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Seeking acceptance through humor

Shea Foreit finds acceptance through provocative, humorous clothing label.
Shea Foreit finds acceptance through provocative, humorous clothing label.

Former Miami student boosts self-confidence through provocative humor

Shea Foreit, former Miami University student and founder of PWRMV (shorthand for the words "power move"), knows his generation is dominated by hashtags and filters, and that being authentic is often lost in a haze of stereotyping and conformity in society.

Foreit attended Miami but dropped out his senior year. He wanted something to shake up his schedule-oriented life. He wanted adventure -- but more than that, he wanted an escape from a life he felt he was forced to lead.

On a whim, Foreit booked a room at a bed and breakfast, filled out a couple job applications and left Oxford, Ohio for sunny San Diego, California. He spent a year in San Diego before realizing it was time to make the 32-hour drive back to his old college town.

"I hated it," Foreit said. "I didn't like the culture. The people there are very superficial -- very skin-deep."

Disappointed that his grand adventure didn't turn out the way he expected, Foreit began trying different ways to regain his self-confidence.

He went out to the bars wearing shirts he designed with eye-catching slogans to show the the world he didn't care what people said about him.

One sweatshirt in particular would eventually be the stepping stone for his new company. It bore the words "I eat ass" across the chest.

"I never had more fun in my entire life," Foreit said. "It showed that I'm not here to measure anyone up -- I'm just here to have a good time."

After receiving a wave of positive reactions, Foreit realized there was a market for similar apparel. People respected him for going out in a sweatshirt he created and not caring what anyone thought, and he wanted to spread that same confidence to others.

That night, the idea for PWRMV was born.

The company strives to create radical self-acceptance through self-deprecating humor, Foreit said.

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PWRMV creates shirts with multiple self deprecating slogans printed across the chest. Some of the shirts include the phrases "Insecure," "Scrawny," "Dadbod," "Flat AF," and the one that started it all, "I eat ass."

Foreit has struggled with depression for the last seven years, which he says stems from the pressure of trying to live up to societal standards.

Since the birth of his company in June 2018, he began to recognize those standards, set and strengthened by social media that only showed his friends' "highlights."

Foreit hopes his apparel will allow consumers to feel empowered and feel inspired to live their lives authentically.

"I'm trying to let people show that they can slap their biggest insecurity on their chest and wear it out proudly and know no one else's opinion of them matters at all," Foreit said. "You don't need anyone else's judgements to tell yourself that you're valued, or a good person. You just are completely on your own for just being you."

On October 20th, PWRMV hosted a fundraiser for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention at The Woods Uptown.

The fundraiser raised $150 for the charity, and while Foreit was disappointed it didn't make more money, he was happy to support the cause.

"Through all the absurdity and all the brassiness that we have, that is our main goal, helping with self-acceptance. If we can support people from not ever killing themselves, that's one thing we'd want to do over anything else."