It may be the most unusual art related request I have ever received “Would you be up for a project I am hosting?….. A project dedicated to the clitoris as a gift from God…to be used with young female adults, a counter narrative to the shit and shame culture that our inherited purity culture creates?”

Well yes I would…. it has taken me years to emerge from the mantle of shame!

As a teenager I had no knowledge of the actual names of my own sexual organs, I was ashamed of anything sexual, it made me dirty, unclean, ashamed.

Ashamed for being female…

Ashamed for being the size and shape that I am…

Ashamed for being sexual being…


Shame is something that has plagued women and girls in so many forms for years, decades, centuries, patriarchal oppression has taken many forms , women who have dared to celebrate their bodies have been labelled as promiscuous, as prostitutes,as witches, as temptresses, as evil….

And yet male and female we are made in God’s image… fearfully and wonderfully made in God’s image….

Fearfully and wonderfully made, I wish that somebody had taught me that as I plunged into shame about how and who I was, and was promiscuous because I could not have told you that there was a difference between love and sex, and craved love. Of course what I found instead of love was more shame, and inherent shame culture because I dare to be female, and had imbibed the lie that to be female was to be less.

I am not less.

It is to the deep shame of our culture that women are sexualised, that young girls are drawn into the culture of oversexualisation and then shamed because that is where they find their expression. Just check out Instagram for numerous pouting pictures of female “stars” who are applauded and criticised in equal measure, they should not have to endure any of this! Nor should young girls, teenage girls, and young women feel that, that is where their value is discerned! They are more than their bodies…

They are fearfully and wonderfully made…

They are not less. They are made in the image of the God who loves them.

The image of God who created them to be whole and amazing people!

As a mother who has given birth 6 times, I count my twins as 2 seperate births, and has 5 amazing adult children, sadly my daughter Sarah was stillborn, she was number 4, twins followed… and I am blessed by them all…. I know this, women’s bodies are amazing, strong and formidable! I dare you to tell me otherwise, we are certainly not less. Those who think this might be true I dare you to give birth! We are strong not weak.

… and yet women are still shamed for being women, are still put down, ignored, and denied equality. To be a woman in a man’s world is still challenging, we still meet the glass ceiling in career advancement, and are still subject to, sometimes unconscious male privilege from the most enlightened of our male friends.

I thank and love my male supporting friends and I celebrate you, but….

Add to the female experience that of being a woman of colour, a woman who dares to name the sexual expression of being LGBTQI+ and the discrimination is amplified over and over….

and yet we are fearfully and wonderfully made, in the image of God, we are treasured and honoured, we are to be celebrated, old and young, short and tall, fat and thin, imperfect, for we all are, unless airbrushed, gay, straight or trans, intersex, androgynous, the list goes on….

She/He /They/Them… the list goes on…

Fearfully and wonderfully made, we are loved, honoured and created in the image of God, sexual beings yes, yes we are, and we can take pleasure in that, but please not in false over sexualised ways, that is not who we are, we are strong, we are beautiful, and we need to be allowed to live unashamed!

I am a woman, a mother, a grandmother, a strong queer woman who got lost for a while, but regrets none of it, for I am unashamed, made in the image of God!

In Christ there is neither Jew nor Greek, male nor female, all are one….

All should be unashamed…

I want to add that I know men who experience the same lack of acceptance, of body confidence, of shame, not so many, but this is still their truth, and they are fearfully and wonderfully made…

We all are!

About Sally C

How do I describe myself, I am not what I do, (I am a Methodist Minister), I am not who I am related to (I have 5 wonderful children, 2 lovely granddaughters and 2 lovely grandsons). I am a seeker truth, a partaker of life in all it's fullness and a follower, sometimes stumbling, sometimes celebrating of the Christian pathway. I seek wholeness, joy and a connectedness to all things through a deep reconciliation with the God whose love blows my socks off! I love walking, swimming and photography, I dabble with paint and poetry...
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2 Responses to Unashamed…

  1. Olive says:

    I think you might find a ‘speaking the truth about the Bible pp56-62 in Sam Wells book Truth particularly helpful as you think about your painting.


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