I quit being ashamed & shy about my naked body.

My friend asked me to go with her to Breitenbush Hot Springs and since I had nothing better to do, I agreed to this plan. I’ve never been to this place, but I’ve always heard the name floating around, so it was on my bucket list of things to do anyway. I packed my swimsuits, towels and flip flop and was ready to roll. Little did I know that I was in for a surprise.  As we rolled up to the property, and I asked my friend where I could change into my bathing suit, she looked at me surprised then bursted out in laughter. She then informed me that it was a nude hot springs and people don’t wear bathing suits or fig leaves around here.  I was immediately drenched in cold sweat, my face turned bloody red and I was contemplating my escape route, but she was the driver and we were pretty far from my home, so I stayed.

Mind you, I have no problem being naked or hairy (down there) …in the comfort of my home, maybe even in front of my children, if I want to be adventurous, free spirited and wild. 🙂 But I have NEVER EVER in my 35 years been to a nudist beach or hippy dippy hot springs where people of every shape and sizes ( although unfortunately there wasn’t much of the color variety ) walk around in their birthing suits, hairy as God has intended them to be. Well, I thought, this is gonna get me out of my comfort zone immediately, so I proceeded on this wild journey, and did drop my clothes as we approached the first outdoor hot tub. The scenery was serene, gorgeous and calming, but on the inside I was shy, embarrassed, nervous, stressed, my heart was beating so fast it almost jumped into the pool before me. I might have even been sweating, but it is hard to tell in a hot tub. But I made it all the way into the tub and quickly folded and twisted my tiny body into a little pretzel, trying my best to disappear and become invisible, with not much luck. Then I started noticing all the inside chatter that was going on in my head: “I bet these people are watching me. I wonder if they notice my pancake boobs with the dark areolas and big nipples. No to mention that they are soggy like war-ridden,  deflated socks. Or my pussy…oh, boy, better hide that. At this point I was actually happy that it wasn’t perfectly shaven, which would have caused me to die of embarrassment if I was caught in bed like that during intercourse, but here it was a shield of protection at least. But it is definitely not in porn star shape, by far. (Actually, not bad at all, but I am so hard on every little piece of my body, it’s not even funny anymore.) Or my belly button, boy, they will see that it is an outie. Or my posture, not straight and confident enough? But how could it be? I am trying to shrink over here, like Alice in wonderland.”

Oh, the thoughts. Then I didn’t even want to look at anyone else, I felt so weird, as if I was invading their privacy. But they dangled their privates in front of me freely, as they were exiting the sauna or the tub like this was the most natural form of existence.
In reality, it is. Underneath our clothes, we are all naked anyway. But our social and cultural conditioning got us thinking that covering up is the normal and most natural way of being. It is not the same with tribal people, but here in our “civilized” society, we believe that modesty is noble.

Once I overcame my initial shock of being naked -and so are other people around me as well-  I started talking to my friend about hang-ups, inhibitions  and where do all these things come from. My 4 yr old is already self conscious about her ARMPIT 🙂 because it has lines in it (facepalm) and that she has a side-boob if she wears a tight leotard. Where on earth does this come from, especially at this age??? So I asked my friend about the time when she first became conscious that something on her body was not “supposed to be” the way it was? Because before that thought enters your mind and we believe it, we have absolutely no problem with anything on our bodies. But once someone says something (because most of the time it is someone else pointing something out, and usually not in a nice way) and we believe it, we become aware of that body part, and we become ashamed of it. Like when I was about 13 yrs old and I was wearing my shorts at PE class, this nice “gentleboy” (cuz he wasn’t a fullbloom man just yet) next to me looked down and said: “Wow, what a mammoth legs you have. You should shave.” Never once occurred to me that my body wasn’t right the way it was, until it was pointed out to me. Just like I never realized that there could be a problem with your privates,too, until I heard guys making fun of “met curtains or beef sandwiches” or criticize someone else’s “pancake butt” or people talk about ” innies and outies”. Once you are aware of it, you create a complexion in your mind and you try to hide it or change it in order to appear “normal”. In worse cases you develop mental illnesses like anorexia, bulemia or body dysmorphic disorder.
Our prude culture sure doesn’t help this phenomena with us never being exposed to REAL naked human variety of body shapes and types. Even if we are, it’s either photo shopped, picture perfect female bodies in magazines sponsored by big beauty companies banking on our insecurities, or porn star girls with their many plastic surgeries like labioplasty, boob jobs or anal bleaching….yes, you heard me right! So how can a regular human being compete with this? When that’s your only exposure to other naked human bodies, and automatically you start comparing yourself with them, and you will fall short (cuz most of us do) then you are bound to feel less than them.  But when you do hang out with these “hippies” in nudist beaches and hot springs, you do realize that there are human bodies in ALL shapes and sizes, and no matter if you are tall or short, fat or skinny, hairy or shaven, big or small boobs or penis, innie or outie, you are all perfect as you are. You have a body, that is your vehicle, takes you everywhere, let’s you experience the hot water, let’s you enjoy earthly pleasures, helps you feel so many things that otherwise you wouldn’t be able to….and they are all perfect as they are. Anything other than this is just what YOU THINK AND BELIEVE onto them, nothing else. In reality, a body is just a body….and what I decided to think and believe onto them, is what makes me suffer or enjoy it. If I believe my body is not OK as it is, I will suffer. If I accept it as it is, and I actually appreciate it, I might even enjoy this worldly experience I am having.

The choice is mine. And thankfully by the end of the day, I switched my mindset and I was confidently walking in and out of the tubs as if being naked was the most comfortable, natural state I could ever be…. because in reality: IT IS!

