Silly Body Image Stuff

While I seem to be on a developing-some-comfort-with-skyclad kick, I thought it might be nice to give a gander to the Internet to see what others have written.

Of course, I found a lot of flat-out plagiarism and a lot of ill-conceived essays, but I did easily find two nice essays.  One of which–“What’s With the Skyclad Thing?” by Jenett Silver–I found particularly great in that it approaches skyclad from practical, theological, and sensitive angles.  In fact, she even has a small section on how skyclad can be especially odd for the transgendered in our community–something that doesn’t get much discussion, I think.

At the close of her essay, Silver offers an exercise to help develop body comfort.  It’s a simple activity, and I thought I could manage it here.

If you want to try and get more comfortable with your body, you can try this exercise. (Only requires you and ideally a mirror.)

  • Stand in front of the mirror if you can. Naked. (You don’t need to do it when anyone else is around if you’d rather not.)
  • Look at yourself. Closely.
  • Name at least 3 things you like about your body. It’s okay to start small, or to start with something like your eyes or your hair if that’s easier for you.
  • Repeat. Every day for a week, if you can, but as often as possible if you can’t. Try not to repeat stuff (though you can repeat a part of your body.) Try going a month if you’ve done a week.
  • Don’t just use your eyes: think about how you take in information (Do you love your sense of taste or smell? Do you really appreciate music? Do you love running fingers over velvet or silk?)

I really love the color and texture of my hair.  It’s a weird shade of light brown that has a lot of blond and a lot of red in it–someone once called it chocolate strawberry blond, which I thought was a little too fanciful, but very sweet nevertheless.  It’s also very smooth and silky, and I love to play with it.  In fact, I’ve taken to avoiding products like mousse and hair spray because I don’t like how it changes the texture, even just for a day or so.  I really do love my hair.

I’m also quite a fan of the birthmark I sport on my right hip.  It’s this sort of rectangle maybe three inches long and one inch high that is a few shades darker than the rest of my skin.  It was a lot more prominent when I was younger and–as I recall–got darker yet when I ran around in the sun.  These days, I haven’t run in the sun for, oh, maybe two decades and it could be easy to miss my birthmark if you saw it in a darker room.  Still, I love it.  I’m the only one of all my siblings with a birthmark, which is sort of nice in its way.

I also really love this mole I have on the side of my left big toe.  I probably had it when I was born, and it reminds me of a cute little beauty mark.  I sort of think of it as my own private touch of whimsy.

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