One of the inspirations for starting this blog sprung from reading an interview of Emily Ratajkowski by Naomi Wolf for Harper's Bazaar. In it, Emily mentions that Kim Kardashian posted a naked selfie that caused an "uproar, especially from Piers Morgan, who wrote this whole thing about 'she's a mother, she's 35, it's ridiculous…'".
Wait, what? She's a mother and 35 and therefore posting a nude photo of herself is deserving of ridicule? I'm older than Kim and a mother so this ruffled my feathers a bit. I'm not saying I want to share a topless photo of myself on social media, but I sure don't want someone to tell me I can't because I'm too old or maternal. Like Emily says in the interview, I am more than just my body, but that doesn't mean I should be shamed for showing it or expressing my sexuality.
Growing up, Emily was shamed for hitting puberty and finding her sexuality early. I, on the other hand, was the stereotypical late bloomer whose breasts never grew, was made fun of for being fat and ugly, and, not surprisingly, was ashamed of my body since it looked absolutely nothing like the the image I had already realized society idealized and idolized. Thankfully I started taking care of my body in my twenties and found self-confidence in my thirties but it has taken until recently to feel confident enough to own and not fear my sexuality enough to express it beyond the walls of my bedroom. And now someone is telling me I shouldn't?
If a woman feels good about herself and wants to share that with the world then she should, regardless of her age, shape, or motherhood status. If you don't want to see it, then don't look at it. If I am still working hard and feeling great about myself in twenty years then I'm going to keep taking and sharing photos. If I want to. Because I want to. Not because society tells me I should or that Piers Morgan says I shouldn't. Not because I think I'm the hottest you know what in this place (call back to Emrata there), that I think the way I look is the only interesting or valuable thing about me, or to get anything from anyone. But because it is one of the ways I enjoy expressing myself.
I likely won't go out of my way to share half naked photos with my children when they're older, but I certainly won't be ashamed if they (or anyone else) see them. Not only because I'm confident both in myself and with my decision to take and share photos of myself but also because I don't want them to grow up ashamed and silenced for so long like I was.
To be honest, before I became a mother I thought that once I had children it was back to Puritanville for me. My days of being a siren would be over and I had to return to covering up -- literally and figuratively -- any hint of my sexuality and invest in a couple pairs of mom jeans and quadruple the number of yoga pants I own. This time not because I was ashamed but because I had procreated. It didn't happen right away, but thankfully some time after I crossed the threshold into parenthood I realized that THE most important thing for my children was to have a happy mother: comfortable in her skin, taking care of herself, and doing things she loves even if those things don't always involve being a mommy. Of course I'm not encouraging neglecting your offspring, 24/7 self-indulgence, or hanging up full frontal photos of yourself above the mantle. Or even taking sexy photos of yourself if that's not your thing. But being a mother is hard enough. There is no harder, more full-time job than being a [good] mother. So let's not make it harder or marginalize women by telling them they are not allowed to be sexual or express themselves any less than they could before they created another life. Devoting her life to her children is fine. Giving up her life for them and not being herself is not.
So fellow and future mommies out there, I want you to know you can wear a thong bikini to the beach if you want to [I recommend this one]. You're still allowed to explore your kinky side if you're still curious [may I suggest you start with something from Reckless Wolf if you're just joining us from Straight-laced City, or Lascivious if this isn't your first rodeo]. You have permission to don your sexiest bra underneath your sheerest blouse on date night. And your tartiest pair of knickers under your skirt at the PTA meeting. Mr. Principal will never know and Deborah will wonder why you have a twinkle in your eye. ;)