Taking Your Shirt Off



This song was widely popular when I was in seventh grade.¬† I remember this because I was at a school dance and the prepubescent boys starting “raising up”¬† which constitutes as wildly removing their shirt and waving them around in circular motion as if ranching for cattle.

The other day my body became oven-like during an intense Pilates class. It was a heated. I didn’t know this was the case or I wouldn’t have worn my 3/4 length cotton shirt.¬† I debated whether to take my shirt off or not. I thought to myself, my bra really isn’t dressed for the occasion. I tossed the idea back and forth in my head about two minutes because the gray and maroon inspirational tee I was wearing, announcing “Be Great” in block letters, was already soaked.¬† I was miserable. Feeling more and more self- conscious about this proposition, this debacle, really.¬† I knew I needed to make a decision.¬† Now, to the typical hot class goer, Bikram lover, sports bra runner, Nike/ fitness model, this is normal action.

If you are cool with or have no qualms about your tummy- great. I however, have battled with stomach insecurities for a hot minute- no pun intended. For you see, I have been a monokini/ one-piece wearer for about a decade.  Even as a child very rarely did my stomach see the light of day.

That morning was an exception.

I summoned the courage to take off my shirt. I was free at last. ¬† I was a bit self conscious at first but the body positive movement is strong and I felt good. It made me want to buy a better sports bra and go shirtless more often. I did. Panache.¬† Apparently it’s supportive of larger breasts. I will disclose the verdict another day.

It made me think of the times I have been paralyzed to not do something based on what someone else would think of me or my body.

Our body is a temple.

We house babies in our bellies.

Sometimes we just need to do what we need to do.  In the heat of the moment, we make our move, because the idea of keeping on our shirt or staying in the same holding pattern becomes burdensome. We run the risk of overheating, too sweaty for a cotton shirt, feeling trapped.  Necessary actions become unavoidable. Own what you need to do.

‘Raise up, and take your shirt off. This one’s for us.’

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