The day of my photo shoot with Erica was going to be a cold one. Though I really wanted to do it out in nature, I seriously debated moving it indoors for the sole purpose of avoiding the cold air’s shrinking effects on certain body parts. As much as I truly resent the fact that it was even of the slightest concern, I have to face it and accept that the issue of penis size is for me, as it is for many men, a source of insecurity.
But in the end, I knew that I had to go through with it. I would deal with the cold air on my bare skin, and face the resultant diminishment of my most sensitive of extremities. After all, isn’t the point of the Embody Project to address body issues and to foster acceptance of the human body in its myriad shapes and sizes? What, then, could be more appropriate than to choose a setting that would force me to confront one of my own issues during the photo shoot itself? As I see it, the Embody Project has the potential to be the antidote to Mass Media’s all-pervasive message that your body must meet very idealized and narrow criteria in order to be acceptable. This project instead sends the message that the human animal has a wide range of appearances and that every single one of them is not only acceptable, but also beautiful. If it has the power to transform and heal the body issues of even a few of its viewers, to let them take comfort in seeing that people in fact don’t all fit this manufactured and limiting ideal of what it means to be beautiful, or sexy, or masculine or feminine, then I knew that I simply had to be a part of this wonderful, potential solution to a widespread, emotionally damaging societal problem.
The main reason I was so insistent upon having my photo shoot be in nature is that, to me, nudism is all about getting back to our own true nature. This is how we are supposed to be. If you see a chimpanzee wearing a shirt and pants, the absurdity of it makes you laugh. Why should it be any different for us? I’ve long felt that to wear clothes, except when necessary, (say, for example, while walking through the woods on a particularly cold day *cough*) is just as absurd as a chimp in a suit and tie. Nudism is the acceptance of ourselves as a part of nature, rather than thinking of ourselves as being separate from it or, worse still, at war with it and needing to conquer and tame it. So the decision to be photographed outdoors was very important and meaningful to me.
It was only natural.