The Scarlet & Black

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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

A veteran’s views on Love Your Body Week

I almost didn’t go to the clothing optional photo shoot on Monday. The friends that I’d gone with last year couldn’t come, and I had a short window of time between working out and work-work. More importantly, I was all too aware of how my body has changed since coming back to school, and I wasn’t ready to face the difference in digital-quality color. Black and white maybe, but not color.

Still, I had enough fun the last time that I tried to pull myself together. I was already wearing the most expensive item in my closet, a black lacy bra that actually comes in my size, and I pulled on the same style of underwear—black and plain—that I felt so comfortable in last year at Naked Baking in Eco-House.

When I got to Main Lounge, I kind of turned right back around again. Too many bottoms, too many bottoms! I briefly said hi, and then retreated to my room for a pep-talk before venturing back downstairs again. Someone asked if I was going to remove my clothing, and my response was something along the lines of “but my outfit is so cute!”

Though now an experienced and confident second-year, I was somehow far more nervous to strip down this time than I had been as a naive first-year. Although maybe that was the issue—no longer as naive, I’m trying to avoid losing my clothing quite as easily as I did last year.

Fortunately, friends were the photographers. Avery Rowlison ’13 first led me into the booth, telling me that she was good at taking pictures of people, so if I was uncomfortable I didn’t need to worry about posing or anything. We had a nice conversation about boys until I felt comfortable enough to get up off the chair, and get out of my bra and undies.

The nice thing was, with Avery it wasn’t really about the pictures—it was about the experience. I danced around and twirled and twisted and she snapped away. Sometimes I attempted a serious face, but mostly it was too hard to suppress a smile or a slightly-embarrassed grin. When we were done, she noticed that I had taken off the gold bangles I’d been wearing that day, and she asked for a few more shots with those on. If H&M needs an advertisement for their jewelry selection, I would be more than happy to contribute a few pictures.

I’d put back on my super-cute outfit, and was about to head out when Daniel Penny ’13 emerged from a booth. The photos I have from last year were taken by him, beautiful black and white prints, and I figured we could have another go.

His style was completely different. I wasn’t playing around with a friend—I was something beautiful to be photographed and displayed. Danny and I had discussed the various curvatures of my body before, both the things I like and the things I don’t, and he put all of them to their best advantage. Which, in the end, reminded me just how much I love my body.

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