Baring It All. Sort Of.

I have had a fear of being seen in a swimsuit for many years.  I’ve heard people say FEAR stands for False Evidence Appearing Real.   Like a lot of women, I hoped for many years that I would have a “perfect” body that would be bikini worthy and the envy of supermodels everywhere.  Yes, I often live in fantasy.  Don’t judge me.  In my head being thin meant being acceptable and worthy.  I’ve shared candidly about that on my website, and accept that I’m on a journey of self-acceptance about my body, who I am, my passions and my aspirations.  If I were “perfect” then there would be nothing to strive for, and that makes Pia a dull girl.  But I digress. 
YOU ARE WORTHY!

Last week, my modeling agencyasked me to send them some photos of me in swimwear for a job.  My reply was “I’m not sure I’m swimsuit ready.  But I’ll send you something anyway.”  Shit! Was I ready for the world (I mean my agent) to see my thighs in all their imperfect glory? Would she balk at my fleshy arms? “You can’t do this,” my loud Fear said.  But there was another voice underneath it.  A gentler, kinder more Loving voice that said, “Why not, Pia?  Isn’t it time to walk the walk?”  I’d forgotten about my desire to have integrity.  Damn that conscience of mine!  I realized that this was an opportunity to overcome the anxiety of my projected judgment of others about my body.  I was still scared shitless.  But I did it anyway.

I sprang into action and called my dear friend and stylist extraordinaire, Melinda Alexander, of Jill of All Trades to get me ready for the pictures.  She pulled some great swimsuits for me, some of which I were sure were going to make me want to disappear into exile.  But she just kept telling me how amazing I looked.  Of course what I heard was a good friend trying to make me feel better.  But when I finally garnered the courage to look in the mirror, I was completely amazed!  I was in awe at the sexy, confident woman staring back at me.  Yes, my thighs were in full view for the world to see. My arms were broad wings, resplendent and ready for flight! I felt so beautiful.  I accepted what I saw in the mirror and didn’t judge it.  What I saw reflected was strength, grace, courage and unique beauty. We took loads of photos and I embraced my body in a way I never had before.  I was so moved by the experience that I knew it would be the subject of my next blog post.

What I learned about myself in this process is that I’m far braverthan I give myself credit for.  I learned that having big thighs is not a crime against humanity.  And I gained insight into how limiting fear can be in all areas of my life.   If you are in fear about something, I recommend walking through it.  It will empower you beyond measure. Go forth and conquer!