When people say that their bodies are gross or disgusting, I hear hatred — a long-standing loathing that has spent years brewing. Even when people say that other people’s bodies are disgusting, I still hear self-criticism.
How old were you when you were first ashamed of your body? Most of us first experienced that feeling in childhood, and it has recurred through the rest of our lives.
Shame is learned. We are taught to hate our bodies. Why? Because insecurity sells. Cosmetics, gym memberships, workout gear, fancy cars and purses… It’s all about money.
Most of my teenage years were occupied with hours upon hours of obsessing over every inch of my body. I spent at least twelve hours each week grooming myself
It all started with a pact. Senior year at college, one of my best friends, who also happened to be one of my roommates at the time, had a discussion with me about the things we wanted to accomplish before graduating. My quintessential college experience on our list was to explore the infamous under quad tunnels. What can I say? I have a knack for sticking my nose where it isn’t welcomed.
Much to my surprise, as she has never struck me as a let’s-get-naked-in-public kind of gal, this roommate’s vote was for something more typical of the American college experience: streaking the quad. Naked. Outdoors. At school. Years ago, the thought would have only crossed my mind as a nightmare the evening before a huge, dreaded oral presentation. (more…)
I was perusing through my old Facebook statuses in search of throwback fodder for this week’s bloggage when I stumbled upon this post from a few years ago.
“I feel like there’s something inherently wrong with our society’s narcissistic obsession with physical beauty when we can claim that someone is “not attractive enough to be naked”. What ever happened to just looking away? I’m not a fan of gazing at sagging buttcheeks or excessive body hair, but I can’t say I’d feel right about assuming the authority to tell people they can’t show their less-than-what-I’d-find-appealing bodies in my presence. Quite frankly, I give major kudos to everyone confident enough to bear to be bare, with or without social approval.”(more…)
The phrase “nude beach” to the average Joe Schmoe might conjure up mental images of Playboy bunnies with tan, glistening skin, romping around in the surf with bulbous-bellied, hairy-backed European dudes. In retrospect, I had no idea what to expect the first time I encountered a nude beach at the ripe age of 17. Naked is naked, right? (more…)