Just my Thoughts

Are You Comfortable With Your Body?

Are you comfortable with your body?  This question is one that we should all ask ourselves.  We need to be comfortable with our bodies.  Don’t ask what brought on this little revelation.  It is not as if I did not understand that we need to be comfortable with our bodies.  I have not always loved mine but I don’t hate it either.  I am growing to love it more as I age.

Okay, so truthfully, someone I follow on Twitter was tweeting about posing for some naked sketches.  I am pretty sure I didn’t dream this up but maybe I did.  Then, I met a new friend a few weeks ago.  He is an artist.  I am an online freak so I decided I would check out a few of his older blog posts as I could see more of his art.  Having seen his art in person, I knew I enjoyed what I had seen so far so had no qualms about looking further.  After all, he is an artist.  Don’t artists want people to look at their art?

The post that caught my eye, most likely because I do feel the female and the male bodies are works of art, was one of sketches of nudes.  These woman were beautiful.  I looked at these just before going out on my run yesterday.  So what is running through my mind as I am running – especially once my mp3 player died as I forgot to charge it?  Could I do that?  No, I have not been asked to pose nude.  That is a good thing because I do not know that I am comfortable enough with my body for that yet.

So I wrote this on a Monday night, after getting ready for bed, and scheduled it to show up on Wednesday morning.  I travel on Wednesdays for work so this is a day I don’t always have time to write.  Here it is Tuesday morning and I am adding to the entry as I was back at Ben’s blog this morning.  Call me pleasantly surprised to find more sketches.

Anyway, the discussion in my brain – did you know I have people up there that talk to themselves? – went something like this.

Person 1:  You could do that.  Look you are out here running in quite a bit of tight clothing.  How is that different from naked?

Person 2:  I can’t be naked in front of an art class.  There are people there I don’t know or worse, people I do know.

Person 3:  You had no trouble getting naked in front of …. oops!  For the sake of the innocent, or at least those who are not me, I better edit person 3.

Person 1:  You are almost naked in your running clothing.  And I have seen what you wear in the summer.

Person 3:  Ask what’s his name what he thinks.

Person 2:  I can’t do this why are you all thinking I could.  I get very self-conscious naked.

You get the idea.  I didn’t just have a good conscience and a bad one on this issue.  I had several little Jiminy Crickets in my mind yesterday and they were distracting me from my running.  No, I didn’t stop running and didn’t even have a bad time.  I just couldn’t run fast enough to get away from them.

Okay, so maybe I am a closet exhibitionist or even a closet nudist.  The conversation, in the long run, just made me think about accepting one’s body for what it is.

25 thoughts on “Are You Comfortable With Your Body?

  1. Nicki,
    great blog post!
    I have been thinking about this a lot lately as I head toward 50. Wish I could say that I am comfortable with my aging body, but I am not yet! Can’t stand looking at what gravity is doing to my breasts and skin.
    When I was in my mid 20’s I posed mostly nude for an art class. It was actually quite fun! Back then I was much more comfortable with my body. In my 20’s I also used to go to Lake Empire (formerly owned by SUNY) where almost everyone was nude! Was an interesting way to meet people for sure! I doubt I’d feel comfortable doing that now.

    1. Strange as it may seem, Hollie, I am becoming more comfortable with my body than I was in my younger years. I was always very comfortable when I was pregnant but never when I wasn’t.

  2. I am a bit of a closet nudist myself. I hate getting dressed. I have no problem removing my clothing in front of people (although, except my husband, it would be women not men- more for religious issues than self conscious ones). I have always thought the human body as both sacred and beautiful.

    Also, when we were first married I did a naked sketch of my husband sleeping (his parts happened to be not visible in the pose he was in). I love that sketch, even though it slightly freaked out my 12 year old when she came upon it one day.

    1. I have to say I have no qualms about being around my home with nothing on. It doesn’t phase me in the least – even with quite a few windows that have no treatments or very little treatments. But around other people… not so comfortable.

      I agree that the human body is both sacred and beautiful, part of what got me thinking along these lines.

  3. Great post. Tricky topic. Why is it that so many of us (all of us?) have issues accepting our bodies? I don’t know. I think we all have different attitudes about exposing ourselves physically and emotionally. (I commented recently over at Amber’s that in many ways blogging is like virtual stripping, but maybe it is in fact more akin to virtual posing because the result is art, right?) Thanks for making me think on this Wednesday morning.

    1. Hadn’t even given a thought to the exposing of ourselves emotionally in this. I seem to be getting better at that so maybe being comfortable with my own nakedness will be next.

