under our clothes, we're all just naked

About a month ago, I happened upon a link to an article via Pitchfork's twitter,"Why are People so Mad About The Hotelier's NSFW Cover for Goodness," and to this paragraph, particularly: 

Unlike other recent NSFW covers, Goodness spotlights ages and shapes rarely seen on album art, naked or otherwise. The online complaints, like those that flooded Pitchfork’s own Twitter feed last week upon publishing our Goodness review, have been dispiriting, particularly the detractors who complain about the type of nudity: imperfect, unfiltered, human. In an era when nothing really shocks us, when nearly naked and highly sexualized bodies routinely grace album covers without even a second thought, seeing the desexualized nude forms that resemble how we will all eventually come to look—apparently that’s offensive. We only want lightly airbrushed body positivity, if at all. 

People were PISSSSSSSSED that real life (older) and very NAKED bodies were just... you know... existing in their natural state on an album cover. 

People were SHOCKED to see bodies. REAL bodies. AGING. SAGGING. BODIES. People were offended and angry that truthiness was on display... smiling like NBD whatever. 


There is so much going on in the world right now -- so much madness that I haven't even known where to begin lately. I have so many thoughts and words and they're all getting tangled... but in the end, I find a commonality to ALL OF THE ABOVE, and that commonality is FEAR and a seemingly universal INABILITY to see one another -- to recognize the SAMENESS in each other...

....There is something to be said for being surrounded by naked bodies -- there is a vulnerably to that -- a relief -- like, oh wait, we're all just flesh and bone... we're all just skin and fat and muscle and hair... we're all the same, even when we're not. 


I'm not interested in those who choose to shame Kim Kardashian for posting nude selfies but I'd be lying if I didn't admit I was equally tired of those who applaud her for her "feminist statement." If we're going to make REAL progress we need to give fewer shits about other people's bodies. 

In a country that prides itself on puritanical values, patting itself on the back for its ability to either shame or praise, it felt revolutionary to watch people do neither. Like, oh hey, there's a middle ground CALLED EXISTING HAPPILY IN ONE'S SKIN. 

Authenticity is the woman in the hot spring who’s taking her clothes off, not because she wants to make a statement, but rather because, what-the-fuck-ever. 

THAT's radical. 


We are at a societal crossroads. Hell, maybe every generation is. But for me, right now, this moment, feels as hopeful as it feels dangerous. I happen to think that our puritanical values as a nation/society combined with our inability to be transparent and honest (and fearless and non-judgmental) with one another has paved the way for those who FEAR AND JUDGE to lead. 

Our fear of judgment and shame has caused us to COVER ourselves in ways that are alienating -- we cannot come together if we are hiding our TRUE selves. 

We, as a species, worship perfection. Isn't that what God is? Not just the Judeo-Christian God but GOD in every. single. religion? Is it possible, that through worshipping so-called PERFECTION we are paralyzed when we realize it doesn't exist? In ourselves? In our partners and relationships and lives? 

Humans are imperfect. But like REALLY FUCKING FLAWED. That includes everyone... 

And yet, we seem to have very low tolerance, as a society for imperfection. We have no idea how to accept ourselves (and each other) for who we really TRULY are... We only know how to judge one another (and ourselves) against what we HAVE BEEN TOLD is right, wrong, beautiful, normal... 

Judgement is a great way to distract ourselves from our own denial. 

Here's the thing -- one cannot judge a naked body when she herself is naked, too. I mean this physically but also everythingelse-ly. It is very humbling to admit one's humanity. And you know what else? People like that in others. People appreciate when you say, HEY, WHAT'S UP, GUYS. THIS IS ME. I'M RAD BUT I'M ALSO A MESS. I HAVE LOVELY SHOULDERS AND LOPSIDED BREASTS AND CELLULITE ON MY ASS AND MY BELLY BUTTON HAS CAVED IN ON ITSELF POST-PARTUM BUT I ALSO HAVE THIS AMAZING BACK AND A SCAR ON MY SHIN THAT MAKES ME FEEL YOUNG AND INTERESTING...

So many of us are afraid to reveal the parts of ourselves we KNOW go against societal norms -- that are unusual, even strange... but the more we are able to reveal those parts--the more we are able to SEE that bodies are bodies--the better we will be at  RECOGNIZING  that we're all a bunch of human animals...

....I hope someday more of us will be willing to climb naked and imperfect into the hot spring so that we can all be naked and imperfect together and eventually forget to notice that we're naked and imperfect. We'll instead realize we are all just human beings existing at the same time, in the same place. WE ARE ALL JUST PEOPLE. Lopsided, hairy, beautiful, unfiltered ... different, the same, but TOGETHER.
(You can read my post in its entirety, here.