazing. You can follow her on Twitter @AugstMcLaughlin or check out the conversations around Girl Boner or Beauty of a Woman at the following hashtags: #GirlBoner & #BOAW3.

You can read all of the posts in the Beauty of a Woman blogfest by clicking here and seeing the full list of participants on August’s blog! Guest bloggers and readers are eligible to win gift card prizes between $5 and $50!

For my part in the blogfest, I wanted to share with you a movement called 1 Billion Rising that I’ve been involved with. It stands for 1 Billion Rising for Justice, and it’s partnered with the V-Day organization. The V-Day organization was started by author and playwright, Eve Ensler, who wrote The Vagina Monologues. As a women’s studies minor in college, I took part in the annual Monolgues show to raise money for our local women’s shelter every Valentine’s weekend.

The goals of both V-Day and 1 Billion Rising are to end violence against women. Now, every February 14th, these organizations host events for victims of violence and those who support them to gather in public spaces and seek justice. The events include everything from meeting with city officials to the more emotional release of artwork and dance.

This year 1 Billion Rising is also hosting a challenge on Instagram. Using the hashtag #instaRISE, they’re calling for photos that demonstrate your inner activist – showing off the quotes, body parts, artwork, dance moves, friendships, and more so the movement keeps on rising!

It’s not to late to get involved!

Here is the #instaRISE photo challenge:


For this year’s Beauty of a Woman blogfest, I thought I’d share my #instaRISE photos because being a part of a national movement that celebrates women and stands up against violence is important – and beautiful – to me!

Day 1: Justice – Show off your inner activist! – We sold these t-shirts when I president of the Women’s Studies Student Association in college. 


Day 2: JustSPEAK – Share a phrase that inspires you. – Adrienne Rich’s collection of poems, The Fact of a Doorframe, was my Bible for years. 

Adrienne Rich quoteDay 3: My Short Skirt (from The Vagina Monologues story, My Short Skirt)

My Short Skirt

Day 4: V-Day – Show off your Rebel Red

rebel red

Day 5: V-Girls – Power Pink – A shade for every mood you’re in: sophisticated, flirty, sporty, confident, girlie?


Day 6: JustUs – Friends – Me with the cast of The Vagina Monologues, 2006 – I performed ‘The Vagina Workshop’ which is one of my favorite stories.

vagina monologues

Day 7: JustMe – Selfie


Your turn! Get involved! Today’s post is JustBe – a shot of outdoors.
Share your own #instaRISE photos; I’d love to see them! You can connect with me on Instagram here or twitter: @jesswitkins.

And don’t forget to check out the other Beauty of a Woman blog posts!
What makes you feel beautiful?

50 responses

  1. Catherine Johnson | Reply

    What a fab organisation. Thanks for sharing Jess and your pics are cool. I bet acting is fun!

    1. Thanks Catherine! I love being a part of groups of women celebrating all things female.

  2. You know I’m joining this movement! I’ve been aware of V-Day, but hadn’t heard of the latest means of celebrating. I LOVE that photo of you! I’m going to race of to Instagram and play. 🙂

    Thanks for the sweet words and wonderful support! I’m so glad you’re festing with us!

    1. Yay! I will watch for your photos! I learned about it at work because we tabled at the nat’l event. Amazing stories from these women who have overcome so much.


  3. […] 6. Jess Witkins:  Beauty of a Woman Blogfest: 1 Billion Rising […]

  4. Jess, I’m totally digging those photos!! You might just drag me toward Instagram with this movement….

    1. Do it. Do it. Do it. Is that enough peer pressure?

  5. Good for you. Keep fighting the good fight!

    1. You can fight it too Mark! 😉

      1. Do I have to post a picture of my favorite body part, too?

        1. Go for it! But if it’s marked obscene, just don’t tag me in it, ok? LOL

  6. I am inspired by your involvement.

    1. Join in! There’s still several days to show your support!

  7. Fantastic Jess! Love your soul lady. I was just talking this week about wanting to volunteer at a women’s shelter. This gives me further inspiration. Such an important cause to support. Thank you for sharing Jess!

    1. Ingrid that has to be the best compliment ever! Thank you so much!!!

  8. Great photos, Jess. I’d never heard of either of these movements. I gotta get out from under my rock more often!

    1. Hahaha. Thanks for popping over here! I loved your post and I’m always excited for BOAW blogfest!

  9. Fantastic post, Jess! I’m stoked you’re part of V-DAY. I love that organization, and try to do my best to get the word out. I’m terrible at taking photos–I forget my camera at every notable event lol–so I’m not participating in the Instagram event, but I’ve been posting on FB as much as I can. Well done, woman!

    1. Two words: camera phone. LOL

      That’s awesome that you support VDay and their mission!

      1. Jess, I have a camera phone! I have a Samsung Galaxy S3! LOL My phone is always with me, and I constantly forget about the camera. I’m not helping my case 😛

        Yes! Love V-Day!

