A few years ago I saw an ad on Facebook, “Models Wanted. No experience preferred.” I clicked on it. I had a secret desire to be a model, but didn’t think I had the looks to be that person. But more deeply, because I didn’t really embrace my body all that much.
In fact, I was uncomfortable in it a lot of the time – unless I was doing something athletic. But put on dress, and whoa, AWKWARD. Feminine, AWKWARD. Make-up – really AWKWARD.
Not because it wasn’t me, but because of what I believed about being feminine – it was weak, dainty, shameful, and not to be flaunted.
I can say now those beliefs are shattered to the wind and I couldn’t imagine seeing life from a more opposite perspective, but yes, that’s how I saw the world at that time, and me in that world…
So back to the Facebook ad. After I clicked, it brought me to this page that said, “Looking for everyday women who have never modeled to produce quality glamour pictures for a photography class.” Hmmm. That sounded interesting.
I met with the photographer, palms sweating. He brought me through a slew of photos I could choose from to be modeled as: totally clothed, partially clothed, lingerie, or totally nude. Gulp. Totally nude, “not going there” I said in my head.
It was bringing up all kinds of baggage I had around my body, and it’s exactly why I was there.
I went lingerie shopping with a friend (who decided to do this glamour shoot too), and I can say I’ve never had so much fun shopping, picking out lacy and extravagant undies and bras. I had a sense of liberation, but not totally yet.
Then the shooting day came. I had my hair and makeup done professionally for the first time. Whoa. Is that me in the mirror? I drove to the studio. Gulp. The tightness in my stomach increasing. I walked in, he said, “You can go change in there.” I said, “Into my undies?” “Yup,” he replied. Gulp (for the 10th time – my mouth getting beyond dry).
I’ve climbed vertical ice, I’ve skied gnarly terrain, I’ve been 700 feet up on a rock face, I’ve hung in a crevasse, and I’ve been in storms where I didn’t think I’d come out alive, but this, being in my undies in front of the camera, was about as nervous and uncomfortable as I’d ever been.
He started shooting. I wanted to go hide in a corner. He said to lay on my back. I tried curling into a ball. He encouraged me to relax. I slowly began to.
There was no going back now. And I noticed something. As I began to relax, I started to be IN my body more. I started to see myself differently. And several weeks later, when he showed me the pictures on a big screen, tears came to my eyes. Wow – I had never seen myself that way before. I looked beautiful, sexy, and amazing.
Flash forward to this past weekend. Tango dancing. The dance that has done a lot of what the glamour photos have done for me – teaching me how to be IN my body – and be IN my femininity. How to OWN IT.
It’s part of why my word for 2014 is sensuality. I want to be even more in my body. Which happened this past weekend. I walked into the dance and said to myself, “Angela, believe that you are the most sensual woman on the dance floor.”
That’s all it took. I embraced my body, the moves, the accents, and the poise – for 3 solid hours. I’d never felt that “embodied” dancing before, and at one point the words came into my mind, “I LOVE being a woman!!”
Whoa. Now there’s a change in my beliefs.
I finally got what Eduardo Goleano meant in this quote (I have on my fridge):
The Church says: the body is a sin
Science says: the body is a machine
Advertising says: the body is a business
The Body says: I am a Fiesta!
What if you allowed your body to be a fiesta? What might come out? What part of you might be expressed?…
Categories: Feminine Power