Orgiva 3rd February 2018
No Clothes, No Make-up, No Shame
I don’t know if this catches your imagination or not, but it is a fact that we see more images in one day than our medieval ancestors would see in a lifetime. Go on, imagine that! I took a couple of selfies while I was in Spain. I wanted to see myself there, there in the mountains and walking the paths because I knew when I came back I would need to remember that I was there. It would be necessary to call on that woman who walked in those mountains and ask, “what would she do in this situation?”
We think of selfies as a new invention but it turns out that the Pharoahs had them in their tombs, and our ancestors left hand prints in caves deep underground. Here is evidence or our lives. We existed! All things can get out of hand as is recorded in mythology when Narcissus, so in love with his own reflection that he couldn’t love anyone else, wasted away beside a pool of water where his beautiful reflection gazed up at him. The Gods had mercy on him and turned him into a flower.
But there came one night when, for a mad moment I thought about taking a naked selfie and posting on on Facebook entitled, “no clothes, no make-up, no shame!” Thankfully this impulse was quenched by the thought of my sons coming to terms with a naked image of their Mother on Facebook. However, behind the impulse was the furious outrage that our culture considers older women no longer good to look at. And I thought of those riven faced men who sport scars on their faces and bodies. They have conquered, they have killed and overcome and we value their chiselled looks! Women on the other hand, we have brought life into the world and the marks on our bodies are from carrying and bearing new life. We are bearers of the future, of generations, we nourish and sustain a tiny seed, then in anguish, sweat and blood, labour to bring this life through our own bodies and into the world. The marks we carry as mothers and elders, are considered ugly by a society obsessed by youth, and brainwashed by images mediated by interests other than nourishing human well-being. We must inhabit our bodies, no matter what shape we are in, and give thanks that we are, that we exist and for some of us, that we have given life and it has left its beautiful, beautiful mark upon us.