My Ass, and Bare Faced Beauty

Butt Selfie
I posted this picture on twitter. I was pleased that I could tell the gym work was paying off, so I posted. I figure if those of us with curves don’t post, as well, that too many people will keep thinking that only thin women exist. Besides, at 51 I’m pretty pleased that gym work can still make me want to show my ass on line. It was sort of a bit of happy silliness, and then another woman on Twitter said, “That was very brave.”

Brave? It was brave to put up a picture of my ass on line? I thought bravery was running into burning buildings to save people, or putting a gun to your shoulder and defending the constitution of this United States, or holding the hand of someone you love while they go through chemo – all that takes bravery. I really didn’t think my picture went in the same category as things that can win you medals, or give you the stuff of tragedies. But other women echoed the sentiment, and I sort of understood, but not really.

When did body issues become the stuff of medal worthy bravery? When the hell did it become an act of courage to show our bodies unretouched to the world? Then Robin McKinley, another writer, put up a link to a story in the Guardian. It was about Botox celebrating it’s twelfth anniversary, and how common place it had become. The article further stated that one of the reasons Botox is so common and popular is that teenagers are using it so their selfies on line look smooth and ageless. What? I mean, What the Fuck? Teenagers are injecting themselves to look “ageless”? They’re teens for Gods’s sake, how much more ageless do they want to look?

No Makeup.jpg
I wear light makeup most of the time, and for photo shoots I wear what my makeup artist puts on me, hairstylist, too, but enough was enough. I took a selfie of myself without any makeup on, my hair in it’s natural fuzz of curl, and I put it up on Twitter. There, done! I got some lovely compliments, and other people echoing my surprise that teenagers should be worried enough to take Botox, or anything else to look smoother. Then I ran into a strange controversy that seems to have come up around the #barefacedbeauty campaign that was originally supposed to help support money going to cancer research, but had also been high jacked by women on both sides of the makeup divide, those who do and those who don’t. Apparently, some anti-makeup women were trying to bully those that wore makeup, telling them they were a selling out the modern feminist movement, or some such nonsense. The movement to raise money for cancer research is still a good cause to support, so if you want to contribute, please do. I thought the issue of some women arguing about makeup at almost a moral question level was just another example of how we, as a group, seem to let differences divide us, rather than letting our common ground unite us.

How about everybody leave everybody else alone? If you want to wear makeup, do. If you don’t want to wear makeup, don’t. Do what makes you happiest. The same goes for curves vs no curves. Be whatever is a healthy weight for your body. Some women struggle to gain weight their whole lives, and other’s struggle to lose, and some people have wonderful genetics that helps them stay at whatever weight they want. Let’s stop the body shaming and just own that women come in all shapes and sizes. No one size, or body type is better than the other, just be healthy, whatever that means for your body.

Posted by at 10:10:18 am on March 24, 2014

89 Responses to My Ass, and Bare Faced Beauty

  1. Ashley says:

    Let me just say, I’m 23 years old and MY ass doesn’t look THAT good. congratulations on being soo kick ass and standing up for your opinions. How very Anita of you ;-)

  2. Cecelia says:

    Kudos! First, I think the ass shot is great! I’d be proud to have it. I’m one of those “no-ass” bodies, so I would take it in a heartbeat. I agree 100% with your comments on teens and botox. I hate to see that our young are so obsessed with being anorexic, dieting, and worrying about lines and wrinkles. They should be learning how to accept the body they have. That seems to take a lifetime to learn. Most of my life I was super thin, but now I’m heavier than I like -still no ass though :-( . But, I don’t let anything stop me from enjoying what I like. At 53, I’ve earned every one of my lines and while I would prefer to look young forever, I’m not. Every year I get older and there’s nothing to be done about it. Now make-up – yes I’m much more comfortable going out when I have it than without. I also think that lite make-up can help a women look her best. As a blonde based natural redhead, I don’t have a smooth skin tone and dark eyebrows and lashes, but that’s ok, because I have a tube of mascara and some powder or base to help what nature provided. At home, I am comfortable enough with myself that I don’t feel the need to wear anything – but that comfort level has only come with age. We all need to become comfortable with ourselves and recognize the beauty in everyone no matter their size or shape, color or gender. We all have a purpose, and just think how boring life would be if we were all the same size and color.

  3. Patricia says:

    You look amazing! What is your lower body workout routine?!

