Women Face Their Fears by Skydiving in Their Underwear
(LOS ANGELES) -- Imagine throwing all your inhibitions to the wind, literally.
That's exactly what Jennifer Hoffman and Marisa Gallegos, founders of Esme & Eve Photography in Los Angeles, are doing. They're going skydiving in nothing but their underwear.
On Nov. 17, Hoffman and Gallegos, along with five other brave women, plan to jump from an airplane near Lake Elsinore, Calif., wearing nothing but parachutes and their lingerie. The jump is part of Esme & Eve's "Be Bold. Take the Leap" initiative, in which they urge women, "to face their fears, take a risk and push against whatever is holding them back from carrying out their dreams."
Each of the women participating in the jump has lived through something traumatic, such as a death in the family, coping with being a rape victim, or overcoming an eating disorder. They're coming together to find ways to put those difficult times behind them.
"All these women have terrific stories," Hoffman told ABC News. "I get really motivated by these women. We all follow the tragedies of our lives, but we don't follow the triumphs. We want to highlight the triumphs."
"We really wanted to make sure we had women with different stories that people can resonate with. I know how much one person can change another person's life, and we're just trying to do that on a smaller level. I don't expect any massive change happening out of this, but I would love for it to have a ripple effect."
Esme & Eve is a woman-led company that says it is inspired by the ideas of love and creation, which the founders even have tattooed on their wrists. Hoffman and Gallegos first started contemplating the skydiving idea when they decided to take a month of their lives to explore, live out and put into action their company's ideals.
This will be the second skydive Hoffman and Gallegos are taking together, and this time around, they wanted to do it on a larger scale by inviting others to join. Gallegos admitted, however, that the idea to skydive in nothing but their skivvies was never part of their original plan.
When the pair arrived at the skydive location for their first jump last May, it was more than 100 degrees outside. Neither of the women was particularly excited about putting on the heavy, bulky jumpsuits, so they decided to go without.
"When we landed, it just hit us how powerful the experience was," Gallegos said. "We needed to come back and do it in a big way with a bunch of other women that have all faced certain fears and insecurities and moved past them. It's all about empowering them. Life is about evolving and moving past things so we can move forward."
They thought it was best to do the jump in their underwear because "it was more about baring your soul, and being OK with it, and not being ashamed," Hoffman said.
One of the jumpers, Rachel Elizabeth Murray, explained why she chose to participate.
"This cause is very dear to my heart. I was raped in college. It destroyed my confidence, but through fitness and faith I've regained it," Murray said. "I can't tell you how excited and terrified I am at the same time. I have always been one to take risks, but it's setting in that I'm jumping out of a plane and I've never done that before."
The founders hope their message inspires people to step out of their comfort zone and do things that scare them, which will eventually make them feel more empowered.
"We would like to start a yearly 'Be Bold'day," Hoffman said. "We'd love to invite women nationwide to do one thing that's uncomfortable or scares them at least one day of the year. True confidence is in the knowledge of what you're capable of. If they take a day to surprise themselves and stop limiting themselves and push themselves a little bit harder, it's amazing what they're capable of."
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio