We live in a world where creating body dissatisfaction among women funds several billion dollar industries. The beauty and diet industries create messaging that is designed to (as my friend CJ Legare says) steal our self-esteem, cheapen it, and sell it back to us at a profit. Whether they are making completely natural things (cellulite, aging, body diversity) into “problems” that can be solved by buying their products, or creating a world where there is only one standard of beauty and it requires digital retouching and photo illustration to achieve, we are drowning in a sea of messages carefully curated to create a big enough lack of positive body image to convince us to part with our money as well as our self-esteem.
One of the places where this can hit hardest is when we’re naked. The fashion industry spends billions of dollars in marketing to convince us that our bodies are all “flawed” (boobs too big, boobs too small, too many hips, not enough hips, long waist, short waist, too tall, too short, too curvy not curvy enough blah blah blah) and that we all need to buy and wear clothes that “flatter” us, where “flatter” means to bring us as close as possible (which for many of us is still miles away) to the digitally re-touched pore-free standard of beauty, by manipulating the way that our bodies look and/or getting our tops under control.
My membership in the F*ck Flattering Club is not just about the clothes that I wear, but also about when I’m wearing no clothes at all. Since I don’t use clothing to try to change the way my body looks, it’s an easier transition from clothed to naked.
Let me suggest the following as food for thought:
We have all been force-fed a single idea of what a beautiful naked body is and that idea is a complete and total lie, and we don’t have to continue to believe it.
There will be people who, for whatever reason, cannot appreciate your unique beauty – be you clothed or naked. That is their issue, not yours. It doesn’t make you any less beautiful, it just makes them unworthy of you.
One of the best ways to create armor to protect yourself is to get naked. Stand in front of a mirror with nothing on and find things that are beautiful about you – if you’re not ready to find yourself beautiful, stand in front of the mirror naked and thank your body for all of the things that it does for you – smiling, waving, rolling your wheelchair, walking around, breathing, blinking, etc.
You already look amazing naked. You always have, you always will.
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