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Birthday Suit — Nakedness Part IV March 13, 2011

Filed under: From The Heart — heartwriter @ 4:49 pm
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Posing nude has never been on my bucket list – well okay, now I’m lying. It was on my bucket list, but now it’s something I can cross off.

In a landfill somewhere in Japan there is a naked picture of me. Pretty sure it is no longer on a wall or stuffed in a drawer, too many years have passed.

At the age of 23 living in Tokyo a group of us headed out of the city for a weekend getaway. During one part of the weekend the women divided up from the men and went to the female only onsen, community bath. We were on the top floor of a high rise with a spectacular view of the ocean. We four young women had this huge bath to ourselves.

Two of my friends were Japanese and had their long black hair piled on their heads in old fashioned buns and steam filled the room so their silhouettes appeared timeless.  I hopped out of the bath to run back to the locker room to fetch my camera.  With their beautiful Asian faces peering out between the steam I thought it would make a great photograph. My American friend, a great photographer was laughing at my naked self running around snapping photos.

Let me take your photo? She offered.

She was in the bath and I was out of it near the window that cascaded lovely light onto all of us. I handed her the camera, struck a quick pose – that was that.

The next week picking up my developed film at the One Hour photo developer near my apartment, I noticed my nude photo was missing. It showed up on the negative – quite clear.

In my co-worker’s broken English and my minimal Japanese we surmised some young photo-mat boy had my photo in his possession. I kept the negative thinking one day I would get it developed.

Twenty years later the negative is buried in some box and another photo has not been produced. I kept thinking I would look for it and get it developed, give it to my husband, have a good chuckle how my body has changed after two babies.

On a girls weekend last fall with my two long time friends, my artistic friend, who took nude painting this past summer painted me – in my birthday suit. She needed practice; I wanted to see what it was like, cross it off my bucket list.

I was much more shy posing at age 42 than 23, but the shyness didn’t last long and soon I was actually liking the process of sitting their naked while being painted.

So I guess I can say I have posed nude, intentionally, twice in my life…not for cash of course. Not for my fifteen minutes of fame.  I guess the reasons aren’t completely clear to me but it’s something little I’ve done with no regrets and now I have a cool piece of art to hang…in a place to be decided.


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