The body that accepts itself, now and then
I tell my friends I won’t know I’m famous until my nudes have leaked. I’ve been saying this for years. If The Secret is real, this is my way of asking the universe to just release them already. I’m also safeguarding myself by warning my friends that my nudes could leak, because I’ve been with men who were vindictive like that. What the men probably don’t know, and what my friends probably do, is that I’m fine with those nudes. They’re good nudes.
I have no fresh nudes. Every picture I took of my body was from a time when I was “thin enough” to do it, and I knew my angles. I know that, if they ever leak, the proverbial cat out of the bag would be that I had a goldmine of a body, and I am fine with that. I was well-versed in defending my sexuality, and its necessity, given the fact that there are so few Indigenous women who are overtly sexual and explicit in this world—publicly, at least. We’re victimized so often that some of us are convinced it’s our fault — which is how abuse works. We’re often congratulated when we’re modest, humble, and “sacred,” and I’m the opposite of these things and pride myself on it.
I don’t have fresh nudes because I’m no longer compelled to produce them. I don’t need to entice a man with nudity, or anything, right now — right now, all I’m concerned about are deadlines and crafting new work. I write and I eat when I’m hungry. I am less and less concerned with my body and its desirability. I am only concerned with its function and what I like about it. Carbs have become fuel for good work. I’m not being puritanical about it. Nudes are still good, and sometimes it’s one way of controlling the narrative of a body.
I felt strong when I took a picture of my naked back. The photo is black and white, which I have defined as a tasteful nude, or “tasty nude” for short. I look proud, like I never do. I took the photo after my uncle disowned me for showing too much cleavage on social media. The picture is an opposing viewpoint. Some Indigenous men hide behind “old ways” and traditions to tell us what to do with our bodies, when my people were fine with nudity. My people, and my mother, specifically, found sexuality to be an irreverent thing one could use to subvert a culture working against us.