I Finally Allowed my Husband to Take Nude Photos of Me...at 40

Turning 40 changed me. Why was I scared of seeing my own body?
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Publish date:
July 7, 2015
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Tags:
body acceptance, marriage, getting older, nude photos, Self Love, Getting Naked

Click. The metallic shutter like sound of the phone camera.

“Could you open up a little more?”

“What do you mean?”

“I think you know what I mean.”

Laughter.

I spread my legs a little further apart, mindful of the hot sun beating down on my exposed butt, and now other places.

This is me, letting my husband take nude photos of me. After 16 years together, I have consented to his taking (and keeping), naked pictures of his wife. I wasn’t comfortable with the idea in my late 20s. I didn’t hate my body, but I did not consider it photo-ready.

“I don’t have a perfect body.”

“I’m not photogenic.”

I knew my husband loved me unconditionally, but did I love myself in that way? What if I saw something I couldn’t un-see? Something that would cause me to feel (a little more) self-conscious while naked?

My 30s came around and I got pregnant, gave birth to babies and breastfed them. There are a few private pictures from this time, showcasing my changing body and births. Not exactly what one has in mind when they think about nude photos.

After those early baby days passed, I expected pregnancy and childbirth would be the final key to lock the door on the topic of nude photos. My body would never look the same. A Caesarean scar, stretch marks on my stomach and breasts. The imperfect healing of a tear during childbirth. Who would enjoy pictures of that?

Somehow, that idea changed over the past year. Turning 40 changed me. Why was I scared of seeing my own body?

Nearly a decade after the birth of my first child, I am proud of the work my body has done. Growing and carrying a life. Feeding and nourishing my babies. These lines and scars are hard won. At 40, I have gained confidence and lost much insecurity. At 40, I have forgotten what I was supposed to be scared of.

As my 40th year draws to a close, as the camera shutter closes, I’ve found myself becoming more comfortable with what I really look like. I am realizing what I may see as flaws are really not flaws at all. No one is airbrushed in real life. I don’t want to live a life where my body is untouched by time, untouched by experience.

I’ve also discovered that I don’t have to love what my husband loves. He loves these photos of me. I don’t have to look at them, if I don’t want to. This can be a private thing for him. But I may just revisit those pictures, when I find myself at the end of my 60th year.

“This one looks good.”

“Is that really me?”

“This one, I love.”

So we’re taking a few pictures, here and there. Some are tasteful, some, not so much.

I’m liking far more than I ever expected.