Day 180 - From Bare to Bush
It’s been 180 days since the inception of this (almost accidental) project. True, I meant to start a blog that documented my pubic hair regrowth, but I never in a million years envisioned that it would become such a renown and adored fixture within Tumblr society. I never thought I’d create a post that received over 100 thousand notes on it on this platform alone and has appeared within countless other venues on the internet. I never thought I’d receive so many messages that my fingers started to burn after hours of responding. I never thought I’d post a picture of my period on the internet and have people share it with their friends and praise me for my bravery, audacity and strength. A lot of things have happened since I started that I certainly never expected, but for which I’m absolutely grateful.
I am humbled, grateful and flattered that you, strangers who have never even met me, have given me so much of your love. That you have found solace in my words and enjoyment from my pictures. That you’ve written me countless letters of how you now finally have the strength to do things in your life that you have always wanted to and never felt you could. I am grateful too for the people who have hated me, written me nasty emails, left rude comments and ripped me apart on forums. You’ve taught me the ability to accept myself even more, and to know that no matter what I do, someone will find fault in me and I will never change that. I’ve learned to face criticism and to let it pass me by without taking it personally. I’ve learned to accept hate, and for this I honestly have the internet to thank.
This project has always been about me, and about the regrowth of my pubic hair. At 180 days, I feel like it’s to a point where I can safely say it’s full grown. It’s been just shy of half a year since I set out on this journey, and I think 180 is an appropriate place for it to end, signifying a full reversal - from bare to bush - a 180 degree turn around from the bare skin that started it all.
I will not be taking down any of my posts, or deleting my Tumblr or website. They will remain online and I’ll periodically check in and answer some messages when I have time, but for now, there will be no more posts. I’ve thought long and hard about this and have been trying to keep myself motivated, keep the creativity flowing and keep it interesting but at this point I have really run out of things to say. It’s a hard thing, walking away from something that has taken on a life of its own - to take a bow and turn your back on a full house of people who are all eager to hear what you have to say - but it’s something I need to do. If I come up with a fancy new venture, I’ll be sure to tell you all about it, but at the moment I have no such idea and I’m content in that.
For those of you who I know will write to me as soon as you read this and beg me to keep going and for those of you who have written in the past and begged me never to stop - I appreciate the sincerity and enthusiasm, but you’ve missed my point. This has always been about what I feel like doing, saying and posting. What I am doing with my body, how I feel about it at the time, what I’ve decide to do or not do, and so on. This has never been for or about anybody but me, and right now I no longer want to keep going with it. Sometimes when you embark on an idea with no end game, you can’t tell when it’s finished, but other times you can. Other times you reach a point where you realize in order to keep growing, you need to let go of it and start fresh, taking the lessons you’ve learned along the way and embracing whatever comes next. That is where I am, and it would be dishonest for me to keep going with this when my heart and soul are no longer there. This blog, above all, has always been about honesty, in everything that I’ve written and shared and on that I will not compromise.
I want to say one more thing and it has to do with the question of, “why?” Maybe I am the only person who faces this problem, but I doubt that is the case. So many times, I believe we are all guilty of stopping ourselves before we start something because we ask ourselves, “why?” Why should we do it, why should anyone care, why would we bother? To a degree, that question can be healthy but I think far too many times we let it limit us and silence us before we even open our mouths. Why would I ever start a blog documenting the regrowth of my pubic hair? Why would anyone possibly care about that? What good would that do me or anyone else in the world? Had I let those questions stop me, I wouldn’t be here today writing this. I wouldn’t have reached thousands of people all over the world, I wouldn’t have had the chance to cry over letters sent to me by strangers telling me how much they needed to hear my “voice” at that moment in their lives. It’s a lesson that I’m slowly learning, that sometimes the best way to learn the answer is to just simply start doing it and you’ll discover why you did it after the fact.
We are all capable of creating projects, reaching out to each other, forming little pockets of positivity and honesty within our worlds, and there doesn’t have to be a reason. Because we can. Because we want to. Because we have no idea what else we’re doing. Because we must. To borrow a famous quote, you really can be the change that you wish to see in the world. You don’t need me, I’m nobody special. You’ve got everything you need all inside of you, and if you feel that you don’t, just keep going and eventually you will. I am and always have been, an anonymous girl on the internet with no more credibility or clout than any person reading this. If I can build this with nothing but my words, my honesty and a digital camera, you can too. I believe in that one hundred percent.
Go get ‘em, tiger.
My Awesome, Saggy Breasts
My breasts sag. It’s a fact I’m slowly starting to come to terms with, but sometimes it’s still a hard thing to admit. A while ago I mentioned accidentally losing some weight and my breasts have definitely begun to show the results of that weight loss. What remains are two saggy little lumps on my chest with stretch marks all around them. But this has happened before, and I’m sure it will happen again.
My body changes all the time and when my weight fluctuates, it changes my shape and drastically affects my breasts. I used to obsess over the way my breasts sagged and the stretch marks on them and I even bought a special cream that was supposed to be, “breast firming and stretch mark healing.” Yeah right. When I gain weight, they puff up and change shape and when I lose weight, they shrink down and hang there inside of skin that’s now too big for them. The challenge I face is to not view this as “bad,” but simply as “what my body does,” and a natural part of my life.
