“A body is [just] a body.”
–something I wrote a long time ago when I was beginning to see my body as more than my value as a person, as an object that belonged to me and only me and that had beauty in its curves, funny quirks, sharp lines.
I think back about how it felt to be the subject of a life drawing class. How sitting, standing, laying, naked made me feel liberated because the people drawing me were just putting lines together, accents of paint together, to resemble what I look like to the outside world.
I used to put too much emphasis on my body, and what I looked like.
I still do, in different ways.
But I’m now, as an artist, starting to see it as something else, too. A subject of my own artistic creativity. I see my body in a way I haven’t ever seen it before and it’s liberating all over again. It’s understanding that you are not just your body but your body reflects everything you have ever made happen or everything that has happened to you since you began.
And you can choose what to show, and what not to show, and sometimes you don’t have a choice.
The eyebrows that never quite grew very much.
The eyes I’ve kind of liked but wished were brighter.
The jawline I’ve always hated.
The faded tattoos, that don’t really mean much, from when I was 18.
The overbleached, overdyed, dry curls.
The lines from this summer’s climbing days.
The newer, brighter tattoos from times of recovery and strength, meaning everything.