        1. No day to start like today! Eh? Eh?

          1. True, true. Okay. Cross your fingers 😛

  10. I had heard of the V-Day cause but not the #instaRISE photos. Very cool!

    1. I hadn’t either till this year. Been really fun to follow and meet new activist friends!

  11. This was quite an interesting post, Jess. Very creative! 🙂

    1. Thanks for the follow Raani! I hope you check out more of the BOAW posts!

  12. This is wonderful, Jess!! Loving the pics, especially the rebel red one. I’m a bit of a rebel and LOVE the color red! I’m going to check out the other posts. 🙂

    1. Thought that was a clever way of fitting the theme.

      Happy reading!

  13. Jess,

    I seriously love this!

    I haven’t joined InstaGram – yet….but now I think I may. I love your pictures, and ideas are popping like corn in my head. And YOU did that!

    I love your happiness, and your courage in living up to your convictions. =)

    That’s mighty beautiful!

    1. With all your photography skillz, Shan, you need to be on instagram! Be sure to follow me so I can follow you back, lady! I’m so glad I could inspire some insta-fun for you.

      Can’t wait to see!

      1. Okay, you’ve talked me into it! =D

        I may have to get that cat out of the ceiling first, though!

        Silly cat.

        Now I want to make a resume, just so I can list “photography skillz’ on it! =)

        I will be sure to follow you, when I get over there.

        1. You should! I might add “twitter enthusiast” to mine. LOL

  14. Jess, you are so amazing! I love the idea of spending Valentine’s Day and something as worthwhile as the V-Day cause. Thanks for sharing about these movements. ❤

    1. I loved being a part of The Vagina Monologues cast. I did it all 4 years of college. We even sold chocolate vaginas…yes you heard right…to benefit the women’s shelter too. They were quite the popular item at Valentine’s day! he he

  15. What a cool idea for a great cause! They’re lucky to have a wonderful activist like you. I’m sure you already know how I feel about domestic violence/abuse in all its many forms. This might be something I’d like to join. 🙂

    1. I’ve made some great friends by participating. The more the merrier. So cool to see the photos of those working internationally. I love the variety of images!

  16. I hopped over from August’s page. I like that you chose something so empowering for your topic. Standing up for an important cause you believe in? That’s REAL beauty!

    1. Thank you Audrey! 🙂

      So glad you’re enjoying the blogfest. I’ll be bopping around to read more this weekend!

  17. Jess, this is awesome. I am planning to write about VDay on March 8th. We have to keep the conversation going. I just got started on Instagram … thanks for following … and will get busy with the I Billion Rising #instaRise! Thanks for this!

    1. Yay! They will be thrilled to have you! Your photos are always so gorgeous.

  18. The 1 Billion Rising to help end the violence against women is a worthy cause. Yay for you being so active in it and spreading the word. I haven’t heard the Vagina Monologues yet. One of these days. Haven’t joined Instagram yet. My daughters have told me to get with it, but I just keep getting distracted by a million other things happening each day. I know I’d like Instagram because I’m a very visual person, love pics and videos, so I’ll follow you when I sign up. Nice post, Jess!

    1. Are you on Pinterest? I haven’t signed up yet. That’s one I know I’d like but haven’t dived into yet.

      You MUST go see Vagina Monologues!

  19. That’s my beautiful redhot friend! I love the idea of this cause and I’m going to join it. I know just what pic I’ll put up on Instagram, too. Thanks for inspiring me to do this, Jess. When I move back to my hometown this summer, i had planned to volunteer at Vera House which is a shelter for battered women. They grown their program over the last ten years and is a fantastic resource for women who have experienced violence in their lives. This 1 Billion Rising and VDay cause are a great fit!

    1. I will watch for your photos. I’m so excited so many bloggers are participating now.

      When are you moving back? That’s a big change!

  20. I have defied the idea of joining Instagram for the last time, Jess. You (and 1Billion Rising) convinced me. I love this post and the idea of self acceptance it promotes. Thank you!

    1. Yay! I’m recruiting! 🙂

      Find me, I will follow you Eden. I really like the photo challenges. People share such cool stuff and it’s all so different.

      1. Borrowing my hubby’s iPhone for some shots tomorrow….

  21. Awesome post, Jess and what a fantastic organization to be affiliated with. Mathair and I had no clue about V-Day. We are definitely going to be taking part next year. Unfortunately, editing our newest novel has us locked tight in our writing room and cut off from society. *Internal growl* SO BUMMED! Mathair’s been telling me we’ve needed to hook up with Instagram and looks like your post will be what pushes Inion N. Mathair to go image-happy. 😉 Happy BOAW.

    1. One of these days you two need to audition for The Vagina Monologues! Put that on your to do lists.

  22. […] “Show off your inner activist!” — Jess Witkins […]

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