The beautiful thing about Body Pride parties is how quickly every girl forgets she’s naked.
Welcomed with warm smiles and open arms, Caitlin offers a glass of vino and seats you in a circle among girls just as anonymous as you; the atmosphere is quiet but full of anticipation. The floor is cozy with a soft spread of blankets and the twinkling white lights adorning the walls provide a level of security that can only be attained with a nurturing intent. In the middle of the circle lies a fantastic spread of munchies (all of which are pro-veggie and health conscious – most of which I generally wind up chopping and plating), as well as the book with veteran Body Pride sisters smiling up at you from the clean white pages, their love-filled manifestos to their bodies hand-written beneath their photographs.
There’s always a slightly nervous chatter before everyone arrives, a slightly anxious feeling knowing you’re about to strip down to your birthday suit and bare all for girls you may have only ever met once – if ever – but the excitement and awareness that you’ll be greeted with nothing but positivity and everyone will be naked sits in your mind, calming your nerves (though, the wine doesn’t hurt). The music provides a background ease and sense of familiarity, after all, who didn’t love the 90’s, even just a little?
Caitlin buzzing around the apartment, offering directions to those on their way and muff mats to those already there (what’s a muff mat? come and find out!) is an easy distraction to embrace. Among her many wonderful qualities I’ve come to know and adore, her genuine personality that is so inviting and warm, her lack of fear and her disregard for superficial behaviour are some that reassure you:
You’ve come to the right place and she is the right person to give you the opportunity to share your self.
Once we’ve reached a full house (and all the consent forms are signed – yes, your photos are totally optional; if you’d rather keep them for your personal album or share them, proud and bold, with the world, we are happy to oblige with both!), and our glasses have all been sufficiently topped up, the magic words, “Okay everyone, get naked!” appear out of nowhere and suddenly it’s a race to get down to the nude. This point incurs a lot of giggling, a lot of blushing and a moderate amount of balance (why do pants really need to be worn, and why do they need to be so darn tight?).
And there begins.
A group of girls, in a circle, most of which are strangers to eachother, naked and ready to embrace the night.
“Isn’t that awkward?” I’ve been asked.
“No way!” I always reply.
Caitlin starts the conversation. She introduces herself, she animatedly tells her body-proud story, she reminds you that you are part of a sexually liberated revolution – because you are – and she thanks you, genuinely thanks you, for being with us, for being open, for sharing the experience you’re about to be a part of.
Body Pride is just that: an experience. It’s a feeling. It’s a mind-altering. It’s a realization that your deepest, darkest secrets about your sexy past, your sexy present and your sexy future don’t have to be deep or dark or secret at all. Talking with this group of girls who are mutually providing and benefiting from the experience just as much as you are, you realize that you are part of something that really just needs to happen. The state of global consciousness in which we live is far too full of negativity, especially when it comes to the superficially oppressive nature of being a woman. Why is it crucial to know who made your purse? Why should the number on the tag of your jeans define you? Who cares how many times you’ve experienced pleasure or how many people you’ve experienced it with? To share in the most pure form, without judgement, is so simple and so perfect. There really isn’t much that can be more full of love than a group of girls sharing everything in their most natural state of being, laughing and aw-ing, learning and being emotionally honest together.
We follow the path of the circle and we share stories. We maintain a semblance of conversational control in that the topics we discuss are pre-selected, but they always occur organically and there’s always room for improv. From body image to virginity, from your relationship with porn to your relationship with your orgasm, we cover everything. Within ten minutes, you forget your nudity. Within twenty minutes, nudity feels natural again. By the end of the night, getting dressed feels just plain weird, and frankly, why shouldn’t it?
Once we’ve exhausted all topics of conversation and the social lubricant called alcohol has created a rosy buzz throughout the room, the camera comes out, the music get louder and yours truly takes every moment of symbiotic love and captures it in millions of tiny pixels to be seen, to be shared and to be remembered.
The sheer happiness, the bliss and the amount of mutual adoration and beauty that comes out beneath the studio lights and in front of the lens is astounding and inspiring. Flex your muscles, make goofy faces, show me your bum! The emotional connection between the photographs and the experience is not disputable. The love is evident in every expression.
Like Caitlin says, your sexy can’t be taken away, but really, is there anything more beautiful than a happy woman with confidence? That, to me, is sexy.
Although, no blog post could truly capture the experience.
So please, as your photographer who’s goal is to make you look and feel as beautiful as possible, please…
Come get naked with us?
Courtesy of Khadeja