“Look over there, another woman with only one boob!” screamed the sarong-clad stranger standing next to me.
I was puzzled and turned to her and asked, “What do you mean?” She pulled down her sarong and showed me her chest, on one side a breast, the other side a scar. I peered in the direction she had pointed, and another woman with a similar appearance was proudly walking out of the water.
I watched as two complete strangers joyfully connected with one another. No words were required, just one look of recognition, a smile and then an embrace. I was in tears, a blubbering mess. It was the purest form of human connection, kindness, courage and love and a story was unfolding before my very eyes.
In the course of one day my life has changed forever. I am a better human being; I have experienced more joy than I’ll ever be able to express. I didn’t get married, I didn’t save someone’s life, nor did I rescue a small animal. I simply took my clothes off and swam in the ocean with more than a thousand strangers.
The Sydney Skinny is an event like no other; it is the world’s largest nude ocean swim and happens each year at the stunning Cobblers Cove in Sydney. The event is a celebration of body acceptance and encourages participants to reconnect with their sense of adventure.
Here’s how the day unfolded for me:
I woke up on Sunday morning feeling slightly uneasy that I had engaged in a hearty feast of curry and chocolate cake the evening before. Seriously Taryn, could you not have shown some restraint on the food front before you partook in a nude swim?
It wasn’t so much the roundness of my tummy that was that bothering me but rather at what stage of the morning I would be “offloading” the previous night’s indulgences.
I arrived at Cobblers Cove early, filled with anticipation, excitement and nerves. Getting my clothes off in front of strangers is not something I’ve ever done. I walked around welcoming people with a smile and an air of assurance that could’ve been mistaken for confidence and bucket loads of experience in the nudity arena. We know this not to be true.
When I got to the beach, the first thing I saw was a penis. Yep, a man’s penis and oddly, it wasn’t my husband’s. Then I saw another, and another and another. Within minutes, a penis was a penis and a vagina was a vagina, and we were all just human beings. Nothing more: nothing less. Nothing scandalous, nothing dirty or creepy and nothing remarkable.