Sometimes I get stuck in the mentality of comparing them to all of the other breasts of women my age and shape and I let discontent and unhappiness creep in. I start thinking they’re not normal, they’re too saggy, other women don’t have to deal with this, and so on. There’s actually an awesome Tumblr blog I found that is all user submissions of breasts and sometimes viewing the diversity on there is a much needed wake up call for me. - http://ourbreasts.tumblr.com/
So what if my breasts sag, or if they’ve got stretch marks? They’re mine and they’re part of who I am and I need to love them and be happy with them in whatever shape they take on. Saggy breasts, perky breasts or no breasts, I’m still me and I can’t let their shape and size get in the way of how I feel about myself. My body is awesome and dynamic. It’s a living, breathing organism that changes and shows signs of wear and evolves and grows and shrinks. It’s fucking cool. And watching my breasts change shouldn’t be a bad thing, but rather just a thing that happens that’s part of who I am. Today my breasts are smaller and saggier than they were 6 months ago, but that does not for one second mean that they are any less awesome.
Today it hit me that I have a penchant for framing all of my images in the dead center of the frame. I don’t know why, but there’s just something so satisfying about seeing my crotch all up in the middle of an image. I’m sure there is some deep psychology behind that, but I’m not sure I’d want to know what that says about me as a person.
Remember how I made this big fuss about finally deciding to pluck the little stray hairs on my tummy? Well, apparently I have some seriously overachieving hair follicles, because they’re coming back! And they’re in almost exactly the same spots. It’s like my body said, “Oh no! The hair fell out! Hurry, team, grow a few more so her skin isn’t so lonely!”
A while back, I wasn’t quite sure how I felt about my leg hair, so I made a post about my confusion and got a ton of responses both in praise of keeping and of removing the hair. I realized today I never actually decided what to do with my leg hair, but that the lack of a decision is actually a decision all in itself (did I just blow your mind?). I thought about shaving it, and even bought some shaving cream, but then I got distracted and forgot about it and before I knew it, I stopped thinking about it at all. Someone asked me today in a message what I’d decided to do with it and it prompted me to realize, “Holy shit, I have leg hair! Right! I forgot!” Somehow I’ve just become so used to it now that it doesn’t bother me. I don’t feel weird about it, I don’t feel anything about it. It’s the same as knowing I have veins on the backs of my hands or what I ate for breakfast. It’s just a fact of life and I have let go of whatever lingering hangup I had about it. Pretty cool, huh?
Also as a fun side note: I finally broke down and sheepishly asked a friend to show me how to use their “real” camera for today’s picture. After freaking out because it had so many buttons and I was terrified to break it, I realized that the results kind of blew my mind. Turns out, using a nice camera actually DOES produce a nicer image. Who knew?! Ok, maybe everyone knew that, but somehow I have always just been too stubborn to admit it.
A month or so ago I did a text-chat interview for the Naturist Living Show podcast. They, in turn (and at my request), got a different woman to read the role of “Bare to Bush” for the recording, because I didn’t want my real voice out in the world for everyone to hear and possibly recognize. So please note that the woman you’re hearing is not me, she’s just reading the role of me.
Anyhow, it’s a fun little interview and the part about me starts around minute 29:00 on the podcast for you antsy people who don’t want to sit through the whole thing. You can either click, “Play Now” on their website or go find it on iTunes!
Sexual Gratification and My Pictures
There is a common question I get that goes something like this:
"Don’t you find it disturbing that there are people out there who masturbate to your pictures?"
And the short answer is no, no I don’t. I do not create my images for the purpose of being used for sexual gratification, that is true. But does that mean I am offended, hurt, disgusted, or creeped out when they are used as such? Absolutely not. There is a simple truth to the release and distribution of creative work and that is that once you put it out there, it’s out there and you have essentially given up your creative control. When I give you a picture of my body, it doesn’t come with a legal contract saying that you will use it only and entirely for educational purposes and never pursue any sort of sexual arousal from it. Though I may give it to you because I want to tell you something - I want to share a story about something - what you choose to do with it is ultimately your choice alone and it’s out of my hands. Put it on the fridge next to a picture of your childhood best friend or jack off to it before you go to work. Once I give my creation to the world I relinquish my control and regardless of my purpose or intent, your interpretation is yours and yours alone.
I am fully aware that my pictures can be perceived as sexual. I’m sharing intimate, graphic pictures of my body with the internet into a community already teeming with sex. I also don’t feel that it’s necessarily a bad thing if they’re perceived as such. Sex and education are not mutually exclusive. Arousal and appreciation can go hand in hand. An appreciation for what I say tangled with an inexplicable desire to fuck me do not have to be at odds with each other. Sexual arousal is not a sin or a threat or a slap in the face of my purpose. Sexual arousal is human, it’s natural, it’s going to happen no matter what I do and I don’t view that as a bad thing. The world of human perception and interpretation are so wonderful, incredible and complicated that there are undoubtedly people out there who fantasize about licking the period blood from my legs while others fantasize about being my best friend and having a chat over coffee from viewing the same exact image.
Sexuality isn’t evil. Seeing sex within something does not mean that thing is dirty, compromised, wrong or distasteful. Sexuality can live within things, it doesn’t have to be an either/or. Because I share my body with you for the purpose of sharing my stories and my views does not mean that I am upset if your view of my creation becomes saturated with sexual gratification. I don’t feel upset or dirty or disgusted. I don’t feel that compromises or cheapens my intent. The idea that sexuality is so demonized and that people need to remove all of those thoughts from their head to appreciate what I’m saying is simply bizarre. I’m a beautiful woman sharing intimate and naked photos of myself on the internet and to assume that people won’t find arousal and sexual appeal in that is simply naive.
I am comfortable with the knowledge that there are people out there who masturbate to my images in the same way that I’m comfortable with the knowledge that there are people out there who cry when they read the story that accompanies them. There are people out there who are upset by what I do, who love what I do, who don’t give a damn about what I do and who are aroused by what I do. In my humble opinion, not one of those reactions is evil, wrong, disgusting, immoral or a reflection on me having done a poor job on my end. They are all valid, complicated, intertwined human emotions and I feel no shame in being a catalyst for their release.