There’s a chapter in my book, Material Girl, Mystical World, about my “Spiritual Style Icons.” A sort of alternative “best-dressed list,” it includes everybody from the Hindu Goddess Kali (she of the fearsome blue face), to the Queen of Pentacles, and Leandra Medine, the creator of the website Man Repeller.
I also make the point that, opposed to a genuine celebration of individual style, most magazine best-dressed lists are actually “best-looking,” “best legs,” and “least likely to scare the children” lists. Not to mention how the women anointed with the coveted title of “style icon” generally conform to very traditional ideas about what’s hot.
I also included the Goddess Venus on my list. Named for the planet of love, attraction, and abundance, the most famous depiction of this mythical mega babe is Botticelli’s painting of her naked in the half shell, with only her swirling auburn mane to preserve her modesty. And actually, Venus is never shown fully clothed. So how did she make my best-dressed list?
As I wrote in my book: “I think it serves us humans well to get comfortable with what we look like naked, and how it feels to simply exist beyond the ‘boundaries’ of clothes.” Not to mention the fact: “What makes Venus sexy is her total lack of self-consciousness. … She looks like a woman who knows her body is hers to be enjoyed.”
This summer, as we officially enter “bikini season,” the planet Venus is in Taurus, the sign ruling physical pleasure. So, the timing couldn’t be better to stop critiquing and start adoring your body. And if that's not a good enough reason, here are five more:
Because It’s Good for the Soul.
Body love is self love. So next time you find yourself naked in front of a mirror, try not to avert your eyes, or immediately focus on the parts that make you go, Ugh. Instead, take a long and loving look at your whole self. State out loud: “Thank you, body. I love you.”
Because It’s You.
In yoga (not to mention my personal cosmic belief system) there is no separation. Looked at this way, being mean to your bod is the worst kind of in-fighting! What a major waste of time and energy. On the flip side, show some reverence for your naked self, and you’re bringing your total being into alignment. All the better for, like, totally smashing this whole “being human” thing.
Because It Feels Good.
Your body has a ton of functions, but one of the most important and one that gets overlooked all the time is that your body is designed to give you pleasure! Venus in Taurus this month is here to remind us of this, so take extra time to enjoy the taste of delicious food, the tingles you get when your favorite song comes on in spin class, and the juicy electricity of sensual touch.
Because It Shares Your Story.
Memories of summers past are some of my most treasured possessions, and it helps bring them to life if I picture myself IN my body. Sounds weird? Try it! Close your eyes, and go back in time to your first summer crush. Now look down at your body. What were you wearing? How did it feel to want to be seen? Now go back to a time when you maybe weren’t so kind to your body. See how healing it feels to simply ask your body’s forgiveness.
Because It Gets You Closer to Your “Real” Self.
Naked also means honest, and worshipping your “naked self” also means worshiping your truth. So how about this summer you commit to showing up as 100 percent you, no matter what? This may sound as scary as walking down the street completely nude, but it’s a sure-fire way to build your self esteem, inside and out. Your body and your soul will thank you!