Written by Chasyn Carter
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been the girl I could be comfortable as. I was sweet, kind of outgoing, quiet in some spaces, and the most open I could be in the most private way possible. Anyone who knew me before I went to college will say they knew all about me. They will tell you CiCi is a sweet, funny kid that will look and act 12 years old forever. That persona kept me safe in a space that wouldn’t allow me to exist as my whole self. Classmates knew some, family knew more and very few close friends including my sister knew the most about who I actually was at that time. Well, they knew as much as they could from what I knew. But one thing that stood out to me from my life before college is how I viewed women and the female body.
For most of my young adult life, if I was in the room with my friends while they changed, I never looked at them. Something in my subconscious mind always told me to look away, look down, look at anything but the human body in front of me. I would say it was for the privacy of my friends, but they had all told me they didn’t care and would actively ask why I never could hold a conversation looking at them while they changed. I never could explain the gut instinct that forced me to divert my attention, I just did it. But that changed when I met one of my best friends. This new friend in my life was very comfortable in her body. So much so that she was naked often and that remains true today . From doing hair, to just hanging out, her body was visible and I slowly was able to look at her. When I was first able to look at my friend shirtless, I almost felt ashamed. I felt like I was doing something so wrong by seeing the body she willingly exposed to me. It wasn’t romantic, it wasn’t sexual, she was just comfortable, and I knew this.