A southern girl in the Pacific Northwest

Ah, budgeting. My trip is approaching, so I sat down this morning to move around the dates of when stuff gets paid, to free up more money for the trip. I think I can make it work, especially if I curb my puzzle-buying. Ahem.

The weather is beautiful here today. Wendy tasked me with movement, so along with obsessively cleaning my house I’ll get out and walk.

But what I really want to talk about today is this amazing (really, as in, inspiring amazement) body image project: The Expose Project. Let me interject right here and say that this project is women in various stages of undress, which may or may not be safe for viewing wherever you might be.

Here’s what it’s about, a blurb, I might add, which gave me goosebumps.

When was the last time you opened up your browser and saw a beautiful image of a body shape that looked just like yours?

When was the last time you saw an image of skin markings that looked just like yours? When was the last time you saw an image of breasts that looked just like yours? An ass that looked just like yours? Scars that looked just like yours? A belly that looked just like yours?

We all know that what we see in the media isn’t the whole story. It’s not representative of all of us. And because of what we see (or rather DON’T see) we start to believe that we are the only one with our particular stretch marks. Our uneven boobs. Our scarred legs. Our asymmetrical nipples. Our belly shape. Our body hair. Our what-ever-it-is-that-you-don’t-see-on-display-any-where-else… Rarely do we see our beautiful and complex combination of body parts that makes us magnificent.

So much of the female body that we see is pushed up. Pinned down. Sucked in, tucked in, and airbrushed. It’s only presentable state is when it’s altered, and so when we look at ourselves in the mirror (naked, untucked, and vulnerable) we say “My body must be wrong.”

Your body ain’t wrong girlfriend.

News article about the project: http://mic.com/articles/96300/a-photographer-showcases-the-98-kinds-of-real-beauty-you-won-t-see-in-magazines

One of the women who participated wrote a column about the experience: http://3storymagazine.com/jes-baker-and-liora-k/

The Militant Baker is the blog of one of the founders of the project: http://www.themilitantbaker.com/

I love this, because as a woman who has had many many many relationships with other women, romantic and not, I’ve seen the incredible diversity of bodies. But even so, I look at my own, which is flabby and dimply in places, heavy, and I am SO UPSET by it. There are reasons for the upsetness which have way more to do with my own issues with self-blame and perfectionism, but I see all these happy, smiling women and I don’t hear the same monolgue in my head that I do when I look in the mirror. Interesting.

(it seems to come back and back to holding myself to a different standard than I hold everyone else.)

I wanted to share this with you guys, because I think so many of us think about this stuff, sometimes with despair (I know I do) and this project is really an opportunity to try on a different way of thinking. Plus, it feels, at least to me, a little bit revolutionary to scroll through all these pictures of naked women and feel a kinship.

The Militant Baker says in another post:
“See, there isn’t anything wrong with having “pencil thin legs” or “sharp collar bones,” as many may suggest. Bodies rest at different weights naturally; some of us are small and some are large. Simply a fact of life.

Seeing tiny bodies in our media isn’t the problem; the permeation of the thought that smaller bodies are worth more is. Not only because it’s simply not true, but because it affects all women whether we know it or not.” (emphasis mine)

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