It's Time to Embrace the Experience of Shared Womanhood
I’m thinking of the story Gloria Steinem told about the bathhouses.
The Experience of Womanhood & the Beauty of Our Bodies
Gloria Steinem's Thoughts on Body Image
She was at a weekend retreat, sort of like a spa. There were classes — movement, stretching, yoga. & then, of course, there was the sauna.
At the beginning of the weekend, Gloria explains, most of the women were guarded, hesitant, & held tightly to their privacy. But, as the weekend went on, it’s as if those guards, those barriers to who they are & how they look, began to fall away.
Slowly, layers of clothing would come off in classes or women would walk freely from the sauna to the changing rooms without any clothes on.
It’s as if they found themselves drawing together, linking as women.
Learning to Love the Beauty of Our Bodies
Without experiences like these, how do we come to know & embrace our own bodies? How do we know what the diverse experience of being a woman looks like if we do not share ourselves with each other, freely & exactly as we are?
I think we feel so alone in our bodies, not recognizing our wrinkles & marks — our bigness, our smallness, our middle-of-the-roadness — as shared. These marks, these distinctions, these hips, these thighs, the curvature of our wombs are both uniquely ours &, at the same time, wonderfully universal.
All of it is a part of a shared womanhood.
Our tendency, so often, is to hide what we share. What if we decided to show ourselves fully?
This primal celebration of our womanness would rise in us &, finally, we each would know:
“I am beautiful.”
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About The Author - Ashley Asti
Ashley Asti believes we deserve to feel liberated & safe in our bodies - & it is our collective responsibility to ensure we do. Ashley is a writer, teacher, & the founder of an organic skincare line rooted in Self Love & Sustainability.