*Warning: This post contains nudity*Warning: This post contains nudity*Warning: This post contains nudity*
I met someone the other day who told me about her aspirations to undergo a “mommy makeover.” I’m not talking about a fresh haircut and some new clothes; I’m talking about spending thousands of dollars to go under the knife.
I was shocked. It’s not that I don’t understand wanting to look your best; trust me, I do. I had my own version of a “mommy makeover” a few months ago when I tried having extensions put in my super fine hair. If my husband knew what I spent on those things, I’d probably be in trouble. It was great at first–I enjoyed the feeling of having a fuller ponytail and relished in not having to wash my hair every day, but over time, they started to bother me. Whenever my husband would give me a neck rub, I’d feel his fingers meet the little beads glued on my hair and felt…strange. Unauthentic somehow. And then I had an extension fall out in Lowe’s. I put the bundle of hair in my pocket, had a mini existential crisis, and decided extensions just weren’t for me.
All of us women are affected somehow by the much-talked-about societal pressure to look a certain way. In search of some elusive feeling of beauty, some of us get hair extensions, some of us get fake boobs, some of us buy $700 high heels, and some of us get tummy tucks. I can’t judge any woman for what she thinks will make her feel better, but I think we should all ask ourselves why we aren’t just fine the way we are.
With all that in mind, I learned about the Nu Project. I browsed through galleries of everyday women wearing nothing but their birthday suits and thought, “Finally.” What’s even better is that the featured women are in their own homes, in their element–not posed in some weird way, in some weird location. There’s something more real about that, more meaningful.
I’m not going to lie and say that I didn’t see the tan lines, the stretch marks, nipples the size of pepperonis, the varicose veins, the loose skin. I did. But, as I kept clicking through, I found myself looking less and less at their bodies and more and more at their faces, the emotion in their eyes. When you get right down to it, a body is nothing more than a vehicle that helps us travel through this life. Fat, thin, flabby, tight, tall, short–they’re all just bodies. It’s the souls that fill them that matter most. Decorate that soul however you want–with hair extensions, fake boobs, $700 high heels, or a flatter tummy–but realize they’re just decorations, costly ones that may not have the confidence-boosting effect that we think they will. I remember that every time I think about that bundle of hair in my pocket at Lowe’s.