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Why I Like Taking My Clothes Off for the Internet, or On Modesty

There are a lot of things I regret doing and I'm sure there are only bundles of more embarrassing, character devaluing delights in my future, but one thing I'm not ashamed of is taking pictures of myself in my underwear and publishing them on the Internet. Deep down, I can hear a culturally attuned voice inside going, What are you doing, you crazy slut!?. And I'm sure most of you are thinking "Good God!" and wondering who raised me to be such a heathen. I'm sure the person who raised me is thinking the exact same thing and calculating how fast she can take me out of the will. Sorry, Mom.

I refuse to believe that posting these pictures is immodest. I'm not publishing them for money; if I was inclined or interested, I could find much more lucrative ways of taking my clothes off. Nor am I putting them up for attention, as there are many, many better online venues for such sharing. Most importantly, I'm not using these photographs to encourage sexual attraction in others. My sexual identity is private, psychological as much as physical, and monogamously connected to one gentleman who bears an uncanny resemblance to Sam the Eagle from the Muppets.

When all is said and done, I cannot control what you think of these photographs or how you access their intention which is at the heart of any conversation about modesty. The idea founded itself upon the notion that women can exert control over the sexual attraction other people experience. It's a ludicrous belief that I may decide whether someone else finds me sexually appealing or repulsive. I cannot deny that those awesome powers don't sound interesting, I'd like to go back to high school and "sway" some young men in my direction. But alas, I cannot determine what individuals far and wide get up to in their beds, dorm rooms, and retirement communities.

I've admitted my own powerlessness in how you receive these images and I've announced that my motives do not include getting rich, receiving excessive amounts of attention or turning my online persona into a goddess of steamy love. I am trying to make these photographs educational; I want every woman to feel empowered that she knows how a bra should fit, feel, and what 'look' she might be trying to achieve. I want to publish images of a woman's body that aren't photoshopped to hell and back and only show a creepy shadow puppet of what women really look like.  I intend to downplay the ridiculously overemphasized connection between breasts and sexuality. They aren't just toy bags for your next Romeo or Juliet.

Most importantly, I want to be brave and follow in the footsteps of women I admire immensely, like Cheryl Warner, Georgina Horne, and every plus sized blogger who has ever taken a bikini shot. They show the world that bodies are different and those differences aren't bad or meant to be hidden away like dirty secrets. I was young and full busted once. I felt alone, insecure, and horribly self-aware. If I can help just one reader feel more confident in her skin and proud of her shape, I will have done what I've dreamed of since starting this blog.

***This post is part of a week long blogging series, undertaken by many full busted writers, discussing modesty. I'm tremendously proud to be involved in the project and if you'd like to read more, this is a list of participating blogs:

Braless in Brasil
Bras and Body Image
By Babys Rules
Contrary Kiwi
Fussy Busty
Hourglassy (Abreast Abroad)
Hourglassy (Corporate Curves Report)
Hourglassy (Darlene)
Sophia Jenner
Sophisticated Pair
That Bra Does Not Fit Her
The Tit Rambler
Thin and Curvy
Red Hair and Girly Flair
Weirdly Shaped & Well Photographed


  1. I love your take on this. I hate the idea that what a woman is or is not wearing controls what men think. I don't think I have ever heard some one tell a man walking down the street on a hot summer day to put a shirt on because there are women present and it may make us think naughty thoughts. People were confused about Matthew McConaughey's missing shirts but no one seemed upset or appalled by it. I am new to your blog, but I am really enjoying it.

    1. Exactly, Cosmo! And all that assumes sexuality is purely about how much skin a man/woman reveals to another. In my experience, a long, lingering stare or a funny joke has turned me on just as much as I watch when Jax takes his shirt off in the tv show Sons of Anarchy.

