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Proud Naked Women

Even though there's so much talk about respecting how people wish to be viewed- sexuality or gender- I don't feel there is as much discussion about loving one's body. One's naked-for-comfort-not-sex body. As much as we talk about self-care, more needs to be said about loving that body. It's the vehicle we experience the world through. My friend Shemora reminded me of this. It's so true. We don't just need to have self-care to learn about breathing and calming our mind, we have to embrace ourselves. If changing that vehicle is what brings grace, do it! This isn't about being static. This isn't about our bodies never changing. They sometimes have to for health and wellness. Wherever our body is at, we should feel whole. Most especially when we are truly alone with ourselves, in our nakedness. Not for something sexual (though of course that's fun!), but just to be. It's sad that we need to close the blinds or shutter the windows in most places, not because of weather, but because we need privacy even to strip down to our skin, our most natural state of being. The Japanese photographer, Yuri, takes nude photos of women to simply show them their own beauty in themselves. As she says in an interview on the show Five Frames, in Japan, it's not common to feel valuable as a person, or to feel proud of your own body as a woman. She has 2 books of photography out of nudes of everyday Japanese women who contact her to be photographed, and she's had to deal with comments such as, "This porn sucks". Not everyone is going to get it. And I think it takes time to get comfortable in your own skin. I was a massage therapist for 5 years and one thing I learned was that the older a (cis- sorry that's where my experience is limited!) woman is, the way more comfortable she is naked! Hell, these ladies would start undressing before I was even out the door to let them get cozy! lol. But younger women? Teenagers? Good Goddess, they were so weirded out. (At least until they were comfy under the blanket once I let them have alone time.) Some might see this as funny, but there was a shame within it, a deep sense of embarrassment that just made me sad During adolescence is when all the media focus on clear skin and fitness and looks really takes hold. And this continues into one's 20's and even later, depending. We all know there is social pressure, especially in the US where I live, but there's so few places to go to get away from it until you can have your own sense of agency, which takes years. Sometimes it never lets up in certain people's situations. I could see it in my clients then. I saw less of it when I visited friends in Europe. Nothing like getting to other countries to see how much US social construct was built by those damn Puritans! When I was in Japan it seemed so crazy to go with other female co-workers to a hot spring to get naked and soak. But it's wonderful! (I miss it so much!) However, when women and men have to intermingle in Japanese society, that sense of self that can be soaked in at onsen is often lost. And if you don't fit into those categories, fuck. Anywhere it's hard. But fuck. I can't solve it all, but I can say that each person has the chance to hug and love themselves and their body. It's with us our whole life so we might as well cherish it! <3 Link to see more of Yuri: https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/ondemand/video/2095007/


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