The trend is ever-growing. Men and women (and teens) are posting photos of themselves nude, half-nude, in some sad attempt at proving their self-worth, confidence, and to “attract” likes, loves, and … ?
How does one believe that a woman who has the need to post naked pictures of herself online, for the world to see, is “self-confident”? How is such an attention-seeking behavior considered “confidence”?
I don’t play with this whole feministic view that our bodies are playgrounds and we should be so unashamed of our sexuality and our bodies that we are willing to become sex toys or objects. I reject the idea that casual sex is a “freeing” experience. I dispute the validity of claims that one who is “open and free” with her body is one who is also “confident and self-respecting.”
Now, let me make a confession: a little while back, I considered a photo shoot (yes, nude). I inquired. I received a response. All I had to do was set the appointment. I could have used the money. And at first I thought, “Maybe this will help me gain some self-confidence and see myself the way others say they see me. Sexy. Beautiful.”
But as with all my decisions, I knew I needed to take the time to think it through.
My body is not intended for the viewing pleasure of every horny (wo)man alive. It doesn’t matter whether it is a perfect body or not (and I assure you, it is not). It doesn’t matter to me how many click the like button or send me a message to tell me I’m beautiful (or not, as is sometimes the case). How I view my body is not going to change simply because others say it should.
Briefly, I thought that perhaps the compliments I MIGHT get would somehow erase the negativity I have been subjected to. I thought it might erase the image, forever burned into my brain, of the red ink circles drawn on an old picture of me, to show where I was “wrong.” I thought, maybe, I would magically feel better about myself.
In the end, I knew those were simply the wishful thoughts of someone who had been broken down. Putting myself out there that way wouldn’t gain respect. A plethora of dick pics? Probably. Men who wanted to use my body for their own instant gratification? Sure. Likes, lewd comments, and the knowledge that more people had seen my skin than I could count? Definitely. But to give me a “new outlook” on my own body? To make me “feel better?” No. Sadly, no.
I don’t want to be that person. I don’t want my daughter to grow up and realize that I was that person. I don’t want to be a hypocrite. I don’t want to be the woman that another points to when she tells her boyfriend/husband to stop liking the disgusting selfies of some little Facebook whore after she has cried tears into her pillow, questioning why he stalks other women on Facebook and neglects her needs. That’s not the face I want to wear. I don’t want to be “just another naked body” in a sea of naked bodies online. What value does that have?
But sadly, the society we live in today is plagued by the idea that there’s nothing “special” about seeing a person naked. There’s nothing significant, even in having sex with another person. It’s all about instant gratification. People give what they have to give in order to receive what it is they wish to receive. And in the process have lost all dignity and self-respect.
I am a romantic at heart. I believe in love. I believe in connection that is deeper than sex. And, yes, based upon the sexual experiences in my life, I believe that sex without connection is worthless. I am perfectly aware that others disagree. And you won’t see me running around pointing my finger and screaming “whore” at everyone who believes differently than I do. But I do believe that those who engage in casual sex, especially with strangers, are not doing so because they get an unimaginable amount of satisfaction from it, but more that they are soothing something within themselves that they have no idea how to otherwise soothe.
So … perhaps I will post a selfie now and then, just to show who the person behind the keyboard is. But you can rest assured that I am not a Facebook Supermodel (or whore, however you want to state it). I am not “confident” enough to post pictures of myself nude. I do not want, nor need, “likes” that bad.
I am just ME. I love to write. And I share what I write with the hopes that someone out there will read and realize that they are not alone in their situation or their thoughts. Because truly, there is nothing worse than feeling as though you are alone in the way you think – that others have lost sight of what you believe is important. I share because I know, somewhere out there, someone else is thinking what I’m thinking and wondering, every day, if (s)he is the one who needs to change to fit the mold society is creating or if maybe, there is a place for her/him in a world that has gone batshit crazy.
Or maybe, I write because I need to know there are others out there who think the way I do. Maybe I am the one searching for my place in a world who’s views are so drastically different from my own. Maybe I am the voice of the one who is batshit crazy. Maybe I am the one who needs to change to fit the mold.
But for today, at least, I say no. I won’t rely on the “likes” and compliments of strangers on the internet to make me feel better about myself. I won’t beg for attention by showing off my naked (or almost) body. And I will not trade my self-worth, my beliefs, or my values for instant gratification. I don’t need a thousand followers who are here just to catch a glimpse of what is under my clothing. I am more interested in those who are waiting to catch a glimpse of my soul.