Expecting our Little Brother in November!

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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Public and Private

I'm very open, obviously. I don't have a problem with being honest and forthcoming about my experiences. I think it is important because I learn SO much from other people who are willing to share their personal stories and experiences, and I want to help other people by doing the same.

Once I went to California to visit my friend Mariclare. I was a bit more of a spread-the-love hippy type at that point. I even had dreadlocks.

One night we went to this place. It was just a house, but it had an expanded backyard that included a (very hot) hot tub, nice walking paths, places to sit and mediate, etc.

Anyone at all--actually, any woman, or any man who was accompanied by a woman--was welcome to come to this guy's house, use his hot tub, and chill in his backyard. Neither of us knew him or who he was, we just got the password for the gate (a keypad lock) from another friend of Mariclare's who had been there before.

So we went--and I don't know if it was a rule or just custom, but everyone was naked in the hot tub. It was very dim and . . . cozy. Comfortable. So we were the only ones there for awhile (or maybe someone was just getting out when we got in?), but after while some girls came and joined us.

We didn't speak to them as I recall, but it changed my self-esteem greatly. Why? Because for the first time in my life, I saw naked bodies like my own. With lots of hair (everywhere), cellulite, small boobs . . . it impacted me SO SO much. Because of the common portrayal of thin and buxom flawlessness in the media and magazine articles, I felt as if my body was flawed and ugly. But then I saw the same (seeming) imperfections in someone else, and all of a sudden a great sense of normality and belonging descended over me and I felt comfortable in my skin in a new way. I thought of that night over and over in the years that followed. It was a turning point for me in terms of how I felt about myself.

On the walk home we discussed the owner of the house's motivations in having this setup. Maybe he had a video camera set up and just watched all these naked girls and got off on it, you know?

But it didn't matter to me at all, in that moment. Because of his openness, I learned something very important.

I brought this up because my most frequently viewed post is this one. Gee I wonder why? Maybe because there is a picture of my almost naked boob on it? I get at least 20 page views on THAT post every day. And I thought a long time about how I felt about that. I thought about taking it down.

But you know, the pervs of the world don't control me. Does it really matter if they like looking at my boob picture? Sharing as openly and deeply as I want gives me great pleasure, and many people have commented that different things that I have shared helped them.

And where would I draw the line? My Bradley instructor was shocked that I felt comfortable sharing my birth story publicly . . . should it be something private? I never thought so, but apparently others do. There are LOTS AND LOTS of things I post on here that others wouldn't feel comfortable sharing, but I honestly have no problem with it because I feel so strongly that being open helps others.

Many years ago, I realized that I was normal for the first time because I was willing to strip down and get into a stranger's hot tub with a bunch of other naked girls. Now I might have evolved a bit, but I'm no less "naked" when I share my son, my husband, my love, my thoughts, my feelings and opinions and LIFE on here.

And I'm not going to take down my milky boob.


J said...

I got your back, Love. Keep on posting!

Anonymous said...

that is such a sweet, full baby picture - It is hard for me to imagine it as anything but that.

justadrienne said...

Thanks guys. :-)

Amy said...

Good for you! And anyone who looks at BREAST FEEDING as sexual needs some serious mental help. Boobs can be sexual, not denying that. But when you add an infant into the picture that should NOT invoke sexual feelings. Gross!

A said...

Your openness is one of my favorite things about you! I can talk to you about anything and I know you won't judge. Please don't stop!

mariclare said...

newsflash: you're still a spread-the-love hippy type, and i like to think that i still am too. ;)

also, i'd STILL go to that hot tub and get naked given the chance! ain't nothin' wrong with being naked around other consensually naked people, if that's what you're into.

laurengould said...

It's sad that Americans are so uptight about being naked. I am not saying I am not modest, because I am shy about my naked body, but I wish it were different. It is def an American thing though, Europeans are so much less uptight about it, for example.

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