As a woman, I’m a product of this culture that promotes both youth and beauty, as the highest of values for women.
Impossible-to-achieve standards, that even top models cannot compete with—they, themselves, cannot compare to their own images.
I succumbed to this pressure, to be loved, due to perfect-beauty, as an 18-year-old. I was bulimic until I was 39. A slave to a false standards that nearly destroyed me, in trying to achieve and maintain it.
I received healing then but the pressure to be beautiful, continued.
I’m a late bloomer.
I didn’t feel comfortable in my skin, and blossom, until I came into my sexual peak, in my early 40s. Finally, I felt and therefore looked, beautiful, from the inside-out. I have my moments, of course. I am 51, bore eight children, survived divorce, and rejection, and heartbreak, and aging—all the ravages that come with life.
And yet, I see my beauty.
One evening, I felt this poem well up within me. I wrote it out, no, it gushed out of me, in about 20 minutes. I realized that it had to be read, out loud. I did it nakedly as that best manifested the raw vulnerability with which I exposed my soul, to the camera and therefore to others.
And so, I dare to share my bareness so that it may perhaps be a catalyst for others to also see their own beauty.
Shalom and Namaste.
Dena Brehm is a lifelong seeker of truth. Previously stuck in Christian fundamentalism (where, first they took out the fun, then they took out the mental, so all she was left with was “duh”). Dena has questioned everything, including her own questions, for the past decade. Mother/mentor/model to eight off-sprung-ones, for whom she demonstrates, messily and out loud, how to follow their bliss. Artist, actor, writer, poet, dancer, yard-saler, dumpster-diver and soul-explorer. Dena has only begun to delve.
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Asst. Ed.: ShaMecha Simms/Kate Bartolotta