A handful of years ago I decided to choose a word, a theme if you will, for the year ahead in place of any concrete resolutions or goals. Last year the word that surfaced and stood out among the litany of others was a simple one with a big impact; naked. My word for 2020 was naked, and I have to admit that the year brought with it ample opportunities for nakedness, as most days were spent at home with only my spouse and a dwindling will to put on any clothes apart from pajamas and sweats. Last January, I imagined finally embarking on a journey of embracing my body which even before this year of covid-weight gain, had been expanding and no longer looked like what I envisioned for my "ideal self". In part, this was a side-effect of medications that reduce my anxiety and manage my depression and help me fall asleep each night - all of which I had decided was more important than my physical appearance. I still think it more important.
Last January I had dreams of placing this changed, rounding body in front of the camera in all of its glory as an act of defiance against the conditioning that for years has taught me to be smaller, prettier, quieter. But as the months passed by and that body gained more weight my spirit waned and I avoided the camera more and more. And December came, and January's wishes were buried deep.
A few days before Christmas, Laura asked me to take some product photos of her new robe and so my freshly showered self spent thirty minutes in my studio, modelling this quilted masterpiece while Ben snapped photos and I brave enough to show a little of that body, a little of that nakedness I had imagined for the year.