"All concerns and fears reside in this body, are felt in my viscera, captured in my attention, sparked or amplified by thought – collected from the past and stored in my tissues." 


Something odd occurred to me as I was preparing for this shoot: I pretend my body is not how it is – my tummy and my sides are just a temporary fluke – easily covered by a loose fitting top until I finally get interested in fitness and when I’m no longer so forgiving of myself for my love of sweets and ice cream – and then my real body will show up.  It seems ridiculous to say it, all things considered. And yet the interesting part is that I have thought this for years, irrespective of how fit I was, how well or poorly I ate, or how committed I was to my gym schedule. It came almost as a revelation that this has always been my real shape


What happened was I had been thinking the photo shoot could be set up so that my midsection would be hidden from the camera and only the parts of me I really like can be exposed. Completely contrary to what I set out to explore with this project. What kind of stunt was I trying to pull? I already committed myself to being naked on the internet, and I was still trying to hide. I asked myself, what else have I been hiding, pretending it is not really me? What else do I cover about myself, the way I cover my stomach with a baggy top?


That at times I feel needy, that sometimes I worry my friends will want less of me than I want of them, that I try really hard to come off as intelligent, and that being sociable comes with so much work that I worry I will never be able to accomplish what I want to accomplish. All of this I try to hide and none of this is distinct from my body. All concerns and fears reside in this body, are felt in my viscera, captured in my attention, sparked or amplified by thought – collected from the past and stored in my tissues. This is the form I’m constituted by, how I engage in the world, the shape I gesture with. How can I hide my core, my tender belly, where nervousness takes place? Nervousness! The emotion that says so much about what is important to me.


The photo shoot was terrifying, silly, and eventually freeing. My best friend Joslyn followed me through the house with her camera as I preformed my beloved morning routine, this time naked. Sitting beside her at the kitchen table after the shoot, I pretended I wasn’t surprised, pleased, or disgusted by what I saw as we flipped through the shots. I just looked. "Huh". Without having to say anything she assured me that bad lighting is a foe to the human body. Hiding is exhausting. She picked some nice photos.

















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