It was one thing to drop the robe, but afterwards I got to see myself through other people’s eyes.
“Hey, are you still available for life modelling?”
I had completely forgotten that I signed up to model naked in front of strangers.
Months ago, my friend alerted me to a body and queer positive life modelling class happening locally and suggested I put my hand up to try it out.
I had always been interested in the idea of life modelling and the same friend had done it for years and always spoken about how much fun she had found it, so I thought “Why not?”, texted back, “Yes” and then promptly blocked it out.
Until the text message, asking if I was still interested arrived.
My stomach dropped a little. I was scared just getting the text, let alone thinking about the idea of having to actually have my bits out in public. It was terrifying to me.
But this is my year of challenging myself so I texted back my continued interest.
In the past 10 years or so, I have been getting more comfortable with body neutrality and trying not to mention mine or others bodies in anything other than a neutral way. I have spent so long working to the point of getting to be ok with my body, instead of being at war with it. There are days when I feel great (when I am dancing, or boxing or running) and there are days when I hate it (when my endometriosis flares up or when I have to buy jeans or swimwear). These extremes I go through aren’t helpful for my mental or physical health, so what I like to aim for most days is neutrality.
Modelling naked was going to challenge those extremes AND the neutrality.
As the day got closer, I was nervous and made sure my body was freshly groomed and I was wearing a full face of makeup. I arrived at the art studio and took note of all of the artists that would be staring at my naked body. It wasn’t until the facilitator mentioned they were still waiting on the model that I realised I hadn’t actually introduced myself.
I have always had a little theatrical streak, so I did some weird form of jazz hands and announced with a flourish: “Hi I am here! The model!”
Original publication 15 November, 2019
Posted on NatCorn 27th November 2019
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