      And welcome! It's always great to "meet" new readers! :D

  2. Your thoughts mirror my own, CeCe! It was a big decision to start posting bra reviews with photos of myself, but I think it's important to show how a bra fits me instead of just describing it. Like you, I also think it's nice to show what normal women look like (stretch marks, blemishes, and all!) to help ease the pressure to look like airbrushed photos. To me, the shots are about educating women. They're not about seeking attention or comments but more about helping women to figure out whether a style will or won't work for them. Great job!

    1. I'm so glad to hear that, Spair! I admire you as a writer and was very impressed with your piece in the modesty panel so I'm very happy you liked it. :D

      It was a similarly big jump for me and I had to do it gradually and in my own time, but I feel deeply I'm doing the right thing, for me personally. I'm still embarrassed when people bring it up in person...although I'm just as embarrassed when my sister points out I haven't tweezed my eyebrows or I miscount exact change at a coffee shop.Those moments are nothing compared to the fun I have on my blog and with my readers so I'm gonna roll on.

      I'm glad to know we have similar approaches and again, thank you so much for your kind words.

  3. Would the images be immodest if you WERE doing it for "the motives of getting rich, receiving excessive amounts of attention or turning [your] online persona into a goddess of steamy love"? Your educational motive seems to fit perfectly within the definition of modesty that Erica of Sophisticated Pair wrote about: unassuming--especially with your plaudable goal of demonstrating and celebrating the un-photoshopped body.

    1. I've thought a lot about your comment, Darlene. I suppose I feel the conversation about modesty is actually a conversation about intentions and motives. To me, modesty isn't...real? For centuries, there have been changing notions of what's indecent or not, what's sexually provoking or not so discussions of what exactly is/is not currently considered modest is superfluous.

      The real conversation is about what we (as a culture) write onto women's bodies and how little that has to do with the women individually. In the 21st century and for centuries before, women have been held responsible for controlling and managing other people's sexual reactions. Women are culturally expected to help hold these standards so they may enforce these expectations; i.e. "Her skirt's too short! She must be sexually promiscuous" or "Her neckline is too low! She's incredibly vain!". Of course, we've all done this and it's not really about what someone else is wearing, is it? It's much more a reflection of OUR ideas about ourselves -- our sexuality, our self identity, and what our place in the world is.

      I wish an explanation of my motives wasn't essential, that I could simply do what I wished with my body, but the truth is, people WILL see these pictures and believe I am immodest. They will prescribe ideas, judgements, and labels to me that have absolutely nothing to do with me. Just as I cannot control other people's sexuality, I cannot manage other people's reactions. But I wanted to articulate my intentions so I may write my own story of my body and even though others will do what they will do, I'm happy I had my two cents. :)

      Phew, I'm so happy you've brought up such interesting ideas and I'm very, very glad that you enjoyed the post.

  4. "The idea founded itself upon the notion that women can exert control over the sexual attraction other people experience." One of my favorite sentences of all the Modesty Panel posts so far!! What a great thought that I hadn't had yet!

    1. Thanks, obsessedwithbreasts! It's a strange concept to consider, isn't it? Like a superpower...? Hahaha, file that NOT POSSIBLE, right next to the X-Men and time travel.

      I'm glad you enjoyed my contribution! :)

  5. I for one wouldn't like to read more about modesty and I am slightly annoyed by the fact that all my favorite bloggers are doing modesty posts at the same time, some turning it into long rants and there is *Nothing* else to read (well, there's always books). But If I am to read someones thoughts on this with interest, I turn to you :) Your writing is beautiful, so are your thoughts, and most of all, so are you. I'm not sure if I am allowed to feel proud of someone I do not really know, but I do :)

    1. Oh wow, thank you for your kind words, Vee. I'm incredibly touched and honored to hear your thoughts. You have no idea how comments like this keep me going. And right back atcha ya! If you can feel proud of someone you've never met, then I know someone I've never met is beautiful too! Inside and out. :)

  6. I love your blog! Your pictures are so helpful as I have the same breast shape in a sister size, so I get to see how different bras would look and feel on my 'big bust, small waist' frame. This goes a long way, since I have no option but to order online. Keep them coming! x


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