Like Corinne said last year, it seems like I've invented a new religion. Or, as I'd put it, it seems like I've invented a new therapy or a new class (Naked 101). Whatever it is (and art, to me, is therapy and religion and education--like how do you separate those words anyway?) HBP feels like something we need to do once a week, I see a combo support group/church/reality tv show/contemporary art project.
I used to go to some 12-step groups and never fit into their definitions of dysfunction. I wasn't an alcoholic. I wasn't a child of alcoholics. I wasn't an overeater. I was, however, really miserable, lost and fucked up. I always used to say that we need a new 12-step group: Hi, I'm Tasha and I'm a fucked up human being. Like join the club, eh?
After Friday night I feel less fucked up. It started off with me coming out undressed and I have to admit that even though I felt a lot of trepidation about showing up naked again, it's just easier to do it after you've already done it. I didn't feel that vulnerable to tell the truth. Weird, definitely, but not overly vulnerable. The way we light the room for the cameras is kinder to my body, I would say, than my at-home lights. There are mirrors in the room. I didn't think I looked hideous. I wouldn't have called myself beautiful, but I also was not hideous. It's crazy, I know, but I was relieved not to look hideous.
I also was sitting there thinking, what, actually, is the big deal, really, being naked and all?
Then Jena joined me! She came out undressed and--kapow!--my first thought was: Jena is beautiful! I hope this does not offend Jena but I was taken aback by the strength of that thought. I am a person who is very indoctrinated by the idea that big boobs and long legs is the only female body worth having. Jena has short legs and small boobs and she is beautiful. Like I don't mean just in that loving sense that we are all beautiful, but I mean in an aesthetic sense. I have been held captive by my aesthetic notions for a long time. Seeing her beauty was a real eye-opener for me. My whole life I have wished for large breasts. I love big boobs. If it didn't mean loss of nipple sensation, I am pretty sure I'd get a boob job. I loved my breast-feeding breasts but, because of their toils in the work of breast-feeding, sadly, I didn't want my husband touching them. Anyway, in that moment of seeing Jena naked, she helped me see myself differently. Like I had permission not to have big boobs and skinny legs.
It felt great to have a pal up there! My whole point in a way is, hey, we're all in the same boat. It was nice to have someone in my boat, so to speak. Then Megan joined us and then Marie joined us. Four naked ladies. I'm hoping that Jena, Marie and Megan will post their experiences on this blog. For me, it was wonderful to be up there with three other completely real human naked ladies. All of the women are in their twenties (I haven't fact-checked this but I'm pretty sure). And not once did I feel the need to compare my body unfavourably. It really is powerful for me to have companions. Some people are fine doing things on their own but I've always enjoyed collaboration and group energy. I think my feelings of isolation and need for community have been a big reason for my sickness and depression/lostness/fucked-upness. So with the other women up there I settled into a really comfortable feeling of togetherness.
Jesse, a young man, spoke to us. One of the things he said has also helped me feel like, yes, I am on the right track, and yes, people do need this, because he addressed an important problem that I find really troubling. He said something like: I am less challenged looking at you guys than I am when I flip through the pages of a magazine. I can't remember exactly what else he said to elaborate but basically he was saying that when he looks at the way women are commonly portrayed he is uncomfortable but us four naked ladies in the flesh (three of them lovely women in their twenties) felt cool: because, I am surmising, we were not posed for the delectation of men. I feel so moved by the humanity of that. Like, finally, a man can notice that the way women are portrayed is inhumane! I've written something like this before, but what is with the fathers of daughters, husbands of wives, boyfriends of girlfriends, and brothers of sisters that this is fucking news?!
I was also very moved by Megan's words, which, again, I can't fully recall. One word she used to describe the experience is purity.
I'll continue this in my next entry.