body positivity, Feminism, Thirties

I Take My Clothes Off For You

Several months ago a friendship between myself and someone I’d known since high school ended because I choose to be photographed and drawn in the nude. I have had my body drawn by some incredible artists who were interested in drawing larger forms and needed the practice. I’ve also taken photos of my body in various positions for the sake of showing what a body my size looks like.

Artwork by Amber Delaney (@sharpen_your_teeth_ on Instagram)

I’m not doing this JUST for me (even though putting myself out there without the aid of makeup and angles and Spanx makes me feel sort of powerful and fully aware of my own self). I do this for you. Not for your pleasure but for your benefit.

We are only ever shown conventionally beautiful and standard sized women in our media. Their wrinkles are blurred away, cellulite blended out, and skin tone evened. These images are not realistic. And the women in them don’t exist. The real women have all the same features we do. They have moles, and scars, and stretch marks, and cellulite. They’re actually quite normal.

But, you and I aren’t allowed to see that normal. We’re shown very controlled versions of what a woman is supposed to be and it’s not achievable.

So, I decided several months ago I wanted to show you what a woman my size, in her 30’s, looks like. I wanted to show you my stretch marks, my cellulite, the way my skin folds, and where it hangs. I did this because I remember how powerful a moment it was for me the first time I saw a nude woman my size. It was like, “Oh my gosh…that’s…that’s like me! She looks like me!!” It was…amazing.

And I wanted others to have that same feeling. The feeling of looking at someone and knowing they’re like you and you’re not alone. And that’s why I do this. There are people who will sexualize my body or assign morality to it, but I will not apologize for existing in this body without shame. I love this body. And I want you, whoever you are, to love yours too.

2 thoughts on “I Take My Clothes Off For You”

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