  4. Wonderful discussion here. I think I have some of the same people in my brain.

    We want to believe that we could do something so bold, and then our self-conscious nature takes hold. I’ve struggled with body image in some very significant ways in my life. But as I have gotten older I’ve become more accepting of my body for what it does, rather than what it looks like. It carried and delivered my son. It doesn’t wear out after a long day of working, errand running, or traveling. It recharges easily with a good night of sleep. It walks my dogs and tickles my baby. It has almost never let me down. So I try not to judge it for being less than perfect to the eye.

    1. I do think that I have become more accepting of my body as I have aged. I am not sure if it is because of birthing my children or some other reason.

  5. You brought up a good point in one of your replies to the comments… being pregnant.
    I would do if I was pregnant. Without a doubt.
    Now? I’m not sure. Part of me thinks I would, given the chance. After all, this body created two babies, birthed two babies, carries them on a daily basis. In the name of motherhood I guess I would 🙂 How bizarre does that sound?

  6. Actually, we really need a model for this sundays class – it pays $65 cash for three hours of posing. sunday 1-4pm in the commons and sometimes we go for drinks after. its a very relaxed and professional atmosphere. i help the models with finding good poses during the class. Its mostly letting your body settle in a natural and comfortable way – dynamic stretching sort of (for the 2 minutes poses) poses are great as well. lemme know.


  7. For religious reasons, I wouldn’t pose nude. I would feel comfortable, but I promised to keep my body sacred for my husband.

    I love to see my little naked children. They are so cute, so free, and so unaware. They don’t care if they have bellies, or fat rolls, they are just happy.

    I have a little award waiting for you on my blog. : )

  8. Glad to know I’m not the only one with extra people buzzing around in my brain!
    I applaud those who have the courage to pose nude (or not even pose but happily run around naked like my little guy) as I do believe that the human body is beautiful and nothing to be ashamed of.
    But more importantly, this great post of yours reminds me of something I’ve wondered about: why do we, supposed civilized Westerners, put clothes on while primitive people in say, Papua New Guinea and South America do without? Shouldn’t we modern people be freer?

    1. Those extra people don’t usually make such a strong appearance in my brain, Belinda. Running around naked I can do – in my own home. Still wrapping my brain around how I blush easily and being naked in front of people.

      I, too, have often wondered why we, and I use that as a term referring to Americans more than other peoples, feel the need to cover up so much.

  9. I read your post and then through all the comments wondering whether I would have the courage to pose nude. I think of myself as being comfortable with my body, but, to quote Charlotte from Sex and the City, “I didn’t grow up in a naked house” so I don’t know how far my comfort level would extend. To a public space? Hmm…I’ll be interested to see if you take Ben up on his offer.

    1. Seriously considering the offer. Just trying to see if I can work out some logistics on my end as #5 has to be taken back to college on Sunday.

  10. Like Kristen, this body is meant to have clothes on, unless I’m in my bedroom and the door is locked, keeping the kids out!

    But if your internal dialogue tells you that this is intriguing and something you’ve always wanted to do (and there’ll be no photos of you showing up on the Internet somewhere…) then I say, do what feels right.

    1. No guarantees of photos (who would want that?) and not something I had necessarily thought about until recently. I’ll let you all know how it goes next week.

  11. I’m comfortable with my body but not PROUD of my body if that makes any sense. I know I’m not heavy. I know I can wear what I want comfortably but I haven’t worked hard to achieve a strong, powerful, muscular body so it’s not something I’d want to show to others. I’m not even totally comfortable parading around in front of Tim. I guess I have expectations that I can’t meet when it comes to my own body.

    Great, interesting, compelling post Nicki. One that really made me think about how I view myself.

    1. It is hard to not be proud of our body. It does so much for us. I do have muscles – which is part of the problem. My legs are huge due to muscle.

  12. What a great and honest question! Honestly – is any American woman who has given birth happy with her body? Probably very few. “Comfortable?” Probably a few more. “Really comfortable?” Not so much. Just my opinion.

    But plop us in another culture that has a less ridiculous idea of what beauty is, and I will say that I am certainly more comfortable.

    Sadly, it starts quite young in this country. I look back now and realize what a beautiful body I had when I was younger, and didn’t know it. In fact, I thought it was very imperfect, because I was curvy during a time when thin-thin-thin was required. And 30 years later, we’re still doing this to young girls, except expecting thin-thin-thin with huge boobs.

    We do not do these things to our young men. Can’t we stop with the ideals of so-called beauty that are unattainable, narrow, and unnatural?

    Thus, my preference for taking my “real world” parts to other parts… as in Europe, where I am much more comfortable in my own skin. And no doubt, it shows.

    1. I don’t know that having given birth is necessarily an issue with women in the US and how happy they are with their bodies. I do not understand our culture, although it seems I have bought into it at varying times of my life.

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