Our girl Jennifer Borget has a blog segment called “He Said, She Said” where she shares her and her husband’s views on a subject. While we’re the same gender over here at SiZ, we thought we’d give it a whirl. Same topic, both Sistas share their thoughts.
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Last week photographer Katrina Barker Anderson, was interviewed by KUTV about her project, “Mormon Women Bare” which features nude portraits of Mormon women, accompanied by personal essays from each woman. Regarding her project, Katrina says; “It’s about reclaiming our bodies from a culture that teaches us that we belong to men, to God, and to the society that objectifies us.”
Below each of the Sistas sound off:
|My kids forbid me to leave my house wearing this….
I did, and they freely accompanied me.
I got this!
Katrina:“I grew up with a fairly healthy body image and sense of self. But as an adult woman, I have struggled with feeling like my body was not entirely my own– it belonged to my husband, to my children, and ultimately, to my God more than it did to me. It has taken a drastic change in perspective for me to reclaim my own body for myself. It is not perfect by the standards of beauty magazines and runways. Like many of us, I should move more often and eat less sugar. But it is strong. It has birthed two babies without drugs. It experiences pleasure and pain. It is soft and firm. It has scars and stretch marks. And it is beautiful. And it is mine.”
Ann:“Just three months later, I stood in front of the bathroom mirror, prepared to peel my garments off. I no longer believed in the Church. Thus, I thought it wrong to remain clothed in covenants which no longer controlled me. With the same detached fascination you stare at strangers in a airport terminal, I saw the woman in the mirror pull off the garment bottoms. Slowly, deliberately. She waited through every inch for something to happen, sat and monitored her feelings. Wondered how soon the Spirit would leave. I saw her carefully, cautiously, lay the lifeless silk leggings on the countertop. She patted them tenderly, as if to say, “thanks for the all the memories.”Suddenly, she was me again. I was her. No longer unfamiliar with the infidel in the mirror, this girl without garments. It was mine to feel and command and care for. It was mine to dress and sunbathe and sit in. It was mine to walk as I pleased, to the places I pleased, in the moments I pleased. Forever following the whims and will of my own heart, my own head, my own sacred understandings. It was mine. This body belonged to me.”
Can I “bare” my testimony too? Now don’t get it twisted, cause this Sista plans on keeping her clothes on, and here’s why. Nakedness does not always reveal the truth and covering up does not automatically equal a cover-up. I believe that my body is a temple and a long time ago I set standards for myself on who was going to have access to my temple. Yeah, that’s right…not everybody has a recommend to this hizouse.
|I think my face has a good side and a bad side.
I’m that annoying girl who wants to switch sides every time we take a photo together.
When it comes to healing the many body and image issues that exist within our sisterhood, I actually think we need to put some things back on. THE GLOVES! The reason people take their gloves off when they REALLY want to fight is because you can do more damage with a naked fist than you can with boxing gloves on. Is it just me, or does it seem like women are always taking something off when we want to be heard. The gloves come off when we’re ready to rumble. Make a sista mad enough, she’s ‘bout to take her earrings off. Make your mama mad enough and she might take her shoe off.
|I don’t like to comb my hair. I am convinced that my hair doesn’t like me to comb it either.|
Can we stop taking stuff off for a second? Can we approach legitimate concerns in our sisterhood without out a “chick-fight.” Sometimes we get so lost in debating the package that the message is wrapped in, that we never even get to the message. And no, that doesn’t mean that the only way to focus on the issue is to start “unwrapping” err’thang.
|This jiggles when I lead the music at church.
I know I’m Mormon, but I’d rather the jiggle be on my Jell-o.
I won’t engage in putting down my sisters. Instead, I’ll use my breath to offer up my words and my experiences. We women gotta learn the difference between putting down and speaking up. I don’t think that we have to undress to address issues of dress. I said earlier that nakedness doesn’t always reveal truth. My doctor has seen more of my body and knows less of my body issues than my therapist, who has never seen me naked. A picture is not always worth a thousand words.
|I have stretch marks on my calves. They have been there since high school.
I didn’t know they were there until a boy at school pointed them out to me. Yeah, thanks for that, Shane.
Believing that my body is sacred doesn’t mean that I think that it’s secret. A private property sign doesn’t keep a building hidden, it just means that the owner wants to decide who, how, when and why access is gained. So you bet your bottom dollar that there are G-14 classified areas of my temple, and if you don’t have the clarifications, you can’t view em’, plain and simple. The standards I choose to maintain about my body have been influenced by my upbringing, my culture, my faith, my life experiences, etc. Sadly, outside influences can also have a negative impact on how I feel about my temple, how I treat my temple, and how I allow others to treat my temple.
|I have a muffin top. It most likely came from eating chocolate, not muffins.|
I too want to contribute to healing body and image issues within in my sisterhood and society. But hey, this desire only makes me want to shed some light, not clothes. So, my photos bear witness of my body, without baring my body. I have no make up on, no nail polish and unfortunately that’s how my hair settled when I took my bun out. I did take my earrings off too, but not cause I want to fight.
I am a Mormon woman. I have been objectified. I have been victimized. I have felt ashamed and confused about my body. And I have kept my clothes on. I have also experienced, healing, peace and love. And I have kept my clothes on. Why? Because no matter how many layers of clothing I take off you could never see my deepest scars. But gloriously, no matter how covered I am, my Savior still sees my pains and works with me to heal them.
|It’s no secret; I am a sacred woman, and that’s the naked truth.|
Our bodies are beautiful, we are created in God’s image, we should feel fabulous about our temples, and teachings of modesty should never be used to make a girl or woman feel otherwise. I don’t usually put Jesus and John Mayer in the same sentence, but John did say “Your Body is a Wonderland”. I believe that our bodies, our temples are a “marvelous work and a wonder,” that’s also why I think it’s ok to leave parts of them for folks to wonder about.
Cloaked in the armor or God,