Before I lost weight, I thought about taking out my digital camera and taking off my clothes in the bathroom to take a naked photo of myself in the mirror. Clothes add a layer of uncertainty to progress photos. Do you look better because you’ve lost weight or because you’re wearing better fitting clothes? And even though I disliked all the excess fat, it was somewhat fascinating to see how all those inflated fat cells shape a human body.
However, I decided the best way to prevent naked photos of myself from being plastered on the Internet was to never take naked photos of myself. Playboy, please stop offering me millions of dollars. I simply won’t do it, Hugh. So I kept my clothes on. I’m a modest person and have never felt completely comfortable being naked around other people. It’s not necessarily because I think I look bad or good, I just don’t think people should look without my permission, period. People who don’t have this level of modesty never understand us people who do. I could never quite explain to my high school friend the tiny explosion of shock I felt one evening in her bedroom when she changed her clothes in front of me. I’m glad she felt comfortable in her body, but wow, I didn’t need to see the T&A without a warning about the alphabetical onslaught.
For a college art class, we were required to attend two nights of figure drawing to sketch a nude model. One night the model was an obese woman who was fatter than I was at the time. I admired her bravery for taking off her clothes for a room full of strangers who might possibly find her body disgusting. But I also knew I’d never do the same no matter how many spare dollars attendees tossed into the entrance fee bucket. I’d rather spend a day working a counter at Starbucks for the same money. I know dancers and models lose this sense of modesty early out of necessity. You can’t be changing clothes in a dressing room full of people and be concerned about who sees your nipple rings. But I’m not a dancer or a model and I somehow have managed to go through 26 years of life without once having to use a communal shower. And I don’t even smell bad, I swear!
So I’m pretty sure I would have kept my clothes on, even if Mr. Spock had asked me to take them off for his “Full Bodied” photography project. No Vulcan mind meld could have changed my mind. However, I’m glad there are same fat women out there who were willing to toss off their t-shirts in the name of art. Fat people have bodies too (warning: link not safe for work). I’m sure there are some people who will snicker at the naked fat ladies. But I bet most people will just be fascinated, like I was about my own obese body, by how many different shapes the human form can take yet still be a human body. Boobs and butts and bellies come in so many different varieties, like all the different types of pears I can buy at the market.
I don’t recall seeing many fat people on the starship Enterprise, though the crew’s weight did seem to increase right along with the numbers following the movie titles. Maybe in the future there will be a cure for obesity. I’ll have to ask Mr. Spock about that.