Here’s Why You Look Good Naked

A massage therapist has seen more unclothed humans than he can count; all of them perfect.

woman laying on massage bed
Dan Winters for Reader’s Digest

People have been undressing for me for a long time. I know what you look like: One glance at you, and I can picture pretty well what you’d look like on my table.

Let’s start here with what nobody looks like: Nobody looks like the people in magazines or movies. Not even models. Nobody. Lean people have a kind of rawboned, unfinished look about them that is very appealing. But they don’t have plump round breasts and plump round behinds. If you have plump round breasts and a plump round behind, you have a plump round belly and plump round thighs as well. That’s how it works. (And that’s very appealing too.)

Women have cellulite. All of them.

It’s dimply and cute. It’s not a defect. It’s not a health problem. It’s the natural consequence of not consisting of Photoshopped pixels and of not having emerged from an airbrush.

Men have silly buttocks. Especially if most of your clients are women, you come to male buttocks, and you say, What, this is it? They’re kind of scrawny, and the tissue is jumpy because it’s unpadded; you have to dial back the pressure, or they’ll yelp.

Adults sag. It doesn’t matter how fit they are. Every decade, an adult sags a little more. All of the tissue hangs a little looser. They wrinkle too. I don’t know who started the rumor that just old people wrinkle. You start wrinkling when you start sagging, as soon as you’re all grown up, and the process continues on its merry way as long as you live. Which is hopefully a long, long time, right?

Everybody on a massage table is beautiful. There are really no exceptions to this rule.

At that first long sigh, at that first thought that “I can stop hanging on now, I’m safe,” a luminosity, a glow, begins. Within a few minutes, the whole body is radiant with it. 
It suffuses the room. It suffuses the massage therapist too. People talk about massage therapists being caretakers, and I suppose we are: We like to look after people, and we’re easily moved to tenderness. But to let you in on a secret: I’m in it for the glow.

I’ll tell you what people look like, really: They look like flames. Or like the stars on a clear night in the wilderness.

Read more from Dave here

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