In October 2010, I noticed a bunch of my favorite bloggers participating in the #exposed movement. They were showing and celebrating their bodies and the incredible things they can do. The movement was started by Mish in 2009, and it was such an inspirational thing to see and read celebratory things about bodies. Check out her post and link to many other #exposed posts here. I was scared shitless, but really wanted to jump in as I had just finished my first couple of 5K's and was feeling particularly brave. Check out my first #exposed post here.
Mish announced she was having an #exposed week again, the first time in a few years. It came time for me to snap photos for this years post, and I grappled with myself. You can demonstrate #exposed however is comfortable to you. There are no requirements, other than celebration of your body. I pondered: how much do I show? What if people think it's gross? Maybe I shouldn't really expose myself on the internet?
You see, this is how bodies like mine are commonly shown throughout online and offline media: covered up face, uncomfortable pose, connotation of shame:
To be more realistic, I should have also thrown some bullet points over my body talking about how this person is a ticking health time bomb with no self control or respect.
Instead, I stood in front of the camera in my bikini and smiled. My left leg is soft from ankle surgery, but I'm standing on both feet. I praise my body for that. I have folds of skin under my arms and inner thighs, but they exist because I lost weight to make me feel better. My ankle now has a scar, but the body it's on finished a half marathon.
If you were to ask me 3 years ago what my body would look like today, I wouldn't have imagined this. I'm actually not sure what I would have imagined: probably something smaller and smoother. But I don't look at these photos and see shame. Not in the least. So perhaps the real progress has been made where no one can see: my brain.
Check out links to other #exposed posts here.