Skip navigation! Story from Take Back The Beach. Briana Hernandez. There I was: naked, standing in front of my mirror with my iPhone in hand, desperately trying to find the best angle of my butt.
Taking a nude selfie is like a game of whack-a-mole. You tuck it in, but then your face is doing something weird. You relax the duck lips, but then, where did your left leg go?
Tedious as it was, taking nudes on that particular evening was a labor of love — self-love — and an opportunity to challenge myself by doing something terrifying: posting them. Now, I get that this could be a super scary endeavor for many people. Showing someone your body makes you vulnerable in a plethora of ways.
More to my point, I am definitely fat enough that the sight of my nude body is still a novel and shocking thing to our society. Posting a nude selfie is simply more dangerous for me.
However, I did find a space that made me feel safe. It was a closed, all-female Facebook group. These were intersectional feminists who loved makeup, music, and fashion, among other things. They talked about relationships and professional development. They offered each other support regularly.
And yeah, they showed each other their boobs. And I was right. Emotions happened after this. Self-doubt for sure, but not about my body. I had been there and done that, and had made too much progress for even outright insults to truly affect my pride. So what was I really mad about here? Besides, no one said I was un attractive. These women had become my friends, and they all had nice things to say. They had different things to say about my body, different from what they were saying about all the other bodies. That was the real issue.
It "others" us. I do, indeed, have the cutest giggle ever and look pretty damn adorable in bunny ears. Before you tell a woman you love the confidence it takes for her to show her body, picture her as a thin, white, cis, able-bodied, young woman. Do we ever say these things to women like that? When someone praises my confidence, I understand part of that comes from acknowledging the courage it takes to show an underrepresented — and, frankly, hated — body type. But the narrative has to change. We have spent far too much time focusing on the dangers of daring to be seen while fat, queer, differently-abled and of color.
We need to start lifting these bodies up. We need to start validating them. They should. These are words that belong to everyone who wants them. It's your body. It's your summer. Enjoy them both. Check out more TakeBackTheBeach here. Think about all the things you Googled in What is perineum sunning?
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