"There is something raw and basic about playing the drum that enables me to completely absorb myself; nothing exists around me apart from the rhythms, the vibrations, the reverberations as they travel through my body." 


Since adulthood I haven’t had many issues with being naked, having lived in places like Japan and Germany where communal baths or saunas are commonplace. What I have had an issue with is feeling good about my own naked body. This discomfort has only intensified since this, my second pregnancy. I have gained an unnecessary amount of weight, and it’s all been my own doing with a less than healthy diet. Despite my husband’s protestations to the contrary, I have never felt less sexy. So I decided to take part in this photo shoot in order to explore those feelings and see if there was any way I might feel differently. My body has, after all, been through some wonderful experiences – bearing one child and currently carrying another.


I managed to miraculously avoid stretch marks the first time round, however my efforts at avoiding them this time have been in vain. Despite an everyday routine of moisturiser and oils, angry red marks have appeared on my belly. I’m still not quite sure how I feel about them. There seems to be an increasing trend in social media of women posting pictures of their post-partum bodies, scars and stretch marks displayed proudly. They paint pictures of bodies that have nurtured life and how wondrous that is. I still can’t seem to shake the feeling of these marks being a blemish on my already fragile grasp of the sexiness I should feel that mostly eludes me. I’m hoping this may change after taking part in the shoot and seeing the pictures, and after baby arrives.


I wanted to include my Japanese drum (Taiko) in the shoot as I have never experienced a more all-encompassing release from any stress or worry of life than when playing Taiko. Even just touching the stretched cow-hide that is the skin of the drum (which is interestingly best made from a heifer that has calved once or twice) gives me a feeling of completeness, serenity and peace. There is something raw and basic about playing the drum that enables me to completely absorb myself; nothing exists around me apart from the rhythms, the vibrations, the reverberations as they travel through my body. We sometimes place mirrors in front of us to check technique and form. Never before had I done that naked.











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