My post on ‘Are women becoming more comfortable with their bodies?’ seems to have struck a chord with some of our readers.
One comment on that question was answered by Hontouniheart, whose own blog is here, and I thought the words were so wonderful, in their honesty about the dilemmas facing many women. ‘A mixed bag of feelings’, she says, and that’s a familiar refrain from many women. What Hontouniheart says also leads me back to what I said recently about the way in which men describe women (even those photographed in naturist settings) as ‘whores’ or ‘sluts’ or ‘bitches’.
The naturist community, I think, (and the male naturist community in particular) has a responsibility to take up the fight to eradicate such descriptions of women. Such terms have no place in society, and certainly none in association with naturism.
Hontouniheart’s words are not, perhaps, entirely positive from her perspective, but they are brave, strong and honest words that should not be ‘wasted’ in a simple comment at the bottom of a post, hence my decision to republish her words as a standalone posting.
I’ve been in the clothes free life just since last fall, so still new on the block. I have experienced a mixed bag of feelings around my body.
When on my own, outside of social media, I’ve gotten more comfortable with my body by practicing naked yoga and, from there, expanding into doing the daily things clothes free: dancing around my place, writing, reading, cooking, cleaning, sleeping, TV, chatting on the phone, etc. I’ve become more comfortable with my body touching the air touching my body. There are times when I still look in the mirror and shift my squishyness and curves around, thinking, “Should I lose more weight? Am I fit and cute? My butt is STILL big. Ok.” But rather than obsessing for long periods of time, they are now passing moments.
However, when I get online, it’s a different story. If there are females depicted in naturism in the blogs and tweets and so forth that I see, most of the time they are young and white. And of the posts that come across my feeds, when folks talk about the “beauty” of naturism and use similar qualitative descriptors, beauty is usually embodied by a young, slim white lady… not men, not older folks, not other races, not larger bodies…or at best rarely. And, for me, porn doesn’t help. To me it feels like slim white women are still most often the ones depicted and desired. And in these observations, I’m not saying that there is anything wrong or bad about people’s attraction and so forth. I’m just thinking about what stands out to me.
There are also the times when people (men and women, usually men if the posts I have encountered) comment on a woman’s body. That makes me really uncomfortable. “Nice breasts.” OK…so her breasts are nice. Is that all people care about? I’m not here for opinions. I’m here to connect about clothes free life. I don’t want to think about how my tits look, about how my skin isn’t “fair” and radiant like the next woman’s, how in 20 years nobody will want to talk to me, because my body might not be taut and “beautiful” like the young fair girls’ body. It’s like, that’s not how I interact with my colleagues and friends in my everyday life. I don’t go up to them and say, “Nice butt! Wanna have lunch?” No, I greet them and we talk about what’s going on that day or what’s coming up in life. And have lunch.
So for me, it really is a mixed bag of emotions. It feels like whatever confidence I build outside of social media, when I’m on my own, is immediately tested when I open a screen, and often times I crumble under the pressure, what with my newness and still growing in my life.
So outside of the media, yes, I feel like I’m getting more comfortable with my body. Inside this internet world? No. It’s the pits for me, personally.
Inspiring words, Hontouniheart. Thank you so much. I have things I’d like to say (and touched on them in my introduction), but I won’t muddy the waters by throwing them into the mix here. Instead, I would like our readers to reflect on your powerful words and contribute to the debate -one that also impacts in a SL perspective, an element of which I’ll pick up in my own further commentary in a subsequent post. Once again, Hontouniheart, thank you so much for your words.
I also recommend that readers click through to Hontouniheart’s own blog. Each article contains words that are inspiring, both from a ‘body confidence’ perspective and also from the perspective of someone new to naturism, wonderfully describing the path each of us takes in our own way. An inspirational blog, I would say.