Summer allows us to embrace so many great things to their fullest. Bonfires, beaches, bikinis, booty pictures. Few things evoke the feeling of joy and growth of the female race for me quite like a booty pic, and similarly nothing makes me feel more torn and confused.
It all began when my roommate asked me to do a photoshoot for her art class, featuring nothing but my booty in a red thong and the word “BAD” inserted right above it (Get it? “Badass”?) But the entire time she was taking pictures of me, I kept complaining about how many more squats I needed to do and how badly I felt that I was letting her down because I thought I wasn’t what she wanted. When we looked the pictures afterwards, all I could see were my stretch marks, how wide my waist was, and the disappointment of the size of my butt, but she spent constantly reassured me I was mistaken and convinced me to post it on Instagram to advertise her class.
Minutes passed by as Facebook comments, likes, and texts poured in, and I felt better about posting it until I received a text that told me it was inappropriate and to take it down. Instantly it clicked in my head that there was nothing that separated it from bikini pictures, and that if anything, it was more or less “acceptable” as it was for my roommate’s art project. They agreed and gave me no more trouble, but the fire had already ignited in my mind: I had put my entire body out there for people to look at and criticize in the name of art, but I didn’t expect for one of my friends to be so offended. That not only got me to think about how I could help change how people viewed women’s bodies, but also made me realize that this was the body I was born with and I had to work with it, and made me get all the confidence to try to do exactly that.
It may have taken me almost twenty years to love and accept my body the way it is, and it will more than likely be a lifelong struggle to fight from falling back into the destructive thinking that plagued my view of myself for so long, but I have reached the point where I can wholeheartedly say that I love myself and am comfortable with who I am, and all there is left to do is to try to help others feel the same way.
Not everyone will agree with showing your body on social media, and there are still rules and major stigmas against doing so, but those who decide to post these pictures in a society that is built to tear us down and make us hate ourselves and each other should be supported, as it takes an incredible amount of confidence and self-love to put yourself out there for people to judge, not to mention some major work in the gym and diet arenas, and those in themselves should be celebrated.
Why is it considered so enlightened and profound to find the beauty in a tree, and so shameful and immoral to find the beauty in our own bodies? The vessels in which we have all been blessed are the most complex and incredible things on the face of the earth, and the way they are celebrated and loved, booty pics or not, should inspire everyone to celebrate and love their own bodies.