5 Lessons Skinny Dipping For The First Time Taught Me

5 Lessons Skinny Dipping For The First Time Taught Me

Bodies are so freaking beautiful.

A couple of days ago, I had the opportunity to go skinny dipping for the first time. Now, if you know me in person, or if you know me through my writing, you can probably guess that my relationship with my body is usually pretty good.

During the last couple of weeks, I have run into mirrors and genuinely smiled at myself because I thought I looked hot as hell, and I was surprised that the gorgeous girl in the mirror was me.

Of course, there were also moments where I looked in the mirror and thought, “Wow. My arms look huge,” or “Ugh. My love handles are so ugly,” or “I hate my hair.” In those moments, and this is a trick I learned from my mom, I look myself straight in the eye and firmly say, “Not today.”

That day was a goodish body day for me, but when an unnamed friend suggested we go skinny dipping at an unnamed location, I immediately reverted into my insecure self.

But skinny dipping was nothing like I thought it would be, and I learned some really important lessons about myself and the people around me.

1. Taking off your clothes is the hardest part.

I haven’t been fully naked in front of anyone except for close friends and family, and the thought of being naked in front of fifteen people at the same time terrified me. I also knew that I was one of the curviest girls going, and I felt like everyone would look at my body like I do on my bad days-- with disgust. And if I’m being honest, and I always am, I had recently taken a stand against shaving anything that I didn’t want to (because I believe you should only shave if it feels like a good personal choice for you), so anything above my knees was currently covered in hair. But I took a breath, told myself, “Not today," and dropped my clothes. And instead of feeling insecure, I felt exhilarated.

2. Nobody is going to judge you.

Despite what I thought, nobody looked at me and said, “Your body is gross.” In fact, many people actually made comments about how beautiful we all looked, and I think that helped calm our nerves.

3. Everyone is insecure.

Insecurity was in the air, and you could feel the nervous energy radiating off some of the girls. For many of us, it was the first time we were skinny dipping, and I saw many girls covering their insecurities with their hands or towels or the clothes that we had (and, in my friend’s case, she had taped over her nipples).

4. Being naked in front of people forces you to confront your own body image issues.

I think that there is an ideal body in the media that is considered beautiful, but I’ve never really thought that that body could be mine. I had never really seen curvy women on television comfortable with their sexuality or their body when I was younger, and I shamed myself into thinking that my body could never be deemed sexy because I wasn’t what the media had deemed as sexy. But standing on the dock with the group of girls lined up next to me, I looked around and realized that none of us fit that ideal body type. Every single girl had a different body. And every single one of us was sexy in our own way.

5. Bodies are so beautiful.

There was not one moment where I looked at someone’s body and thought, “I wish that was my body.” Instead, I thought, “Wow. She’s beautiful, and I hope she knows that.”
We live in a society where female nudity is often sexualized (and when it’s not sexualized, it’s discouraged). Despite what society has told us about women’s bodies, there is nothing ugly about them, and I think that we, as women, can stop the notion that women’s bodies are ugly by feeling powerful, confident, and comfortable in our bodies, and having honest conversations with other women about our bodies.

There’s a certain vulnerability that comes with being naked in front of people for the first time. It feels very similar to going up the hill before the very first drop of a roller coaster. And while you know that you’re safe because of safety regulations and test rides, you’re also afraid you’re going to die when you go over the drop because something, somewhere, somehow could go wrong. But skinny dipping has changed my perspective on my body and the bodies of women around me. Despite what I’ve been taught, my hairy, curvy, tall body is sexy and beautiful. And, if given the chance, I wouldn’t trade it in for any other type.

Cover Image Credit: utexas.edu

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I'd Rather Be Single Than Settle – Here Is Why Being Picky Is Okay

They're on their best behavior when you're dating.

Dating nowadays described in one word: annoying.

What's even more annoying? when people tell you that you're being too "picky" when it comes to dating. Yes, from an outside perspective sometimes that's exactly what it looks like; however, when looking at it from my perspective it all makes sense.

I've heard it all:

"He was cute, why didn't you like him?"

"You didn't even give him a chance!"

"You pay too much attention to the little things!"

What people don't understand is that it's OKAY to be picky when it comes to guys. For some reason, girls in college freak out and think they're supposed to have a boyfriend by now, be engaged by the time they graduate, etc. It's all a little ridiculous.

However, I refuse to put myself on a time table such as this due to the fact that these girls who feel this way are left with no choice but to overlook the things in guys that they shouldn't be overlooking, they're settling and this is something that I refuse to do.

So this leaves the big question: What am I waiting for?

Well, I'm waiting for a guy who...

1. Wants to know my friends.

Blessed doesn't even begin to describe how lucky I am to have the friends that I do.

I want a guy who can hang out with my friends. If a guy makes an effort to impress your friends then that says a lot about him and how he feels about you. This not only shows that he cares about you but he cares about the people in your life as well.

Someone should be happy to see you happy and your friends contribute to that happiness, therefore, they should be nothing more than supportive and caring towards you and your friendships.

2. Actually, cares to get to know me.

Although this is a very broad statement, this is the most important one. A guy should want to know all about you. He should want to know your favorite movie, favorite ice cream flavor, favorite Netflix series, etc. Often, (the guys I get stuck on dates with) love to talk about themselves: they would rather tell you about what workout they did yesterday, what their job is, and what they like to do rather than get to know you.

This is something easy to spot on the first date, so although they may be "cute," you should probably drop them if you leave your date and can recite everything about their life since the day they were born, yet they didn't catch what your last name was.

3. How they talk about other women.

It does not matter who they're talking about, if they call their ex-girlfriend crazy we all know she probably isn't and if she is it's probably their fault.

If they talk bad about their mom, let's be honest, if they're disrespecting their mother they're not going to respect you either. If they mention a girl's physical appearances when describing them. For example, "yeah, I think our waitress is that blonde chick with the big boobs"

Well if that doesn't hint they're a complete f* boy then I don't know what else to tell you. And most importantly calling other women "bitches" that's just disrespectful.

Needless to say, if his conversations are similar to ones you'd hear in a frat house, ditch him.

4. Phone etiquette.

If he can't put his phone down long enough to take you to dinner then he doesn't deserve for you to be sitting across from him.

If a guy is serious about you he's going to give you his undivided attention and he's going to do whatever it takes to impress you and checking Snapchat on a date is not impressive. Also, notice if his phone is facedown, then there's most likely a reason for it.

He doesn't trust who or what could pop up on there and he clearly doesn't want you seeing. Although I'm not particularly interested in what's popping up on their phones, putting them face down says more about the guy than you think it does.

To reiterate, it's okay to be picky ladies, you're young, there's no rush.

Remember these tips next time you're on a date or seeing someone, and keep in mind: they're on their best behavior when you're dating. Then ask yourself, what will they be like when they're comfortable? Years down the road? Is this what I really want? If you ask yourself these questions you might be down the same road I have stumbled upon, being too picky.. and that's better than settling.

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Poetry On The Odyssey: It's a Girl

An ode to the little girl raised to be insecure.


They raise little girls to be insecure

Little girls grow to be big girls

People always ask big girls why they're so insecure

Big girls aren't quite sure

Day after day the big girl can't keep up

She's exhausted

Her soul feels worn

The big girl learns to grow hard

In a way, she's a bit stronger

People call her a bitch


What is that?

How can she let that affect her

It's simply the only way to be her

She mourns that little girl

Hoping that one day

She'll be strong

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