4.4
January 30, 2015

I used to be Afraid to be Naked. {Adult: Nudity}

naked bum

I posted a photograph on Facebook today of my naked bum, arms stretched wide, hugging a fifty foot waterfall, saying this:

I used to be afraid to be naked.

I used to be afraid to have the most vulnerable, private parts of my body breathing.

I would rather they be safe, covered, held up by fabric and silk.

I liked the way my bum & bits looked in underwear, more than naked.

I liked the way my breasts felt, supported by a bra.

I liked to be naked with the lights off, where the only way to see me was with finger tips.

I now love my naked body, out loud. I’m proud of it.

I swim naked.

I garden naked.

I do yoga naked.

I sleep naked.

I grind coffee beans naked.

I dance naked.

I cook naked.

Being naked isn’t sexual to me. It isn’t flirtatious. It isn’t desiring of attention.

I love my whole skin, each inch and love letting the wind and sunshine kiss each cheek, hello.

A reader commented on the photograph saying that I had written an article some time back about skinny shaming and how it was just as bad as fat shaming. She went on to say that if a fat girl were to post a picture like I did, that it would be taken down as vulgar instead of being celebrated as liberating and beautiful.

She sent me to some articles about thin privilege and recommended I read them before getting on my high horse again. She finished her reply claiming that if she posted a photograph like this, she would not get the same respect and admiration.

I couldn’t help but call bullshit on this one.

However eyes choose to devour a photograph of myself, or any women, regardless of her waist size—is their choice. I could give a damn if this photograph gets praise or admiration. If I get unfollows or complaints.

Someone reported it on Facebook, and it will likely be taken down within the hour.

I bared it all today to explain a message on my journey as a two-legged human, something I find valuable, vulnerable and important enough to share. About loving oneself, about being comfortable in the skin we are given.

The message was pure and beautiful and wobbly in the knees.

As a writer, my authentic experiences are all I have to give.

Today it was my bare ass and some encouragement to dive into loving each inch of our skin.

A message on joy, a message on openness, a message on vulnerability.

I will not bow down, hide or mute myself to make the world feel more comfortable in their skin.

I will not, ever, apologize for being who I am out loud.

My hope for our entire world, is that we can become comfortable with people being comfortable in their skin and that we can all join one another in being who we are, out loud.

Without judgement, and without shame.

 

Relephant:

I am a Thin, Beautiful, Privileged Woman.

What “Real Women Have Curves” Actually Means.

 

Author: Janne Robinson

Editor: Catherine Monkman

Photo: Author’s Own

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Sara May 21, 2015 8:52pm

I applaud your confidence. Not many, even with society’s “beauty”, are blessed with confidence in themselves. And the few that do, don’t have confidence but cockiness. And that is much uglier than most people would believe. I wouldn’t care if you were five hundred pounds, cellulite galore and with stretch marks the size of streetcars, I’d still do a double-take and give a small, silent cheer of delight. All my life I’ve struggled with the issues of self-confidence, and to this day I’m afraid of stepping outside to go swim in anything less than a one piece with a shawl, sarong and with my feet fully covered. I noticed some people on here do remark on the fact that you’re within society’s views of beauty; so what? Beauty is in every person, doesn’t matter your weight/body shape/smooth or not smooth skin/ect., what matters is what you d about it. So good for you for having confidence in being naked; I only hope that I will finally shake off most of my own insecurities and be as beautifully confident as you! Cheers! <3

georgiawilder May 6, 2015 4:11am

I wrote a piece just yesterday-ish, elsewhere, about being the view. This article resonated with me just now, so I thought I'd share..

I was day-dreaming as day-dreaming happens: 'So, I'll sell that script for squillionty-billion and then there'll be a floaty turreted castle with community gardens and workshop artspace free for all right up on top of a hill, la la la…' as I was walking around town with my boy. I looked off to the horizon and there was the very perfect hill to imagine my turrets and peach orchards and writer's retreats, but my imagination stumbled. I don't think of my imagination as being the stumbling kind. It's expansive and stretches itself often. But as I looked at the hill and thought of a thing, (yes, a luxurious thing), for myself, it stumbled. 'It'd have to be mostly underground,' it whispered, 'and fit in with the trees,' it mumbled. 'There are real sheep there that you're imaginary towers are intruding on.' So, instead of shying away and thinking of other things; instead of allowing myself to be thoroughly distracted by the pleasantries of reality, (which is indeed marvelously pleasant) I followed the discomfort. I picked up its thin red cord and traced it back to its source. I realised that I've felt this way before – going out to parties, going to gigs, playing gigs (!), stepping out in public, going to the school gates to pick up my son – the low-level nag of 'careful now,' and 'make sure you fit in,' was ever-present. The overwhelming 'don't be weird,' had been crushing me for years.

It's so common it's almost a cliché. Don't be weird, you have to fit in. Conforming and striving for individuality ends up being a tightrope we balance upon with the threat of … what? Public humiliation? The embarrassment of our families? Isolation? Being misunderstood? All of that. And as a teenager those things overwhelmed me, thoroughly. But, it appears that instead of getting over it, I subsumed it; made it a gauntlet I ran daily, quietly. So quietly I almost stopped hearing myself: 'go underground,' I whisper, 'fit in,' I mumble. 'You're imagination is intruding.'

It comes from the discomfiture of generations gone: a family heirloom passed down with crocheted blankets and the cracked porcelain tea service. I look down at my son, so beautiful in his expression of who he is, so guileless and clear in his right to simply be and I make the decision that this foot-binding of creativity goes no further. It ends here.

I strike my best superhero pose (Linda Carter's Wonder Woman, hands on hips and staring off into the distance, my illusory cape flapping behind me) and say, 'We don't need to blend into the view. We are the view!' To which my son responds, 'Yep. This stick would make a great dragon tail.'

Daryl Morazzini Mar 11, 2015 7:49am

Wonderful! Brave and brilliant!

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Janne Robinson

Janne Robinson is a 21st-century feminist beat poet. Her voice haunts with the legacy of early feminists and poets such as Gloria Steinem, Charles Bukowski, and Jack Kerouac. Her no sugar shit prose cuts with the honesty and simplicity of Bukowski and the romantic reliability of Kerouac. Her poetry leads like a woman, walking with fire in the footprints of Steinem—breathing sexual liberation, choice, and overall championing women to their birthright of not only equality but leadership.

Robinson notoriously states that her career is to “share slabs of her heart for a living.” Her ability to capture the human experience with unrefined sincerity makes her an incredible force in the modern landscape of personal expression.

Her loyal following of enthusiasts on social media are there not only for her brutal honesty and lyrical grace but also for her lifestyle, which is a mirror of her devotion to joy and refusal to work to work to work to die. Robinson’s films and art shit on the societal “shoulds” and norms and encourage people to ‘build their own box’. She is an outrageous idealist and master at effortlessly marrying the life she wishes to live with her work, and this enrages and inspires many who believe they are trapped.

Robinson’s foray into directing and the multimedia world was in directing a spoken word poetry film in NYC involving 18 women reading the lines from her poem, “This Is For The Women Who Don’t Give a Fuck.” The film was a viral sensation online and was nominated for the 2016 Cannes Corporate Media & TV Awards.

Janne is very much so crowning at the beginning of what is and will be a triumphant career, and she has begun so with the hearts of millions indebted and watching as it is rare to stumble upon a woman who makes revolution nature.

You can connect with her on Instagram or at her website.