Are you comfortable nude?

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We’ve talked about body acceptance. Now, I’d like to ask…how comfortable are you nude?

I have to tell you, I’m always surprised by how reluctant Americans are about stripping down. Growing up, I noticed that my extended family in China was fairly open about their bodies…not closing the door when changing, for instance.

When I was 13 and visiting Beijing, my aunt decided to invite all the ladies to a spa unlike any spa I’ve seen in the US. There was an atrium with large whirlpools bathed in golden light, dry saunas adjacent to wet ones, an in-house movie theater with plushy seats where foot masseuses came to you

I was booked for a massage for “the whole body”, my masseuse emphasized. I hadn’t yet been fully unclothed in my new body before anyone and initially felt a combination of goofiness and embarrassment. But by the end, it felt so, so calming.

Since then, I’ve become more and more open about my corporeality, let’s say 😉

Over the summer, I went to visit a friend in Massachusetts. We were driving to the main beach on the island when she commented that a portion of the coast was clothing optional.

Absolutely, I’d thought. “I mean, more for having no tan lines than anything else”. I tried to sound casual.

The water was calm on Lucy Vincent. We peeled off all our layers and frolicked across the sand and sea for the afternoon, surrounded by just a loose band of elderly men and women.

The day spread into evening and as we were packing up for home, one of the ladies from the group approached us.

“Are you dancers? You both look like you’ve just stepped out of a painting”, she’d said.

It’s true that neither of us look like we’ve just stepped out of a magazine, but that was never the point. Her compliment was genuine and kind, the kind that sticks with you.

(image via here)

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