When a friend of mine asked to take nude photos for her A Beautiful Body Project I was excited and flattered by her suggestion. And terrified. I had never been too fond of “seeing” myself in mirrors, or through a camera lens. It always brought up my inner critic, so I figured the best remedy was to minimize the cause for judgment. It took me many months to think about Jade’s invitation and photographs of myself. I don’t know the exact location or origin of the fear, but it was very much about being seen, and what that meant. I had to look at what I might be so afraid of.
My daughter’s aunt and I have different values — how do I teach my daughter the difference without being rude?
My sister-in-law is planning to undergo elective plastic surgery after her second child is born. I love and support her in whatever she chooses to do but we have different values in regards to this topic. How do I explain that to my little girl in a way that can be used as a teaching moment and not offend someone we love so dearly?
As I evaluate my role as a strong, positive role model in Johannah’s life, I am particularly cognizant of the image of myself that I share with her, that I unconsciously project into the world. I may be found, at times, in front of a full length mirror scrutinizing the lumps and bumps of my body, rough patches of skin, the crookedness of my front teeth.
I was astonished by this transformation into my ideal body. I felt lighter on my feet and more comfortable in my skin. In one year, I had gained 50 pounds, and then lost 65. I had gone from a size 6 to a maternity Large, then back down to a size 4. I went from a bra size A to B and then C. I felt like a real woman, feminine in a way that finally matched how I had always felt on the inside.
I don’t want my son to find a Barbie doll pretty. I want him to understand, even at three, that she is not an accurate representation of a woman’s body. This is ridiculous, I know, but it’s not stopping from getting all excited about this teachable moment we’re having.
There are a lot of people like me. Women who know things. Women who have seen things. Women with diseases in their livers. There are a lot of women with scars on their arms and words that carry themselves like sparrows. There are women who were too big for this town, who had their backs bent carrying things like religion and a history that originated somewhere in the crook of a branch that extended over a stream. All of you women with lines on your brow, with cracks between your fingers… it’s been a long winter. All of you, you are beautiful and so am I.
I have always been a nudie booty in my own home. I would come home from work or class and just shed my clothes. It’s not so much that I dislike clothes; I actually love them quite a bit. Not too long after the big gender reveal of our latest pregnancy, my husband came home and found me and our son playing in the bath tub together. He very calmly said “Don’t you think you should start covering up around him, he’s getting a little old for that.”
I have a bucket list. I keep it written in a little journal and I get it out and stare at it once in a while. Some of the items on there are big, lofty experiences that I hope to have one day. However, many of the things on that list are simple, personal experiences I want to achieve. This week, I got to cross one off the list: feeling comfortable in a bathing suit.