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After all these years, why do I keep creating these self nudes? I have to ask myself. All along the self portrait process has been one of introspection with the intent of leading to self acceptance. The nudes have been a part of that...maybe that's the reason why.
Because of the particular circumstance in which I find myself, it's become more and more difficult to find the images that I actually, really and truly, like. It's been difficult to side step disappointment in myself. It's about the lack of control...the inability for me to make my body different, or rather, as it used to be. It's true, the menopausal process kind of puts weight on. It's like some weird kind of magic. Add to that the pain...and the aberrations in the body's surface...and the fatigue that can't help but show. My whole life seems to be changing right before my eyes, with my body leading the way.
I remember several years ago I got a very negative comment on one of my nudes, from a young woman. She voiced a sense of repulsion that someone my age would be doing such a thing, that it should be left for the young and perfect of body. And now? It's six or seven years, ten pounds, sagging skin and wrinkles to note that passage of time, and I'm still at it! Perhaps it's the process itself that's imporant...the continued exposure and working with all the emotions that arise. Yeah...I think that's close.
Then the next question, is why share them publicly? It's always been important to me that I'm able to reveal myself in the most honest and vulnverable of ways. It's a personal ritual of deeply buried origin I think (I say that, because I haven't really accessed the information within to lead me to any definitive conclusions). Perhaps in some way, overcoming the fear of revealing my body in a literally profound way is another route to self compassion and acceptance. The physical image can also be a manifestation of the psyche if it's done without pretense or costuming (whether emotional or actual material dress), so this becomes a very wholistic process. I'd like to think that a sense of camaraderie with other aging folks might be gained as well...a notion that we're all going through the same thing, this strange and disconcerting, but just as often wonderful process known as life.