A few weeks ago I had the honor of speaking at Ignite Fort Collins After Dark. For my speech, in front of 200 or so community members, I got naked.
Photo by Stacey Palm Photography
For my presentation, I shared nude photos from my boudoir photo shoot last year. I wanted to show my photos because in our society we are inundated with just one or two types of body ideals, and anyone that doesn’t fit those ideals is shamed- privately and publicly, personally and professionally.
In my early twenties I was sitting on the floor with a co-worker’s nine-year-old daughter. My skirt bunched up just a little around my thighs and my co-worker’s daughter said to me, “aren’t you embarrassed? Your gams are showing.”
This nine-year-old girl, with a beautiful and thin mother, had every reason to believe that all women were and should be ashamed of their bodies.
A former boss told a co-worker that she needed to lose weight because “no one wants to buy anything from a fat girl”.
These are just two stories of personal and professional body shaming and I have many more, as I’m sure you do, too.
I shared with the Ignite audience my age, weight, and size- 40 years old, 195 pounds, size 16 dress, respectively. What do these numbers tell you about me? How do they define me?
I didn’t get up in front of 200 plus people to defend my body or make excuses for my life. I stood on that stage to show them that different types of bodies can be and are truly beautiful. My body is beautiful.
Your body is beautiful, too.