I am a picker. Always have been. I bit my nails until I was 17, over twenty years later, I still pick and bite at my cuticles, destroying manicures within a couple of days. I pick scabs, leaving scars. I pick at pimples and blackheads. Anything that can squeezed or tweezed or poked, I go at it. I make myself bleed. And then I do it again. Gross, I know. But that’s me.
So, as I was standing naked in the bathroom, picking at anything and everything, contorting my body trying to reach spots I could see in the mirror or feel with my hands, I realized that writing this book is a lot like that.
By putting my whole self out for the world (or the small percentage of folks who will read my book), I am really standing naked, not in the bathroom, but out in public, on paper, on the computer, at church, everywhere. As I write, I confront the image in the mirror, with all of the joys and sorrows, wrinkles and smooth places, stray hairs and bumps and bruises, my body has endured – internally and externally. I explore them on my own so that I can expose them to you, the reader, the world.
Some days I love my naked body, which is what I preach, but it is easier preached than practiced. But more often than not, I can find every single little bump to pick the hell out of. Sure, I could tell my story superficially, not digging too deep. But then I wouldn’t be telling the truth. My body looks fine in clothes, but sometimes clothes hide my shape. A life filled with nothing but puppy dogs and ice cream sounds nice, but it’s not my life. My life, and most of ours, is filled with hangnails that hurt to touch and scars that have long since healed.
I don’t always stand naked in front of everyone picking at EVERYTHING, but when I do, I go big or go home. Life is too short to exist in the surface. So, I get my tweezers out and try to find what is living beneath. I may make a mess of my skin, but what is embodiment without studying the flesh of the matter?
Former international fashion model Rev. Sarah Renfro seeks to boost the body image of young women by educating them on the myths of media and focusing on divine within. She also preaches and teaches about marriage and divorce, motherhood, ministry, and mental illness.