Sometimes I will push all my dirty clothes to a secret corner in my room. Sometimes I will clean the entire house, put some romantic as hell music on and burn some incense. Sometimes I’m dusting the ceiling fan and the lighting is just right. But most of the time I will just catch myself in the mirror as I’m changing into my pjs, and inspiration strikes. My hair and pits are dirty from a day of crawling around in the grime of my life and I want to pay respects to the glorious creature that got me through every moment of it, my little bod.
Selfies are often viewed as a narcissistic practice of a generation that cannot see beyond the end of its own nose. But a selfie is simply self-portraiture. It’s a way to investigate self, question self, find self. The casual abundance and consumption of selfies is what diminishes their value, not the actual image itself. Nudes are selfies with more freedom and intimacy, because one is much less likely to post them on the internet (I’m well aware of the irony here of me posting mine on the internet). There is of course a shadow side to anything, and one needs to create safety and boundaries around experimentation. Many artists use self-portraiture as part of their practice and I believe the practice of life can include a healthy dose of nudes, if one is so inclined.
For me, taking nudes is a form of self worship. I have often expressed that the kind of sexual intimacy I’m interested in is, “mutual worship”. And, as I discover more of what is available in sexuality, my ability to be intimate with others comes from working on intimacy with myself.
When I’m taking nudes there are no rules, there is no “right” way for my body to look. There is no precise way I have to be “nude”. One of my favorite nudes was me, topless, under hundreds of blankets, looking at my phone. Or, there is that one where Im holding a couple of pinecones over my nipples. Regardless of the messaging we get from the big underwear brands that we are supposed to look a certain way under our clothes, I believe that when you are nude, there is no one who can tell you you don’t look perfect. Because that is when you are your most perfect, bare assed.
I began taking nudes in earnest when I was sexting a person who lived in another state. What I found in sending that person pictures of my perfect tits and ass was that I have perfect tits and ass. We are asked to think about how our bodies need to be “improved” 24/7. And while I had graduated from that line of thinking a long time ago, my approach to body positivity is political at its core, and will sometimes fail to reach me when I’m looking in the mirror. But, when I am flopping around on my bed in nothing but a pair of undies in front of my phone, something is very clear: I am hot as hell and my ass deserves it’s own religion.
I am not assessing my ass in comparison to anyone else’s ass. No, it’s just me and my ass staring one another down, deciding we are both there for the ass celebration. Sending a couple of those pictures was immense fun, but it was even more fun having that person compliment my ass and my genuine reaction being, “Right!?”
I am very picky with where I divert my sexual attention, which means I’m not exactly sending nudes out with my breakfast every morning. However, I have incorporated nudes to be a regular, and I hope long standing, practice in my life. Worship doesn’t have to mean prostrating yourself in front of a higher power. It can simply mean recognizing and paying respect to something you hold in high regard. I have learned to recognize the power of my ass and will continue to show up for worship.
If you are new to nudes or your middle name is NSFW, here are my top tips from getting undressed with a camera:
Written by Rose Arscott
Rose is a multi hyphenate artist who lives in L.A with her two cats, you can follow her at @posle and @posledraws
Image by Maddie Raccoosin