A post from our Project Manager @rosiehopes
One of my sister’s old boyfriends tells a story about when he arrived at our house from the overnight train as a shy 18 year-old and my mum sleepily answered the door- completely naked. She then made him a cup of tea (still naked) before going back to bed, where she rightly should have been at six in the morning.
If it was possible to die of embarrassment, I think my sister might have. But looking back, it’s pretty funny and despite the embarrassment, I’m overwhelming happy to have been brought up in a naked household.
I am so glad that I grew up knowing what a woman’s body looks like when she’s borne and breastfed four kids. Don’t get me wrong, my mum kept fit and had what was once called ” a lovely figure”. But it was real. She had an old-style cesarean section scar and a natural shape. I never noticed, but there was probably the odd stretchmark in there too.
I should also point out that I wasn’t brought up in a naturist community or anything like that. It was just that my parents refused to treat their bodies like something to be ashamed of. The main reason to cover up was the lack of central heating in our draughty old house.
I have five sisters of all shapes and sizes, but we are all basically comfortable in our bodies.
I can only imagine what it would be like to reach puberty, or become a mother, when your only image of women’s (or men’s) bodies is the nonsense we see in the media.
In our Mind Waves blogging training last week, we talked a lot about media, social media and body image. It’s no wonder so many of us feel bad about ourselves. It’s very easy for us to get angry at the impossible, airbrushed images that young women and men are bombarded with. But maybe it’s a good idea to focus on what we can control.
I’m not suggesting that we all answer the door and make a cup of tea naked. But let’s stop running from the changing rooms to the swimming pool before anyone sees us. Why do we conceal the parts that we all have that don’t fit the perfect-body mold?
We have to ask ourselves what message we are sending to each other when we hide what we stupidly call our imperfections from our best friends.
As for my own kids, I’ll continue to embarrass them with incidental nakedness. We’ve got central heating and even double glazing these days, there’s no excuse.