Warning: adult-ish language ahead!
Since the moment I hit puberty, I was wearing bras that minimized, held down and held in.
Told by well meaning people that I shouldn’t let them out or show off because then I would look inappropriate, attention seeking, sexual.
I believed them.
Often, my chest was the topic of conversation at youth group. “Make sure all you girls don’t have cleavage! It is not honoring of the Lord!” I wondered, “But what if you have cleavage in a sweat shirt? Is God still disgusted?”
It is not just in religion, where women’s bodies are up for debate. We see it everywhere. In the media, comments about prominent women are often primarily about their appearances.
Whenever a new female politician jumps into a debate, she is described by what she was wearing, or how her body looks. If she is attractive and showing skin in any way, watch out. She will be labelled a whore or something on that level.
It is difficult claiming our beauty when we’re living in a society that just doesn’t know what to do with it. It makes it hard when we’re around women who don’t claim their gorgeousness.
There is no judgement here—we are all longing to bask in the glow of our own beauty. We are hungry to feel the presence of God when we touch our own skin. Often times we just don’t know what that looks like. It seems easier to know God when we live in duality. When we decide what is holy, what is wrong, what is moral, what is bad. We form communities based around these principles, and there we know we belong.
The God I believe in smiles when we wiggle out of our paradigms, when we dance naked in the sunlight.
I had my own personal “dancing naked in the sunlight” moment recently.
It was a major milestone that took the form of a Victoria’s Secret bra. For the first time in my life, I bought underwear that showed off what the good Goddess gave me. It feels good. It is a whole new world—Aladdin and Jasmine both agree. My back doesn’t hurt anymore, walking is easier, and I feel just a bit more excited about life. (Go buy a good fitted bra, and you’ll know what I mean.)
Our beauty brings out the best and worst in the world. We might as well own it and enjoy it because how the world perceives it is not up to us.
On the count of three: women everywhere get ready to shimmy and shake!
(Fight the urge to hide your sass and ass….)
Shake ’til you can’t shake no more!
Now don’t you feel juicy and alive?
Because you are.
There are no lines between sexiness and holiness. Beauty, grace, sensuality, irreverence, Godliness, shimmying. It is all wild incomparable joy. Ours for the taking. Enjoy!
Author: Maria Palumbo
Editor: Catherine Monkman
Photo: Author’s Own