19 Sep And Then There Was a Naked Pool Party
I don’t remember who took their clothes off first, but the cascade of naked bodies into the pool was immediate. After nights of girl talk and sharing confidences and building trust, a day of empowering boudoir photography, showgirl costumes and wandering around in lingerie, and then topping it all off with a fabulous, fearless burlesque class, there was no other way to end the day.
But let me stop here a moment. Naked pool parties weren’t a part of the last retreat, and may not be a part of any coming retreats either. This wasn’t planned, or required. It was an evolution of trust. It’s easy to ride the wave of sensational stories and make this out to be some Edmonton (and Calgary and Houston and Baton Rouge) girls (women) gone wild in a week of wild hedonism, but it wasn’t that at all. It was way, way better.
Naked pool parties make a great story, but not for the reasons you think. Each of us there- me included- brought with us our own fears and insecurities about our bodies, and they didn’t magically disappear just in time for a midnight dip. They were still right there. So taking our clothes off was an incredible act of trust, a decision that we each individually made to believe that our friends here were not judging, just loving us EXACTLY the way we were. It was a leap of faith for each one of us. Nobody was pushed or pressured (encouraged, definitely, but not pressured) and swimsuits would have been welcome too. But what an incredible experience it was to swim under the moonlight and realise that we really were safe here- that we all looked at each other with the acceptance we sometimes had trouble giving ourselves, and that without our clothes we were exactly the same smart, funny, sassy, amazing women we had been with the social armour of fabric to bolster us. Not less, not more. Exactly the same women.
We laughed and talked and swam and Jen taught us the New Orleans Bounce and I actually successfully got part of me to shimmy and… it was fun. And easy. And magical
Thank you all for the incredible trust you gave and were worthy of that night. I am not the same as I was. This thing I’m doing- boudoir photography and these retreats and the upcoming nudes project and all of it- it’s about trust, and acceptance, and shared stories, and friendship, and laughter. I have never seen it so perfectly demonstrated as that night.
(There are photos, and maybe someday some of them will be shared, if the women involved choose to. But this post is not about that.)