Your Own Kind of Beautiful.
When was the last time you looked in the mirror with confidence or honesty and said, “I love you,” to your reflected self?
Years ago? Moments ago? Weeks? Never?
Years ago, one of my good friends was continuing her battle with her self-esteem and with being cozy in her own beautiful skin. I challenged her: every single day, look at yourself in the mirror and say, “I love you” to yourself.
Focus on one part at a time if it is too overwhelming like, “I love my thoughts on agriculture,” “I love my nose,” “I love the way I smirk when I know the answer in class,” or “I love the way my eyes show my honesty.” Then build up from there.
A lot of people ask me how I got comfortable with my body.
“When did it hit you?”
“How are you so damn happy and don’t care about what other people think?”
“How are you so brave to be naked in your book?”
I think it is simple and complex—there isn’t just one answer.
First off, I’m not interested in a fake dialogue with media and the superimposed expectations those affiliates put on us—or rather, that we invite into our homes and hearts. Stop watching crap. Stop reading crap that makes you “incomplete.” Stop buying products that make you feel like you need more of something else.
Secondly, each person is unique and your uniqueness is real—the faster you accept it, the happier you’ll be. Trust me.
Last month I decided to shave my head. It was a 4 a.m. decision with my artistic partner and roomie Chena (who is also my talented photographer). We were philosophizing in the wee hours of the night and taking turns sketching each other.
What features did we focus on in our drawings? How did we capture the angles of our cheeks or shape the lines into perfection? Being open. Being open to the moment and each other.
The week before my book launch, I dyed my natural hair color to reflect my favorite color, pink, complimented with black. Afterwards I felt odd.
I’ve made so many conscious steps to taking away my masks over the years, why did I, spur of the moment, go back?
I wanted my natural hair color back and it would take years to dye it out and it would be ruined. The fastest way was to shave it and let it grow back. Also, I’ve always wanted to have the experience of being a bald woman.
In junior high, I wanted to shave my head for cancer but I was moving to a new city and afraid of what people would think. Then, after high school I wanted to, but working in a professional world seemed incompatible.
As we clipped my curly locks, I felt freedom. I felt at peace. In a meditation break, my whole heart broke open.
I hope that everyone in the world will feel this secure in their own bodies. I hope that this kind of beautiful is contagious. I hopes that this kind of peace is a shared experience.
In a chapter of my book, “The Belly Behind the Laughter,” I tackle the complexity of my experiences relating to my positive body image. I’ve had men lust over my large breasts, and comment on my belly. That is unacceptable. I love all of myself; I expect you to do the same. I’ve noticed over the years as I respect myself and love myself more, other people do as well.
One of my favorite songs is called “Ball Cap” from Mother Mother. If you take the moment to connect with these sexy lyrics, to me, it represents all of our desires. We all want to connect. We all want to be vulnerable to another person.
I’ll lose my ball cap
Well, only if you expose your loose fat
You know that beauty’s only skin deep
Well, baby, baby, come on and skin me.
Every time I listen to this song I think, “Won’t you get naked with me?”
I expose and celebrate myself in nude photography because I want to be honest with others and myself. I want others to be inspired to get naked.
Your kind of beautiful is unique and real—enjoy it.
Tanille Geib is a lover of humans. She just wrote and published her first book, Love & Cooking, The Erotic Cookbook. Tanille has produced over 280 artists in the past 10 years in all disciplines. Tanille is a writer, cyclist, producer, yogi, director, tea sommelier, entrepreneur, fundraiser, artist and passionate cook.
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photos: Chena San Martin
Assistant Ed: Terri Tremblett/Ed: Brianna Bemel