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August 31, 2015

Please Look at my Naked Body. {Nudity}

Flickr/Larry Neuberger

I kept my eyes down most of the time. I tried never to draw attention to myself. I wore baggy grey clothes and ignored anyone trying to get my attention by, god forbid, calling my name.

I skipped school.

I never looked in the mirror.

I felt physical pain whenever I caught an accidental glimpse of myself.

The pain of the memory of my childhood dragged on me. I used to be cute. People used to love to look at me. I used to be the little blonde girl with the bubbly laugh. I had become the awkward young woman with the acne covered skin and bubble butt.

I turned inward. There was nothing else I could do.

For years I lived my life so I would not have to look at myself. I closed my eyes while having sex. I spent as little time in the bathroom and as much time in dimly-lit rooms as possible. I did not own a full-length mirror.

But over the course of twenty years, some of those things changed.

I eventually became more comfortable with the way I looked. By my thirties, my acne all but cleared up and all of the physical activity I had happily thrown myself into ensured that I had a fit, strong body.

But I still couldn’t look at myself.

It wasn’t until one of my long-distance lovers asked for a picture that I had even considered taking a naked selfie, and when he had suggested it, my initial reaction was both physical and emotional: I shuddered and became very depressed. A week later, I decided I would give it a shot, and if I didn’t like what I came up with, I could very easily delete the results and forget it ever happened—maybe discontinue this particular long distance relationship for good measure.

At the time, I lived in a sweet little cabin with an impressively overgrown backyard. I took off all of my clothes, put on my pink wig and dark sunglasses and gave it a shot; I turned on the camera’s timer, very carefully hopped over to a less-than-comfortable wicker chair, and posed.

tumblr_n8h8b43IcA1tgxtt8o1_540After I heard the shutter go off, I sat there trying to get my courage up to look. I was terrified.

After several minutes passed, I stood up, picked up the camera, and hit the “review” button. I was absolutely shocked at what I saw. At first, I couldn’t believe it was me, then I decided it might be because the screen was so small that maybe it made me look different than I actually looked, so I transferred the image to my desk top and took a look. Holy crap.

I looked lovely. I couldn’t believe my body looked like that. How could I not know? How could I have missed it for so many years that I was actually… gulp… beautiful?

In that instant, I was hooked.

I started sending naked selfies out to all of my lovers, and started taking some just for me. The more I did, the more I loved it, and over time, I watched my body change.

The transformation was subtle, but I could see that the more comfortable I became with my body, the better it looked to me.

Eventually, I saw the value in this; I saw the bigger picture—this practice had infused my life with a calm confidence I had not known before. I felt proud of my body.

So proud, in fact, that I cried with relief when I realized it.

I had gone from this intimidated, invisible young woman to a confident, free adult. I felt like if I could learn to love my body, I could learn to do anything.

So, I did.

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Relephant Read:

Why I Took a Nude Selfie & Might Just do it Again. {Adult}

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Author: Sara Young

Editor: Toby Israel

Photo: Author’s Own // Flickr/Larry Neuberger

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