To be naked; to feel comfortable with who you are; to feel safety in expressing whatever is in your heart; to be grounded in nature’s yard; to embrace the earthly creation that you are.

It took me a very long time to battle through all the cultural limitations which I inherited as a child. In contrast, consuming all those limiting ideas, and especially ones on what it is to be a woman, happened very fast. So fast that as a teenage girl I would never dare to question even the most self-neglecting daily routines in woman’s life. I guess naturally longing for belonging, made it very easy for a young girl to comply with social norms; taking everything for granted; feeling a sense of comfort in having a very clear place and role in the human world. But nothing about the feminine energy can be just boxed! This I came to realise not long ago because for most of my life I lived the misconception of women’s worth, which meant being concerned with my appearance nonstop. Oblivious to natural purposes of human hair, shaving my legs became only more frequent with my age, along with feeling ashamed if someone did see my legs in their natural state. Such little routines were fed to me as symbol of self-care, not to mention make-up and painting nails. And the more I engaged in them, the less secure I would feel without them. Even realising how much time I needed to spend every day to look certain way, it didn’t make it quit controlling my body because my whole sense of self was built on knowing nothing else but to be well groomed in women’s terms. Yet, the most humiliating thing on my journey to nakedness, beyond appearance, beyond gender expectations, beyond “I” consciousness, is how I could stand next to a man and don’t feel anything wrong with him waking up and feeling enough while I was raised to strive for false ideas of beauty and even then I wasn’t enough. How on earth I had no problem with that? Oh, that’s right. I was programmed to believe that manis a saviour in woman’s life. Nevertheless, no man, no clothing can ever bring fulfilment towoman’s life like the realisation of who and how powerful we truly are.

A – woman.

HMUA: Sofia Wilkinson-Steel

Model & Words: Jagoda Szczesna

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