Standing there, naked, tears of shame running down my face, my husband’s arms wrapped around me, I began to question my decision. How did I end up in my friend’s living room, his camera flashing in my face, my tears bending the light into tiny little rainbows? Maybe the rainbows weren’t real, but I like to think they were. You know, like a little promise from God. Something to let me know that I would live through the storm raging through my brain.
I don’t remember what he whispered in my ear, but it gave me the courage to step back, wipe my eyes, and face the camera.
A little part of me actually prayed that they would tell me to cover up. That I was too fat. Not pretty enough. I should have tanned and dieted. That smart girls didn’t do things like this. I’d heard those things enough to know they must be true. Don’t forget to suck in. Crack a joke to pull their attention away from my thighs. Maybe if I could just be witty enough, my measurements wouldn’t matter.
Instead, they told me I was beautiful. Strong. A force to be reckoned with. But that couldn’t be right. I’m overweight. Lazy. Unmotivated. The things they were saying couldn’t possibly be true. Or…? Did it even matter? The camera was already there. He had already captured my deepest fears, from the outside in.
I raised my arms, lined up the sites, and laid those demons to rest. For those few moments, I wasn’t afraid. I was fierce. I strapped on my red heels and draped myself in lace. I felt like a woman. A woman with a gun, and dreams, and something to be proud of. That’s right. I was naked and proud. My breasts were still sagging, and I wasn’t six feet tall, but my husband had a look in his eyes like I have never seen before. It was a look I hope to see again.
Before I knew it, it was over. The world kept turning. The sun still shone. And I still wanted ice cream.