What I am doing is terrifying.
Every day, I take a nude photo of myself, write an inspirational message over the top of it and post it online in several different places. It is a project I have decided will last for one year.
One naked selfie a day—it is a huge undertaking, and I came by it in the way I come by my most of my creative inspirations: Quite by accident.
For many months, I have been in an open relationship with a man to whom I send naked selfies. Each day, I come up with different ways to pose and different accessories to wear so that I excite him.
When I first started taking pictures of myself, I was actually surprised at what I saw. I realized I had not really looked at myself in a very long time, if ever. I had been the woman who avoided mirrors. But things have really changed.
Very recently, I realized I had become very comfortable—more comfortable than I had ever been—with my body. I would actually look at my pictures, surprised and proud at how they turned out. I realized that the more familiar I became with my body, the better I liked it. Dare I say, I began to love it. I started sending out my selfies to the other men and women I was seeing. Generally speaking, my experience every morning would go like this:
- Take a picture of some part of my naked body
- Put it through some type of arty filter and crop it to create a more interesting composition
- Send it out to five or six people
- Receive many wonderful compliments regarding my body
- Be proud and happy about my body for the rest of the day
I realized that this daily practice was giving me what I had never had before: A body confidence that was almost bullet-proof.
I am always looking for ways to challenge myself; seeking out ways to improve by putting myself in situations that are just a little bit scary—but this is something that has resulted in such an amazing amount of growth, I feel like it is almost magic.
Since I began this daily photo practice, I’ve also started writing down my thoughts about my body. I started to see myself and everyone around me as beautiful. But I also saw that this was not a shared vision. Many of my closest friends were ashamed or embarrassed of their bodies. I wanted to help them. I wanted to inspire them. I wanted to motivate them to really see themselves. I wanted them to really see their beauty.
I decided I had to do it. Even if I could inspire just one person to see him or herself as beautiful, this year of inspirational selfies would be worth it. I am only two weeks in and I have already seen wonderful and amazing things. I have grown from this practice and I have also seen my friends re-consider how they see themselves.
There are many ways to start your day and tons of advice on how to start a daily practice. I don’t know if there is any one right way for everybody, but I can tell you with confidence that this practice will help to really look at yourself, even if it is only in the mirror. Even if it is only for a moment. Even if it is only for you.
Look at yourself. You are beautiful.
Author: Sara Young
Editor: Alli Sarazen
Photo: angela1_ca/Flickr & Courtesy of Author