  4. Nicole St. Denis says:

    Laurel. You are beautiful. In physicality, and mentality. You are a talented, lovely woman, who can by all means show her butt on-line and herself without makeup and still be beautiful. Good for you. I think by the way, that your butt looks great! And be proud of it! After all, the only person it matters to is yourself! Go on girl. You got this. The blog says it all. In the immortal words of Bill & Ted, “be excellent to each other”, because that is what this world needs.

  5. Katrina says:

    And that last paragraph expresses EXACTLY my view on the subject. Which is just more proof to me of how awesome you are. :)

    Keep being yourself and doing what you’re doing. You are fantastic just the way you are.

  6. Donna Rupe says:

    I completely agree! Media has warped so much of a persons perspective on appearance and what’s acceptable or the “norm” that people are obsessed with their apappearance and it’s saddening.

  7. james says:

    Well I must say that is a very nice ass and at and you look as if your in the 30′s

  8. Arlene Coupland says:

    You look outstanding my dear!!! And you should always be proud of your acomplishemnts.Less then 2 wks ago I had a major heart attack and had a stent put in……I came thru because I fought I wanted to continue to be around for my grands and the rest of my family and friend.This was my accomplishement for March , now i want to lose more weight and quit smoking and be healthy for me!
    Yes you were brave in showing your ass , you make other women think …..and that is a major thing.We as woman must change the way our daughters and grandaughters see themselves . Before we lose them to unhealthy schemes to lost weight or look like dolls.
    Thank you for showing the real you as you work out and eat healthy to reach your goal.

  9. Allyx Kelley says:

    Hellz yeah! Thank you for writing about this. Also, I find that your un-touched-up photo makes you seem more accessible, more real to me, and adds another dimension to my experience when I read your books.

  10. Paul King says:

    You are the Bomb, LKH. I’m a slow reader but I never miss Anita Blake or Merideth Gentry. I love your ability to put a situation into place and I love your captivating freedom. Please don’t ever stop and keep up the good work. Love the Selfie. You darn sure don’t look near 51.

  11. Heather says:

    You have a hot ass – just sayin. My guess is that she has issues with her own body, so she’s putting yours down.

  12. Tracey S. says:

    51?! You’re joking! Nice ass. If I could get mine to look like that, I’d post it too! No…actually I’m quite comfortable with my body even though “media” of today would have huge issues with it. Looking and feeling good ;)

  13. Livvia says:

    Wow. I look at the photo of you looking fab without all the glam and I see a more beautiful younger you than in the glam shots from 2009 that you have on your blog. What ever you are doing you look great and keel at it.

  14. Patricia says:

    What a lovely ass,I am one of those women that have issue gaining and maintaining weigh,I am 29 years old,5’3′ and for the most part of my adult life i have only weighted 100lbs max,I am healthy as i can be,doctors have given me a clean bill of health,I am just naturally thin and i get so much shit because of that,it is sad that people focus so much on what is on the outside of a person.I started running again and doing cross training and now i have finally been able to go over my normal weight, 115 lbs,of course most people can’t see any difference because its all muscle and most of the time my clothes hide it. As far as teens using botox,that is some fucked shit,our youth need so much guidance that i feel like we are failing them. I will never use botox to look younger,i will wear my wrinkles and lines proudly,i earned them!.

  15. Corissa says:

    Well said. There are several issues floating around media that I feel the same way about. I wish people would focus more on tolerance of differences instead of pushing agendas and having to have their way be the right, and only way

  16. sandy says:

    Kudos for you. Not everyone should look alike. You have natural beauty

  17. Heather says:

    I totally agree. Girls an women r all trying to lose wt thinking that curves r bad. I an half Italian an I have lots of curves. There’s nothing wrong with accepting who u r an how u look.

  18. Lisa D says:

    I want to say that you look great! I wear makeup when i feel like it, and none when i dont. I am 45 and very happy with my “extra curvy” body. With the world the way it is, i think there are alot mote things to worry about than body image. Thank you for your refreshing opinion!! Love you!

  19. OMG my ass has never looked that good in my life. You are beautiful!!and if u got it flaunt it!! IM sure your hubby and Poly enjoy you just the way you are. They are the only one that matters. Forget the rest of world!! Blessed Be

  20. Amber says:

    This is why I love you. <3

  21. @JMJKDulce says:

    Laurell, at 51, you put some 29 year olds to shame. Keep doing what your doing as long as it pleases you.

