Yesterday was a pretty life altering Monday. My whatsapp notification tone pulled me from my sleep at around 7am and I fumbled around to locate my phone in the pile of washing beside my bed…I like to keep it there because it provides a soft landing for my devices when they slip off the bed at 2am after I’ve slipped into a google induced coma. I smiled when I saw that I had received pictures from my buddy Ken. We had attended a body painting jam over the weekend and participated in the World Naked Bike Ride. I should have probably begun my story there….
On Saturday morning Ken collected me from my local Tesco in our little rural Ireland town. I tried to slink past passers by with my colossal bag of body paints and naked bike riding supplies but stealth has never been one of my strong suits. The handle came off my giant ‘Little Miss Sunshine’ bag for life and the odd contents went rolling around the busy car park while I continued to struggle with a big plate of cheese and grape skewers I planned to offer to my new naked friends.. It was all a bit awkward. I’m beginning to think this might have been the universe warning me that I was about to do something potentially very embarrassing and now was my chance to leg it! However, I pressed on.
We arrived at the secret location about two hours latte because Ken had an unforeseeable emergency earlier that morning. This meant I was under severe pressure in terms of getting his artwork done and leaving some time for him to paint me. I rushed in past all the lovely taut bums and perky breasts and began setting up our station. I did experience an ‘Oh holy mother of divine Jesus!’ moment of sheer panic that could be expected from any heavy girl walking into a room jam packed with model types. The only comparison I can draw on is Fota Wildlife Park….and it looked like the rhino had charged into the Chilean flamingo pond. I didn’t have time to mull over this because Ken’s willy was already on display waiting for my paintbrush. It was an utterly nutty situation.
In spite of time constraints, I really enjoyed the painting. People stopped to chat with us and offer their help and advice. It was an extremely warm and safe atmosphere without the inappropriate, sexual underbelly that many people I have spoken to assumed. This isn’t a pervert convention or an attention seeking exercise. These are real artists and those being painted are generously allowing themselves to be used as beautiful canvasses. Everyone had a very good and plausible reason to be there. I love to paint and the human body provided a new and exciting challenge. I will DEFINITELY do this part again. I felt very proud of the dragon design I had created on Ken, given how limited my time and supply of paints was. Feeling enthused by my own work, I quickly shed my threads and waited to be transformed into the ‘Game of Thrones’ seductress, ‘Khaleesi’….as planned.
Ken opened a photograph on his phone which was supposed to be a design guide. He showed this to a kind passer by who offered him some help with the painting. He began to paint a bodice over my very large breasts, jokingly saying that they could be Khaleesi’s dragon’s eggs. Despite my best efforts to stay cool and easy going, I was dying on the inside and was secretly willing the whole thing to be over soon. My mind carried me back to my early teens when my male friends regularly cajoled me about my hefty bosom and I was surprised that after 20 years, I was still plastering a big smile on my face and making jokes back, hiding the fact that I secretly feel completely owned by my body shape, aesthetically inferior to every other woman in the room and physically awkward. Images of my childhood bullies making mocking remarks about my chest while I cowered into my school locker were racing across my mind’s eye. I felt queasy yet I continued to stand there, smiling and cracking jokes because the only thing that I hate more than my breasts is the shame I feel about them.
On a funnier note, Ken is completely hopeless as an artist. I realise art is all about taste and perception but I don’t think that anyone could ever dispute that the man can not paint. I’m not sure I would even let him near a wall with a can of Dulux and a roller. He painted me brown and green…with a brush….therefore there was a lot of chaotic brush marks. I looked like an ogre/ork hybrid. I attempted to cover my heavy, droopy naked body (made more conspicuous by a horrendous paint job) with a mesh scarf I had thankfully brought in my bag. Some of the particularly statuesque females in my vicinity looked on in horror and repulsion while I sheepishly tidied our work station to keep my chagrin under wraps.
Unfortunately, the scooter we bought were too small and slow to keep up with the group and we had to return to the car and go in search of city rental bikes. When a girl is feeling fat and secretly emotional, you would think the last thing she would want to do is drive around Cork city, naked and bright green in a Range Rover. Oddly, the hilarity of the situation was not lost on me and I spent the majority of this time genuinely laughing. We eventually grabbed some bikes and fell into the group as they rounded a corner. I thoroughly enjoyed the cycling bit because there really is no getting away from the fact that cycling without your clothes on is very pleasant. The air feels nice on your skin, you are inclined to giggle at the sight of yourself and there’s no danger of your clothes getting caught in the spokes. Win, win , win.
So….yesterday morning I was awoken to the sight of my flabby, big boobed, green self. It was so disheartening. I don’t really do regret so I’m not saying I regret doing it. On the contrary. I had a wonderful day bonding with my incredible friend. I laughed more than I have in a while. I met warm and friendly people. I saw some beautiful art. I got to do some painting. However, those pictures have snapped me out of the lethargic trance I’ve been in for longer than I’d like to say. I am seeing the doctor today to organise a breast reduction and I am resuming the gluten and dairy free lifestyle I enjoyed in the past. I am putting an end to this rut I’m in and making big changes so stay tuned for major developments!