I Started a Glitter Nipple Movement High on Magic Mushrooms in Bulgaria
After spending 25 days in the Bulgarian wilderness with a young hippie family – abstinent, vegan and isolated from all of society – I returned to the city of Sofia, my home base. In my hostel room, a beautiful Chinese girl was sleeping. She awoke just as I entered.
“I’m here to go to this music festival – Meadows in the Mountains, with five of my friends.”
“You came all the way here from England for a music festival? With a tent and shit? On the plane?”
“Yeah. You should come!”
I met Harmony’s friends, among them a girl called Melody. The two lyrical babes and I bonded so instantaneously that there was no other rational explanation than “what has been written in the stars”. We drank cheap rosé and ended the night holding hands around a tree while I convinced them to become citizens of my utopia island country for women that I plan to one day rule over – in a democratic sort of way. We soon began calling each other soul sisters.
On day two, Melody brought one more manifestation of the Universe into our fold – Jenny. I refused to accept her into our sisterhood at first, because she had woken me from a nap with her loud valley girl accent talking about some splendid five-course lunch she had eaten for ONLY 10 DOLLARS.
Later, Jenny – originally from El Salvador – told me her annoying accent wasn’t her fault, because she had learned English from watching Hilary Duff. She became my best friend.
The Lyrical Babes convinced Jenny and I to buy tickets off sad people on Facebook who could no longer attend the festival, and on day three, we were off to the meadows and the mountains.
The M&Ms did not disappoint. We rode three hours on a bus to rural Bulgaria, then a shuttle from a miniature town up into the mountains where the festival sprawled out. The views were breathtaking: lush, green, untouched, where heaven meets Earth etc. Just when I thought that this was the epitome of a secluded paradise, I began to hear stream upon stream of mindless British chatter.
They were everywhere. And all they wanted was to get fucked up.
I watched on awkwardly as our group set up their tents, as I had been camping a grand total of one time before, plus, I had no shelter. Lyrical Babes invited me into their temporary home. Then the girls neatly laid out their most essential camping gear – compartmentalised boxes of glitter in every shade.
This was 2017, before the glitterati had fully invaded our world. I had been travelling for a year and the last time I had seen glitter being used as facial decoration was when I was nine.
I watched in amazement as Melody, the glitter master, applied sparkles meticulously to her cheekbones and temples, then inched towards her and her glitter bazaar, whispering, “Can you do my face too?”
Oh man, I became a changed woman! It is insane how sparkly cheekbones are directly related to a sparkly heart. I was bouncing through the campgrounds. Nothing could touch me. I was a fairy, a unicorn and an adult woman who used shiny things to improve her self-esteem. Ah, life!
Over the next three days, I realised three things:
1) I was at an experimental underground electronic music festival. I did not understand the music/it was bad/it was terrible/how can anyone enjoy this sober?
2) 98 percent of the festivalgoers were English, and they were annoying as shit.
3) Every single person was on a constant hunt for drugs.
The Lyrical Babes were not exempt from this craving for euphoric substances. Harmony found a Dutchman who made gourmet chocolate with magic mushrooms inside. She bought one truffle for an exorbitant amount of money, and the four of us soul sisters ate a quarter each. Ridiculous. Of course, we smoked a few joints just in case the chocolate didn’t work.
I began to feel things.
The Power of the Glitter had fully entered my soul by this point. I was a believer, and I was ready to push boundaries, to spread the love and magic around the world – and around our bodies.
“Let’s cover our nipples in glitter!” I exclaimed to my soul sisters.
There were mixed reactions. Jenny had gorgeous breasts and she was down. The others were more self-conscious. But eventually the four of us coated our areolas with blue and purple and silver glitter, designed flowers and suns around our boobs, and walked from our tents onto the main festival grounds.
I had been living in a hippie high, expecting people to not objectify our bodies. The only other festival I had been to was Confest in Australia, where clothing is optional and people are extremely respectful, and the marijuana made me feel protected from social conventions.
But this was eastern Europe. And British people are assholes.
The Bulgarian security guards could hardly believe their eyes. Everyone turned and stared, men laughed and ogled with their friends and I immediately began to regret my decision.
But slowly, beautiful things started to happen. A woman approached us and told us how cool and brave we were. Then another. And another. I was fully high by this point and the experience was poignant, revolutionary.
We are activists! We are the faces, the women on the ground of Free the Nipple! This small action is creating change! #glittertits
Every time a new woman approached us, I held back tears of joy and pride, and had come up with a full plan of spreading our glitter nipple movement throughout the festival.
“Come to our tent tomorrow. We are on the first hill down on the left – big green tent. Join us, sisters, become part of the revolution.”
Eventually, Melody told me to stop inviting people because they didn’t have that much glitter, and I recoiled.
Rome wasn’t built in a day. The nipple can’t be freed in one afternoon.
Having accomplished my feminist activism goals for the week, I retreated into the woods to enjoy the pleasant sensations all over my body. As I reclined on the grass, a silly smile plastered across my face, watching the magnificent mountains, I noticed something.
Ganesh, the Hindu God. His outline carved on the mountain directly in front of me. It couldn’t be!
I turned away and looked back. He was still there, and there was more. His arms – extremely muscular. Gym-junkie Ganesh. Now his ear was stretching, and from his ear emerged a rocket ship moving downwards, until it entered a vulva.
It was cool as fuck. My first hallucination from my first time eating magic mushrooms. So many interpretations. And then I felt the following –
I am a leader and I can build a movement. My soul sisters who participated in #glittertits believe in my vision. Your first supporters are the most important people. They will spread your message without being asked to.
That wild experience on the fairy-tale mountain brimming with drugs two years ago indeed started something great. I am still a vocal activist of freeing the nipple. These women are still my soul sisters – although we are spread out across the world. I have not consumed magic mushrooms since that day, nor have I covered my tits in glitter. Nor am I a devoted worshipper of Ganesh. Or an astronaut. Or a gym-junkie.
Follow my body revolution journey on @nirvanawanders
Glittery boob cover by Soul Glitter; inset provided by the author