October 09, 2012

Naked. With a cowboy hat.

The kitchen was filled with women. Quilt Artist stirred a pot of soup on the stove. Makes Bread knelt on the floor in front of the refrigerator, re-arranging everything to make more room on the shelves. Long Beautiful Hair waved a jar of pickles. Denim Woman pulled out a big bag of Dark Chocolate Bark and handed it to Signing Woman. Everyone was talking excitedly, nine voices echoing against the wooden cupboards and high ceilings.

Under the swirl of conversation, I said to Quilt Artist, “You going to pose naked for me this year?”

“Of course,” she said. “I’ve even brought a hat. To use as a prop.”

I love this about my friends. They are so very cooperative.

We decided the stone steps of the old house we were staying in would be a nice backdrop for a naked photo. The fact that the steps faced a public road did not phase Quilt Artist. “I’ll just duck down when a car goes by,” she said. Several cars did go by, and I snapped some photos in which she looked like Indiana Jones, slinking stealthily behind the stonewall.

Back inside, I pulled the photos up on my laptop, and friends gathered around to help vote on which photo we should use. “I like how the brown hat is repeated in the brown stones,” I said, pointing to my favorite. “And I like the curve of your body."

Wearing her cowboi hat

Almost everyone else voted for that photo, but Quilt Artist kept pointing to a photo in which she’s sitting on the edge of the steps. “I like how you can see all the silver in my hair. And I like how the wrinkles in my stomach are reflected in the stones. I know women aren’t supposed to like all those lines on their body, but I do.”

She and I smiled at each other. We’ve been friends for a couple of decades now, and I know the long journey she undertook to accept her body and love her self.

So I’m putting both photos on my blog. Readers can choose which one they like best.

Lined

For the history of the naked blog photo project, go to this page and click on each photo, beginning with the first. Each photo has a link that will bring you back to a post on this blog that tells the story of how the photo was taken.

18 comments:

Jenevieve said...

I love both, but especially the second, the lines of her body are so fluid and graceful.

Cindy said...

She's beautiful. I like both photos!

Anonymous said...

I think I'd vote for that second photo. But both are lovely.

H.

liz said...

I vote for the first, just because she looks so relaxed. The second looks like she's poised to get back up (or perhaps she just sat down?) So there's a lot of tension in that picture (at least for me).

Lorianne said...

Both are lovely, and the first is more "classic" in terms of the pose. But I love the second one more, I think, because my belly looks like that, too. The gray hair is a bonus.

rented life said...

I love seeing women with long grey hair. All the women in my family cut their hair short as they get older, and I don't want to. Both photos are great!

Magpie said...

i like them both, but related to what liz said, there's tension in the second - especially in her toes. so i vote for the first. it's more relaxed.

Sandy said...

I love this tradition. Both photos are beautiful. I absolutely love her hair.

profgrrrrl said...

I love that you still do this. The photos are always beautiful.

Zhoen said...

The first is more artistic. The second so much more human and vulnerable, and I love it more because of that.

Lilian said...

YAY, YAY, YAY!!! Finally one centralized location for all the photos. AWESOME, Jo(e)!!

BTW, we're wondering if we'll travel North on Thanksgiving or not, will you be around that week?

Lilian said...

P.S. I like both, but the first one is more relaxed as someone said above.

jo(e) said...

Lilian: What's funny is that I've had all the photos in an album on Flickr the whole time. I just never thought to use that as a link.

Yes, we'll be here the week of Thanksgiving. Send me an email if you're coming through and we can plan a meet-up!

Lilian said...

Did you have to go add every single link to the blog posts, though? That must have been tedious, but it's AMAZING, really, INCREDIBLE to be able to see them all in one place. Oh, and the very last ones don't have the copyright notice, was that on purpose? (just some limited rights or something).

Do you like flikr? I never wanted to pay, so I never used it. Maybe I should have.

Lilian said...

P.S. & I'll let you know if we drive North. problem is that I don't have the whole week off. :(

Tie-Dye Brother-in-law said...

Nice - the hat lets you use different angles than you usually do, without giving up anonymity.

And I do like long silver hair - I've never understood why some women feel they need to cut their hair short just because it's lost some pigment.

jo(e) said...

Tie-Dye Brother-in-law: I agree. The long silver hair is beautiful. It's incredible how much pressure women in this culture feel to dye their hair and cut in short once it starts going silver. We are a culture that glorifies youth.

Jeff C. said...

Both images are gorgeous. If I had to choose one I'd go back to the reclining pose. The lines of the classic figure pose work well with the lines of the wall and trees above it. The hat adds a touch of whimsy to the classic, feminine pose as well.