This photo, this caption, has landed me in Instagram jail more than once. I haven't been in jeopardy of loosing my account (as many other sacred feminine creators have been) but my posts were blocked from reaching people outside my followers. I kept disagreeing with the decision, but today I made the choice to delete it. In many ways it goes against my better judgement, but at the same time, being able to reach more women so I can share my message is so important to me.
The thing that bothers me the most, is that this caption was incredibly powerful. My message here was important. So I've chosen to share it here, along with the comments, and to explain why I care about posting nude photos.
Everything about my body used to trigger me.
When I started going through puberty I couldn't even look in the mirror.
I showered in the dark and when I had to touch the parts of myself that were changing to clean I was on the verge of a panic attack.
I got my period when I was 11. I didn't want anyone to know.
This is when boys started calling me a slut and my mom told me to wear a cami underneath white t-shirts.
Soon, I started staring at myself in the mirror.
But not to honor the miracle that was my body.
Instead I analyzed her.
I counted the ways her bones stuck out.
I wrote lists of food I was allowed to eat and made workout plans to make her smaller.
"You carry your weight in your thighs," they told me. And then turned me in when I stopped eating lunch at school.
And so, I dedicate this moment to that girl.
The one who was scared.
The one who felt like she wasn't good enough, skinny enough, smart enough, sane enough.
So she knows her worth.
To tell her she will find joy and peace and acceptance in her own skin.
I threw away my clothes to show her how she shines.
I let the sea lap against my thighs, I called the sun to my heart to RECLAIM my body as MINE.
Each curve of my flesh is beautiful.
Each inch of my skin.
Each drop of blood from my womb.
My body is beautiful, it's powerful, it's incredible.
And it belongs to me, just as yours belongs to you.
There were more kind comments, shares, likes, saves, even increased clicks on my website link. As a small creator, this was a popular post for me. More importantly, I was incredibly proud of these words and I wanted to spread the message out in the world that no matter what you experience with your body, no matter how you view your body, you can always, always, come home to yourself. You can always reclaim your body as your own and give yourself endless amounts of love.
But why do you have to post naked photos to share this message?
You're right -- it's not a "have to", but I feel that it's deeply powerful.
Can you imagine what it would be like to grow up seeing images of natural women happy in their bodies?
From SUCH a young age we are bombarded with images of women that are edited, smoothed out, and completely falsified. Their body parts are used to sell products, they are portrayed as far skinnier than the average woman (even if you're small), and even if we think it doesn't have an impact on us, those images of women's bodies imbed themselves in our brains. It comes out as criticism of yourself or other women, unhealthy views of food, hiding your body under clothes, being afraid to show your skin when you make love, and the list goes on and on.
I always thought that looking at the skinny models in fashion magazines didn't have any impact on me, but it truly did. I felt nervous to be in a bikini around my friends. I felt like I needed to call out when I was bloated or too pale, like if I stated what I was insecure about other people wouldn't be able to use it against me.
Of course, when you constantly think negatively about your body, bad energy begins to manifest within you. For me digestion problems popped up again and again, hormonal issues flourished, I was weak and unmotivated.
As I began practicing yoga everyday, learning about how to eat for my Ayurvedic Dosha, getting off birth control, and diving into Goddess spirituality, the way I thought about my body began to change. I remembered that I was strong. I remembered that I deserved rest. And slowly but surely, many imbalances I was experiencing began to heal.
Soon, I stumbled across beautiful female empowerment photography accounts. I was completely enamored. I'd never seen such beauty and nature in the female body, in my own body. The magic of this art jumped out to me instantly and I spent hours completely mesmerized by these beautiful women. This led me to an even deeper connection with my own body, and a deeper love for my body. Because if these women, who had texture on their skin, softness in their bellies, and breasts that came in countless shapes and sizes, could be empowered in their own skin, so could I.
This feeling grew exponentially when I went on my first women's retreat. As we danced naked around the flames I saw the Goddess in every woman. When I saw a woman fully expressed in her truth and sensuality with her curves, I realized that I could be expressed and sensual with my curves. When I saw a woman whose breasts I thought were perfect I realized that they didn't look so different from my breasts. When I saw the Goddess in every woman around me, I was reminded that the Goddess is within me, too.
THIS is my why.
Even if ONE woman sees a little bit of herself in me and it helps her to love and accept her body more, I will feel like I've done my job.
This is the frequency I want to hold out in the world:
Authentic, raw, womanhood.
In keeping with that spirit, here is the unfiltered version of my photo. Pale cream skin and all!
This is unfiltered happiness.
So, beautiful babes, let's show our skin to the sun. Give our thighs the gift of fresh air. Let our stretch marks sing and our jiggles rock freely with the sway of our hips. Let our muscles and bones work in tandem. Let our blood pour from our wombs down to the Earth as it was always meant to be.
If you're longing for MORE uncensored, nourished womanhood, I invite you to explore NOURISHED. An intimate group mentorship container I am launching for the first time in Summer 2023!