Playboy Aspirations

I am an exhibitionist. I have always been an exhibitionist. I have memories of my mom using that word to describe me from the time your little brain starts to remember things - 4 years old, maybe 5?

Growing up with a beautiful mother; a mother obsessed with her skincare regimen, fashion trends, fitness fads, and whatever else promised youth and anti-aging, I too became enthralled with all of these things. My mom always bought cosmetics to get the ‘bonus’ and she would let me have the small samples. This was the beginning of my fascination with outer beauty. With perfection.

Fast forward 30 years, I am a mother of two, an entrepreneur, fitness enthusiast, anti-aging aficionado, vitamin and supplement addict, and I will literally try anything that promises to stop, and in a perfect world, reverse the clock.

I am lucky, grateful, and extremely thankful, for the girlfriends in my life. The endless chatter in our group chats gives me life. “I’m so fat. I just ate a muffin but I’m going to Pilates later.” “I feel so skinny today, I have decided to just consume my calories in alcohol and aim to eat less food.” “Dude, there is no way she didn’t get work done. Look at this before photo.” And the sentences run on and on and on and on…

“We all have fluctuating moments of harsh self-judgment, and I hope that you all have beautiful moments of clarity and stillness as well."

Truth is, some days I love my body, I don’t feel bloated, I like my side profile, I don’t avoid mirrors (I swear some days I do). And the reality is, some days I feel like the grossest person alive. I hate my shoulders, I wish my legs were longer, I want scrawny arms and those points on your shoulders that skinny people have.

I’ve come to realize that this is life. This is the endless verbal diarrhea that circulates in my head all the time, and from talking to my nearest and dearest, I have come to learn that we all think the same way. We are all way too hard on ourselves and this little essay I’m writing is not new. It’s not going to change the world, and it’s not going to be the last body image piece of writing you will come across.

I am putting these words on proverbial paper because I want the MISSBISH audience to know that we are all the same. We all have fluctuating moments of harsh self-judgment, and I hope that you all have beautiful moments of clarity and stillness as well. Microseconds of contentment.

I never thought I’d be ok with my body enough to shoot nudes. I imagined it would be something I prepared for months to be in the perfect shape. Truth is, the morning that Carmen and I shot these pics, I had gummy bears and vitamins for breakfast with my collagen boosted coffee, and I ate cup-of-noodles and the equivalent of two loaves of bread at dinner the night before.

Bottom line - you can’t control everything, and if you try to be perfect all the time, you’ll just be miserable. Be happy. Be healthy. Be you. Be naked!

Photography by: Carmen Chan