 

nudist

I quit criticizing my body

Have you ever heard the rumors that models have low self-esteems and constantly criticize their bodies? Silly, huh? One would think that someone who looks perfect from the outside might be endlessly happy on the inside. But that’s certainly not true.

Looking back on my childhood pictures, I can totally see that others were right. I always thought I was fat in high school, and never understood how no one else could see this obvious truth besides me. Thanks to certain conditioning and wiring from our closest family members, we all have some very messed up way of thinking about ourselves, and I wasn’t left out of this little gift of humanity either. My mother made sure to drill it into me that if I didn’t watch what I eat and constantly obsessed about how much I consumed, then in no time I would become a fat beach whale and no one will ever like more, nor marry me. Well…. I might have paraphrased & exaggerated a bit, but you get my point.

So I was obsessed with how much I ate, and as every great teenager with an eating disorder, I made sure that I properly starved myself all day and night. Interestingly enough, the more I tried to lose weight, the more weight I seemed to gained. Then hitting rock bottom a few years into this masochistic habit, I gave up and I didn’t care anymore about my weight and body. Oh, well, actually, my biggest heartbreak of my life assisted me with this decision. Since my first love left me unexpectedly, I couldn’t look at food anymore and I lost so much weight, that my family was seriously thought I might had cancer. After that, being fat or skinny was the least of my worries.

Then other boyfriends came into the picture, and with them SEX also arrived into my life. With sex came nudity, and with nudity came awareness of the existence of ignorant manly opinions about certain body parts of women. I was around men enough to hear how they talk about women (although I gotta admit, women are not any better either, right ladies?! ) and thanks to that, I shifted the focus of my obsession from food to certain body parts. My boobs got the biggest limelight and also my vagina. They were too big, too unequal, too saggy, too big areola, too big nipples, too weird pussy, etc…

Any by too this or too that, I mean anything that didn’t look exactly like the body parts in porn movies. Since I didn’t get to walk around and check what’s under everyone’s clothes,  I had to get my information from other, “trusted” sources. 🙂

Then when I got tired o beating up myself for my intimate parts, I migrated up north to dissect the rest of my body. My belly button was a bit of an outie. Not sure when it came to my awareness that an outie is a horrible insult against society, and whoever has it should cover it up shamefully, but I remember how free I was before I knew about all these. Then I realized that my nose was humongous, my head was much bigger than the rest of the people on this Earth, and although my ears were too big –according to me, of course– I could hide that atrocity with my hair from the eye witnesses. My upper lip didn’t have that Angel’s touchy indent in the middle that everyone else happened to have, BUT me! Then my fingers were sausages, too short fingers, too robust palms. Not to mention the 11 lines between my eyebrows after I turned 20. Holy crap, could I obsess about them for hours after taking any photos of me?! My teeth weren’t perfect either. My butt was too small, too flat, too this, too that.  Can you believe I never wanted to wear a crop top, because of my belly button? How I didn’t want to get into the water because that would have required a bikini that I was not ready to wear, only because of that minimal excess tiny skin in the middle of my banging, 6 pack washboard abs, damn it. Can you imagine that I only wanted to have sex in the dark, and never let guys go down on me?
Good lord, how crazy  and self-critical can we be and how much fun I missed out on?

Yesterday at gymnastics class my 4 yr old (remember, FOUR!!!!) kept her sweater on and was uncomfortable the whole hour, but wouldn’t take it off for the love of her life. I asked her at home why she didn’t take it off and she said:
– Because my ARMPIT was showing in my leotard….
– And what’s wrong with armpits?- I Dared to ask.
– It sticks out (like a side boob) and has lines in it!!!! – answers a FOUR year old.
She is already self -conscious, but trust me, she didn’t get it from me. I have thankfully healed from this “not good enough” social plague already. There was a time when my distorted body image held me back from all the pleasures in life, but not anymore. I turned 30 when I realized what an idiot I had been for so long and consciously started accepting everything on my body, WITHOUT an exception. I showered ALL parts with loving acceptance and decided that no matter who says what, I am good the way I am.

My body has been such a loving, quite, accepting servant, vehicle for me from the very beginning. It takes me to places, it introduces me to delicious tastes, wonderful sights, warm, sweet smells, and soft touches and cuddles. It does whatever I tell it to do, and doesn’t complain when I abuse it. It houses me day and night, works very hard to heal itself when I mess it up with overworking it or not feeding it properly. It gifted me two beautiful and vibrant kids, grew them and brought them to this world, and fed them with itself for years.  It is doing it’s job without my supervision over it and never asks for anything in return. And I have been doing nothing for 30 years, but criticizing it and hating it for every little imperfection. Or at least, things I DEEMED as imperfections.

I said stop! It’s enough! It deserves something much better than that.

And I stood in front of the mirror, looked at it fully (I might or might not have been high at this time) and started noticing all the beauties of it. The long, beautiful hair, the pretty face, the mesmerizing ocean blue eyes, the long neck, the firm, toned arms, the flat belly with six-pack, the curves on my side, my perfect thighs, my toned calf muscles, my silky smooth skin, my fetish worthy feet and everything in between. And I fell in love with it. I became my biggest cheerleader, my greatest lover. And let me tell you, since then, I have had the greatest experiences of my life. I have experienced sex that’s just out of this world, tastes without guilt, the joy of movement and dance and art, and I wear that bikini now as if I had the most gorgeous belly button in this entire world.

I’m gonna keep doing this and I hope that not just my words, but my whole life will convince my little daughter that everything on her is perfect as it is, and she will be her own biggest admirer and cheerleader as well.

momy dau