  22. Sarah says:

    Damn, your ass looks amazing. I hope I look as good as you in another 24 years.

  23. Vickie R says:

    Recently people have suggested I should wear more makeup and dye my more gray hair blonde. I’m going to be 52. Yeah indie the long blond hair with heels and a short skirt look for years. I’m done with it. I too have curly hair and the longer it is..the harder it is to take care if it. Now its short and butchy.

    I can’t wear heels anymore. They hurt my feet. I wear my hair, clothes and shoes FOR ME even tho “They say” I could do better. (Echoing what my mother said to me at 17)

  24. lisa says:

    Well done. I agree so much. I’m only thirty, and still have so much time left to ‘age’. But I’ve been horrified by some comments made by younger people of the way I dress and look. As if its any of their business. I think anyone would be lucky to look as good as you do. I think your beautiful inside and out. Keep up the good work hun. And great bum shot :)

  25. Raven says:

    I completely understand why people have told you that you were brave to put your ass online. We live, sadly, in an age where cyber bullies threaten women with rape and death if they do something that feel does not conform to some feminine standard, and where the global media stalk those in the public eye waiting for any photo they can snap that could embarrass, shame or humiliate them and where watching people degrade themselves on reality TV passes for entertainment. Bravery is about doing something regardless of the fact that it makes you vulnerable – emotionally, mentally or physically. Now the pics you posted showed that you have a wonderful complexion without make up and a very shapely bottom but by sharing these things you open yourself up to all manor of judgements, criticisms and the petty sniping of any of the small minded idiots that prowl the internet and that can take strength to risk exposing yourself to.

    All that said I totally agree with you that more woman (and men, they have body image issues too) need show that they are beautiful be they curvy, slender, voluptuous, athletic, bronzed, pale, toned, short or tall and that beauty doesn’t have a one-size-fits-all, cookie cutter solution. If teens are feeling that they need to use Botox then something has to change.

  26. Susan Blakeney says:

    Laurel, I truly think that people have forgotten that we can all have DIFFERENT views/beliefs, likes/dislikes and still get along, work together and even like each other. Somewhere it became common to stop having respect for people who are different or believe different. Especially people who have been born different. Your lifestyle is not my lifestyle, BUT I would never try and convince you that your way is wrong and my way is the only way. Your life is just that, yours. Who would I be to tell you that? I think a lot of people cover up their own insecurities by trying to convince others that their way/views/beliefs are THE way. I’m thinking they’re trying to convince themselves of it also. A person secure in their own space doesn’t do that. They accept and agree that we only HAVE to be one thing…..ourselves :)

  27. MaiGirl says:

    I love everything about what you wrote! Also, you do have a mighty fine ass, and it clearly is one that workouts have improved, so great job. I am so proud of you, and the message that you are sending. We CANNOT let ourselves and each other give in to ridiculous pressure to be perfect, and your recounting of the reactions to your pic prove how important it is for us to have these dialogues. The normalizing of botox, plastic surgery, and crazy diets is out of control! I weep for young girls growing up with all these altered, unnatural images all around them. Cameron Diaz, in flogging her Body Book, talked about how it’s considered some kind of failure in Hollywood if you can’t look 25 forever, and I think she is right. If not, how come we see so many women ruining their faces. When Tori Amos, strong feminist that she is, showed up looking stretched and ‘toxed, I know we were at Defcon 5. Thank you for this article, and thank you for fighting the good fight.

  28. Pandora Kennelly says:

    I couldn’t agree with you more….and I think you and your booty are Amazing!!! ;-)

  29. Cindy G. says:

    I don’t care if you choose to wear makeup or not wear makeup. I don’t care if you’re heavy, thin or in between. I judge people by their character and their actions.
    I wear makeup, I’m twelve pounds overweight and have thinning hair…but those things don’t define me; my heart and the person I am define me.
    So let it go people…stop judging…stop belittling cause in reality it only belittles you.
    Be comfortable in your own skin…love yourself and own it …

  30. Elizabeth Berrens says:

    You are beautiful! I am a make-up kind of person except during the work week where it is simply impractical. But what does it matter if I wear make-up and you don’t? I have never understood why just because I think something is good for me that it is automatically good for everyone else. Why must we place a divider and then pick a side. I do what I feel is right for me and only expect people to do what is right for them. Having said that though I feel that the whole industry of beauty has gone too far if teens think they must “smooth out the lines” they are teens what lines? Where are their parents, do they know what botox is, and the inherent risks in dealing with a biotoxin? There is beauty in each one of us and it is not the outer covering. It simply protect the soul for that is what makes people beautiful or ugly. So let me repeat myself: You are beautiful.

