Our bodies are battle grounds for people who will never have to live in them. As long as you live in a body that is not cis, abled, white, & male? Someone’s going to spend a lot of time, energy, & money digging into why you’re wrong for existing. They’ll fight each other over what’s wrong with you & fight you over any efforts you make to love yourself. We’re all supposed to vanish (see 95% of future fiction), and leave them to a world where they can compete to be their own heroes, while we stay mythical villains to be destroyed on sight. Staying alive, staying visible, that’s all it takes to be radical in a world that would rather erase you than acknowledge your humanity.
I want to take naked photos. I haven't because my skin isn't smooth enough, my body isn't tight enough, my lighting isn't clear enough, my background isn't pretty enough. I'm not good enough. Really, that's what it boils down to, isn't it?
But when I see bodies that look like mine, my world is changed. When I see rolls and curves and fat spilling over. When I see tits that sag and bellies that hang. When I see nipples that hide and mons that cover slits. When I see myself in others, I feel represented. I feel real.
When I look at pictures of myself, I'm surprised. I live in this body but don't always know what it looks like. I've spent so many years avoiding mirrors that it always comes as a minor shock. But I don't look at those photos with loathing or shame; just curiosity and interest. A fat girl, fully dressed, living life. No more, no less. And the more I take and see, the less unusual they become.
I want to take nude photos of myself in order to normalize my body. Not for others but for myself. I want to look at them over and over and over again until I see nothing surprising or shocking. Until I can look at them with a simple smile. Until I can see the beauty in them that I see in others. Not because it's perfect. Not because it's flawless. But because it's human. And because it's mine.