Photo by Debra Lopez
I reject the notion that posing nude or scantilly clad is a an expression of our bravery...in reality I believe it's driven by a kind of self-contempt and feeling of unworthiness that we're constantly trying to avoid.
As I look through instagram and see folks taking new headshots at the speed of light or posting 100's of photos of themselves in various dressed to kill, impress or seduce poses; I remember graduate acting school. I recall how much mildly talented actors were rewarded with stamps of bravery when they went nude on stage.
I can't help but correlate the need to be nude with the "mildly talented" part of the equation. It's a stand in for something important from within: self-worth, personal excellence. Acting schools and the industry reward nudity. As if somehow when you take off your clothes for a role, you're co-signing the Universe's decision to make you fearfully and wonderfully made. That somehow you need to convince the world of this fact instead of yourself.
The posing obsession is a way of avoiding the deep, scary work of going within and convincing yourself of your worth, your loveability. I call it work because dismantling all of the limiting beliefs that your family and the world have handed you is an act of FIERCE BRAVERY. It requires action, work, determination & courage
It ain't just an affirmation, it's earning a doctoral degree in learning your purpose and "posing fab" is a substitute for that and a piss poor one at that because once you know
who you are,
why you're here
and what you're meant to be living out in this lifetime,
you don't need outside confirmation.
It's is an inexhaustible supply of love and appreciation for your Soul's Song...it's the applause that never ends because it comes from within.
When you are in your purpose, you become a flaming force of nature destined to live in your greatest joy and leave this place better than you found it. Instead of feeding off the momentary attention of others, you change the world around you and show others what's possible for themselves....and what's possible on this journey is a lot more than smoldering eyes, a pretty face and some abs...that shit fades....who you are and what legacy you left behind are inexhaustible sources of life fuel.
And it's not enuf to go on this journey with superficial manifestations of change: fasts, denying yourself pleasures, going on trips, shaving your head, botox and a cleanse...these are all superficial...but rather, getting in a room with a professional with a list of all the life skills you know you're lacking. You're lacking because your parents could not teach you what they didn't know, but they were adept at handing down all their fears along with their wisdom.
So, to learn a new set of life skills, you first need to make a list of what you don't know how to do.
For me, I didn't know how to tell people how I felt or set boundaries. I had to go to someone to teach me that important skill so I could implement it in my life and see the power I had to change my life. Doing this with a professional who will keep you accountable by setting an agenda and measurable goals is the terrifying, miraculous work of transformation...of actually learning your Soul's Song and living it outloud without the world's permission or consent.
The result is you set the terms for your life's journey instead of being flung about by the world's superficial, money-driven whims...which leave you tired, hungry and lacking.
Why are you here? You're already fearfully and wonderfully made. All you have to do is get about the work of believing it. The constant need to do photo exposes is a desire to be loved...a desire to have the world confirm what's already true (but we have a hard time accepting), we are beautiful and deserving of love. Acting as a profession is a need to be have our lovability confirmed...the applause, the accolades for showing up in the best clothing, hair and make-up...its all wrapped up in a profound need for approval...which in itself isn't bad...
The problem arises when the internal understanding of our worth needs constant validation from outside. Showing up fab and sexy is a very clever (exhausting way) to avoid doing the important internal work of believing what's already true: you are a wonder waiting to happen.
April Yvette Thompson