Get naked. Fully, wholly, holy as nothing but just the body you! Find a time and place to strip yourself down to the bare nubby greatness that you are simply as you are designed. Remove every stitch of clothing, makeup, or false teeth for instance if you have them. This is about taking special time to organize a love affair with yourself. I’d like you to make out with a mirror. Not literally. I mean to stoke your inner flame. I’m recommending a heavy dose of foreplay with yourself as you see yourself looking back at you and by careful personal exploration. There is no time like the present to fall in love with you.
I lost multiple minutes of my life a couple weeks ago while philosophically strangling my self-worth as I examined my fingertips. I’d had a usual whimsical moment of assumed photographic brilliance. A tiny fleck of hole-punched paper drifted onto my temp work desktop. I glanced and saw the shape of the moon in the scrap. Adding an interesting background, I placed the crescent strip atop my pinky, next to my dainty heart-shaped silver ring, and began to snap away. I was eager to post a story about the feminine, the state of our current astrologically and astronomical moon cycle while hinging it all together about bodies and the lunula ‘little moon’ on each of our fingers.
I was appalled when I looked back at the closeup selfie photo shoot. I began ripping myself apart. I felt my fingers were stubby and fat, a ghostly white spotted with unsightly sun blemishes, and full of wrinkles. I even attempted a second round of photographing, only to irately determine I was still disgusted with myself. I refused to save any of the images, promptly deleting all of them permanently and went back to work. Late that eve it struck my core how callous my interrogation of a small piece of me was to the overall credit I was as a human being. These were only a couple fingers, for God’s sake!
I’m sure if we could all lather up together in nothing but our sudsy best that most would use the bubbles to conveniently cover up quite a few bodily regions we aren’t so delighted to deal with, much less ever allow to be seen. Routinely it’s my large hanging boobs, thunder thighs, pale sun-blotched skin, not-so-white teeth, tummy pooch, flappy upper arms, or lack of fingernails enough to paint. I’m laughing reading this back aloud, as it’s both true and crucificial. I want what I’m not all too often. I envy ballerinas lithe toned legs, a tanned flat stomach that would make me want to wear my piercing again, and models supple perky breasts where their nipples poke out and up without instead hanging to the gravitational realms of the floor.
I’ve logged hours consciously plotting potential childbirth for caramel colored skin or even darker shades by wanting, and dating, some men of much stronger skin color tones than I was ordained. I consider this a hot commodity, pun intended. The idea that I might create a human who looks better than me I’ve belittled to bits is a prime example of the depths of disregard we can have for our own dignity. What is not to love should include the obvious hall of shame: discrimination, inequality, racism, hate, war, poverty, or horrific acts like genocide, murder, and rape.
Whether it’s all or just some parts of you which you don’t appreciate, I’d much rather live in a world without humiliation. There is nothing quite so vulnerable, while immensely alluring, as a naked body. The anatomy of loving begins with you. Finding even a nugget of praise for yourself can ritualize the entire process of remembering to accept your entirety. I know there is something about you, even the teeniest morsel of your being, which you can believe is worthy. Try to begin there if beginning at all is a fragile feat for you to surmount. One of the most seductive acts of loving myself is when I give myself permission to watch myself masturbate in front of a mirror. We must first respectfully love ourselves before we can properly love others.
So, getting back to that mirror and the inches of discovering the best of you is vital. I’ve made myself stare for hours at this woman who looks back at me. I acknowledge candidly that I know I admire my body more readily when I weigh less. These are repetitive vows to get back in shape if I’m not currently in order to revert the higher scale pounds that register. Still, I’ve found I do love her eye color best. Then there are those times her wavy multi-colored sun-splashed hair cascades perfectly around her oval face and the tease of freckles that used to be prominent in her youth reeks of cuteness. I am proud of my vagina for what it can do sexually, but most royally kegelly, or the ease with which I exalt sensuality openly. I bask in the breadth of my intensely imaginative mind and keen intellect, the brain behind my skin and bones. It may not be everything about me I can champion every day, but it’s a loving place to start.
I’ve hinted before about a fated summer where I worked naked almost the entire time. I helped take care of a nudist villa overlooking the clothing-optional French beach below. It was a fantastic time full of personal discoveries. Am exceptional peculiarity I found in this buff environment was the second-natured reception of anyone exactly as they were in the raw flesh. These persons didn’t discard you for the thinner or prettier gal. Everyone authentically mingled based on the content of who they were and what they enjoyed. People were taking the time to get to know one another and they weren’t quickly jumping into bed together. It was a revealing time mentally and physically. The entire adventure heightened my sense of what I considered beautiful or important about myself and in others.
Through my process, along with film and later the advent of smartphone technology, I’ve added a layer of loving me through selfies originally meant for me only. Sure, there have been enticing times I’ve dared to share my anatomy with fellow humans intimately, even in the sexting selfie world, but taking pictures of me for me helped launch a different level of self-love. Becoming a member of the movement to improve is a revolution I wouldn’t mind taking over all the poop we pile onto ourselves. Bring on all the arms we can get. And by arms, I mean limbs in all their varied colors, shapes, and sizes.
I’m on a mission for the adoration of all my — and your — body parts, as well as finding our best mates match in that. Here’s an anytime occasion to have a ball (or two, ha ha) with dating. One of my precious practices, when entangled in a new courtship, is to chronicle the number of ways I savor this new human with whom I might be falling in love. Those dimples on his lower back that match the ones on his cheeks, the sparkle in his eyes when he debates aloud if he thinks I truly can wrap my head around his conversation of leptoquarks, or if I just get all moist over geek speak in general. I’ve found in my last decade that loving any others for the spots about them that I dote on or am absolutely nuts about makes a sweeter opportunity to receive the same in return too.
Repeat after me, à la Louise Hay inspired: I am sexy. I am stunning. I am worthy. I am priceless. I love me!
You are a body beautiful.