Let it All Hang Out

 Dinted ripples of flesh jiggled as it passed out of view.  Only to be replaced by rows of stretched flesh and the carved marks left behind. Rolled layers of body stacking on top of muffin tops and beer bellies congregated in the circumference of the hot tub. Hairy, bumpy, wide open damaged pores, parading across plains of exposed skin.  In full sight, unashamed or embarrassed my fellow cruisers letting it all hang out with full confidence.


I spent last week hanging with people from various cultures, colors, and body shapes confined to a massive floating device or rather a cruise ship.  There were so many people, with different in beliefs, customs, ethics, and opinions but with a common mind these bold souls bared all their flaws without hesitation or thought.  At first appalled by some of the sights, I felt all the discomfort that I believed they should have owned.  Mind reeling from confusion, wondering where this sense of self came from, where was it purchased or manufactured?  As they shed their clothes did they also shed their insecurities?


I thought about my own shape, size, and flaws.  Wide eyed I sat and compared my own covered skin with their exposed.  I have very few noticeable stretch marks, I have yet to notice any patches of dimples, and pimples were a rarity on my skin.  I had taken care to remove any unwanted hair and although I am on a life long mission to loose 20lbs I have not began to stack rolls on top of my muffin.  But yet I had hesitation and many reservations about removing my cover up. 

 How did I get to this point? Where in my life did I come to the conclusion that body wasn’t worthy of an audience?  Where could I buy my portion of confidence to freely display my bikini body?  At five foot one and a half inches and one hundred and something pounds I’ve always been very conscience of my body image. I’ve spend most of my life not being completely confident with my total figure. It’s always been something. My butt being too big, the two stretch marks streaking up the side of my thigh, my belly bulge, and the slight giggle flapping under my arms always giving me pause. Not having the equipment, resources, or time to airbrush, nip n’ tuck, or remove the errors I’ve spent ample time praying for a change instead of making myself at home in the body God has blessed me with.

 But seeing the confidence parading around me kindled something new inside.  Slowly I pulled at the white netted tank top that covered my blue bikini top.  Next I stepped out of my cuffed blue jeans. Tucked away in quiet corner I willed my self forward.  I moved toward the scattered groups of wading people, looking back often wondering if anyone was watching me and accessing my flaws. But to my surprise no one was, everyone was occupied with their own activities.  There was no laughing and pointing, no cuffed mouth whispers.  No one cared.  And in just that instance I was free.  That’s not to say I’m going to end my mission to loose that extra 20lbs. But first the first time I think I truly understood that perfection is an illusion.


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