I have discovered this is a common theme with other nude models I have met. Those of use who experienced childhood sexual trauma and later became a nude model is a catalyst for healing from the past, really a way to empower ourselves.
Most of my upbringing I was sexually abused by several people most notably my stepfather who later went to prison. In addition to the abuse I was not loved by my mother and had the responsibility for caring for my youngest sister during my teenage years. Already a classic introvert, I was extremely lonely and lived in survival mode everyday. My first taste of freedom was when I left home the day after my 18th birthday.
In my late teens I went to modeling school and for a few years was a model in the local town. Mostly fashion shows. Throughout the years I would do shoots for amateur photographers. Then in graduate school I had my first nude shoot in Big Sur, California with a professional photographer. It was my first taste of being comfortable in front of the camera in my own skin, nude. I had always loved being in nature which is where we did the shoot. As a young child I would wonder in the woods, finding my solace away from the trauma, talking to the trees, playing in the creeks.
In my mid forties I went through some incredible changes. I was training to be a burlesque dancer, attending Burning Man events, dancing at drum circles and starting doing photo shoots again. I also started working at an arts college as figure drawing model. The professor and I began to collaborate on a project about the abuse and my recovery from it in pastel drawings. In the abuse my nudity was used as a tool to please someone sexually and now I had found the venue of artistry. I had taken my power back. Indeed I am learning to set boundaries as there are some things that can trigger emotional wounds. However, I have always been fearless and as long my gut instinct tells me this is a path of healing I will continue to evolve.