Our Naked Bodies

Vikas Trivedi
September 12 at 7:44 AM
The world-famous painting- "The Truth coming out of the well" Jean-Léon Gérôme, 1896.
According to a 19th century legend, the Truth and the Lie meet one day.
The Lie says to the Truth: "It's a marvellous day today"!
The Truth looks up to the skies and sighs, for the day was really beautiful. They spend a lot of time together, ultimately arriving beside a well.
The Lie tells the Truth: "The water is very nice, let's take a bath together!"
The Truth, once again suspicious, tests the water and discovers that it indeed is very nice. They undress and start bathing. Suddenly, the Lie comes out of the water, puts on the clothes of the Truth and runs away. The furious Truth comes out of the well and runs everywhere to find the Lie and to get her clothes back. The World, seeing the Truth naked, turns its gaze away, with contempt and rage.
The poor Truth returns to the well and disappears forever, hiding therein its shame. Since then, the Lie travels around the world, dressed as the Truth, satisfying the needs of society, because, the World, in any case, harbours no wish at all to meet the naked Truth.

The above legend popped up on my news feed this morning due to a friend’s re-post on Facebook.

For some, this picture will create a myriad of objections due to the nudity depicted. For others, the fact that the legend states we have trouble acknowledging the truth will cause heart palpitations brought on by anger and indignation. 

For me, this legend depicts the unblemished truth when it comes to our own regard for our bodies in the nude state. It prompted me to ponder why we as humans have such an issue with our bodies. This story naturally refers to much more than our bodies and is a general commentary on society’s preference for convenience rather than truth. But today I want to focus on our self-image taking a pounding.

If you are a woman (and most men as well— although some would rather die than admit it) you struggle to accept your body as being perfect. How often do we stand in front of a mirror and pinch a roll here, pull at loose skin or mull over another wrinkle that appeared? Oh, and heaven help us if we stand there naked!

Studies have proven that our body image takes a pounding due to the constant bombardment of commercially doctored images of skinny female models and pumped-up male bodies according to Mc Creary, DR, & Sasse DK (2000) in Exploring the drive for muscularity in adolescent boys and girls, Journal of American College Health, 48, 297-304

Furthermore, in an extensive study by Dr Keon West, it was found that improving one's body image improves the chances of improving your self-esteem and this often correlates to improving happiness. 

We tend to see only the negative and completely lose sight of the true reflection depicted in the mirror – we miss the naked truth. What a miracle that we can breathe, walk, talk, sing, dance, laugh, cry and even if we are unable to do most of the aforementioned things, we can LOVE.

Isn’t love the reason we are on this earth? Love can have so many forms, but ultimately it does the same – it connects us to another human. It makes us feel we are of value to someone because they care about us—whether it is just one-night-stand sex, a lengthy marriage or pure friendship. Loving someone means you need them and if they love you back, they need you too. But self-love must be the most important of all forms of love. You have to accept your body and love all its facets.

Love does not depend on how your body looks. What you perceive as a flaw, would be a major attraction to the right person. What you perceive as perfection in your body, could cause another person to turn away. Such is life and that is why everyone is created unique. Regardless if you are fat, skinny, short or tall, your body is a perfect fit for you.

The problem with everyone realizing this is that many people and companies rely on our inherent aversion to facing the naked truth about ourselves. Cosmetic companies provide jobs for millions of people around the world. They would surely not want anyone to be happy with the way they look. Pharmaceutical companies would be abhorred and go bankrupt in less than a month should the world accept their bodies as is. Who would buy all the diet pills, shakes and meal replacements that keep those companies afloat?  

But it isn't just the companies' fault. They prey on society’s preference for a quick fix rather than doing things the way nature intended. Nobody wants to hear that just avoiding processed food and keeping everything in life to moderation would solve almost everyone’s self-image problems. It simply is too much work and takes too long. The companies know that people would rather spend obscene amounts of money than face the naked truth.

Early cavemen had no processed food, no shops that sold cellulite cream, and no gyms to sweat in. But mankind prospered and the population grew. New babies were born in spite of the fact that women had no mirror to see themselves except for the reflection in the water. They survived naked (or almost for the most part), and had raving sex with nobody judging their performance or providing artificial stimulants to help the process along. They worried about getting food and shelter for themselves and their family. That was the important stuff. 

Today the method how you provide seems to be the measure of your success. The richer you are, the flashier the car, the branded clothing and the “right” neighbourhood appear to matter more than cherishing the ones you love.

So what is the naked truth?

Stand in front of the mirror and really look at yourself. What do you see? Do you see only flab and cellulite and extra wrinkles? Do you have stubby or skinny legs? Really look at your reflection.

Do you notice the perfect curve of your body, the way your shoulders align with your hips? Trace your hands over your hips and feel the soft texture. The perfect texture. Find the scars life put on your body and be thankful for each and every one as you have the opportunity to feel, to live. Find all the details that you like and concentrate on them. I guarantee that the longer you inspect your body without judging, the more perfection you will find. Now smile and watch your face transform your whole body into a beautiful flower.

The naked truth, in my opinion, is that we don't need perfect bodies as depicted in the magazines to be happy ( and have amazing sex). You just have to love the one you have.

What do you perceive as the naked truth?

Please note this is my opinion only. I am not a psychiatrist or therapist. I write steamy romance because I love it. 


Popular Posts