Body Love: Real Women are 3D
But now I know: I know that fat or thin, mature or not, our bodies wouldn’t give us so much unease if we learned their place in the rainbow spectrum of women. (…) A little natural togetherness would show us the Family of Women, where each of us is beautiful and no one is the same.”
Gloria Steinem, In Praise of Women’s Bodies
In cultures where there are saunas, sweat lodges and communal baths, rituals of pampering and purification, women regularly see each other in the nude. Au naturel. No underwear, no bathing suit, nothing to mask the body. Nothing but the natural, everyday, real beauty of the female body in all it’s infinite variety. All shapes, ages, sizes. Here in North America, we rarely get to experience this everyday intimacy with the female body.
Our psyches are flooded with images. So many flat, photoshopped images of women twisted in flattering poses. 2D images. And what happens when we see our own bodies, in isolation, in mirrors, flat reflections of our bodies, un-posed, un-photoshopped? We can’t compete with those images. Of course we can never, ever measure up. EVER. Because we are not those images. Because we are not an image, period. We are 3D. We are flesh and blood and bone, beating hearts, bellies, lungs, sexes, arms that enfold, legs that run. We are real, and magnificently imperfect. All of us. Sisters.
Real women are 3D. We are all real.
Down-to earth, made of flesh and blood, scars and miracles.
Divine. Because our beauty is our soul embodied.
Last year, I had the experience of being up-close to many, many nude women. It was incredible. So many women, so human, so real – it was an initiation into the down-to-earth divinity of the female body. Seeing such diversity, such uniqueness put my own body into perspective. I was in awe. I realized that day that I am different, yet I am the same as every woman on planet earth.
Not a single one of the women around me looked like the images in ads and magazines. Not. A. Single. One.
How could I keep feeling unworthy when all around me these women seemed worthy to me – their bodies so full of life, energy, and love? I realised I was perfectly, beautifully imperfect, just like every woman there! I got out of my judging head and into my accepting body. How could I hate my cellulite, when I was seeing it in the flesh of so many of the women around me? Normal, real flesh. One woman called them her ‘delicious dimples’. Now that’s ownership. That’s power.
I didn’t always feel this way, of course…
A few years ago, right after my 13 year relationship ended, I feared that my cellulite and my 40 year old body would mean no man would ever find me desirable again! Life proved how wrong my beliefs were: I spent 4 years with a man who adored my most divine, dimpled ass! (How many women have companions who love their bodies – but can’t fully receive or believe it until they begin loving themselves?)
Today, I reconnect with my beauty every time I practice sensual dance. I’ve stopped worrying about what other people will think. I am a goddess. Right off the bat, I tell the men I’m dating that I’m a goddess… and they usually agree! Those few fortunate men who get the privilege of seeing me unclothed like who I am and like my curves. My confidence in the down-to-earth divinity of my body makes me even more attractive. It allows me to enjoy myself more, to relax, to say yes to more pleasure.
And when I catch myself being critical of a certain part of my body, I send that part love. I remember that I am much more than my parts. In fact, I feel beyond any narrow definition of beautiful. My beauty is about wholeness – seeing the whole package of me. Being all the facets of me.
My naked self is beautiful. I am a woman, and that is enough. I am me, and that is enough.
My body knows she is enough.
You, too, are enough. You are a Goddess.