It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of Nikki and Heather’s amazing blog Vagina Antics.
They write witty, informed, embedded-in-reality posts about their sexual explorations, their relationships, and what it means to be a sexual woman, today, in the Western world.
Their honesty and frankness are refreshing in a time when we are fed so many false images and messages about women, bodies, and sex.
Heather recently wrote about her feelings of seeing her flesh bulge while she was taking part in a rope bondage scene. Alongside her fascination (and pleasure) she had to tussle with her negative feelings at having a body that bulged. As she noted: all bodies – thick or thin – have bulges when tied with rope. Nonetheless, she still had to come to terms with her body bulging.
As part of their ongoing mission to help inform and entertain, Nikki and Heather have recently launched their “Heart your Favorite Part” positive body image project. They invite readers to send in photos of their favourite body parts to feature on their “Wall of Hearts” gallery.
I was invited to submit two photos.
It was an interesting experience! What was my favourite body part – and why?
My own body confidence has been (and will continue to be) a journey from comparing my body negatively to other bodies, to appreciating the uniqueness of the changing body I live in.
Maybe I’m lucky that my body has never looked like the “ideal” bodies we are shown by the media. I’ve always been fat (give or take 40lbs – because that’s what happens when a person yo-yo diets). I’ve always had stretch marks and scars (both arrived during puberty). And I’ve always had wonky teeth.
Once I got past the initial jitters of sharing my body intimately with another person, and discovered all the pleasures that came with giving myself permission to be sexual with the body I had, I realised that – actually – my body is alright.
It’s not perfect (and, to be honest, I don’t think I would want a perfect body) – but it’s alright.
So, when choosing my parts to heart for Vagina Antics’ Wall, I decided to focus on parts that – conventionally – don’t meet up to the standards ‘society’ tries to demand of a woman. Of course there are many parts that would fit into that category but I opted for two of the most obvious ones: my belly and my boobs.
Like Nikki and Heather, I want to encourage other women (and men) to feel good about their bodies. To paraphrase Amy Bloom: we are all imperfectly flawed and we are all beautiful.
Or leave a comment below to share your own body image stories.