  31. Barbara says:

    I couldn’t agree more with you, Laurell. Thank you for your tenacity and uncompromising posts, comments, and tweets. I always enjoy hearing what you have to say outside of and inside of your books. Keep ‘me coming!

  32. Crystal Stott says:

    Well done you :-) for your age I say that is awesome I have two kids and I am 24 and my butt don’t look like that I wish well done

  33. NancyLynn Southard says:

    You have a beautiful ass. I wish I had one, but I have what would be called a pancake ass, as in “OMG, did you see how flat her butt is? It’s as flat as a pancake!” I tried hiking to build up muscle, but it’s still pretty flat. I can’t even sit on my husband’s lap, as my bones protrude & hurt his thigh. My mom used to say the same thing. People tell me do squats & you’ll develop a nice butt, eh, I’ve given up & just accepted my pancake ass. ; P
    I am beautiful as I am!

  34. Lisa P. says:

    Amazing pics! They were great to see, You and I have the same butt…lol. Took me decades to realize it is a great butt, and is just perfect for me. BTW you look marvelous with or without makeup. I’ll be 49 in June and look as good or even better than I did as a teenager. Real Beauty and being sexy is all about confidence, and experience.

    I feel bad for those poor little girls… the truth is they are soooo young and naive, they just don’t understand that all they really need to be truly beautiful is be themselves. I know because I’ve been there. I’m sure we all have, we just didn’t have Botox back then. We had shoulder pads, bad perms, Aqua net and a lots of terrible makeup tips.

  35. Pamela Watt says:

    I thought the whole point of feminism was for us to be able to CHOOSE… not to berate other women for their choices…

    and nice ass…

  36. Becca T. says:

    You are amazing. You inspire me to no end. Thank you for being you. <3

  37. Lori Parker says:

    My first step in accepting the post-stroke weight gain was thanks to Anita. In one of the first ten books, you write that she’s a size 14, which isn’t available in most trendy mall boutiques. In later novels, Anita did lose the pounds, but she did it because she was active, not because she was doing the I-hate-my-body mantra. So I pushed through physical therapy. I did it every time the mini-strokes took back more mobility than I’d gained the last time. Your butt will likely always look better than mine, but I’m proud I still get flirted with on occasion. Thank you for being an inspiration on so many fronts. I only wish I knew how to find more open and honest people like you, who share the same interests. To use a comparison, it’s only in books that Merry introduces Doyle to a new way of living, or Jean-Claud does Anita. As you have written so much before about your choices, please consider sharing how one goes about exploring alternative lifestyles (especially when there’s no friend to ask). Your books have done much to teach that other options exist, but the previously 100% vanilla don’t know how to find out what shade we are now. The more blessed ones live in cities with clubs, but some of us live in Hickville, USA – not that we’d know a safe situation if we saw it.

    • Heather Cummings says:

      Try your local Unitarian Church. They are very welcoming and even the smallest of small mountain communities have them. They welcome every faith and those of no faith and those who are also of the LGBT community and those who are questioning? Hope this helps

  38. April says:

    I have been reading your Anita Blake series wince I was 15, and I have always loved what a strong female role model she was for me at that time. I have to say that she has actually effected me strongly in my life and in going through some of the more rough points.

    You are as much a role model for me now as she has been. I’ve always stood behind being respectful and compassionate to all women – really, all people – no matter what their choices, looks, etc. I admire you openness and frankness about your life and your opinions and beliefs and the strength it takes to be that way.

  39. Tamara says:

    Keep up the great work Laurell!! You are a true inspiration to women!!! :) total respect!!! P.S can’t wait for Merry to come back!! ❤️

  40. Morgan DuLac says:


    You’re an inspiration! You’ve put your life online and are not afraid to tell people with negative comments to fuck off. I admire that so much!

  41. You go, girl. I will be fifty this June myself. I don’t look nearly as good as you do. You do what You have to do for your happiness. I’m still struggling with body image, and pro’lly will ’til the day I die. So, I salute you!

  42. Jennifer says:

    Thank you for saying here what so many of us feel. Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes and we should be supporting one another to be as healthy as we can be. The clothes and make up are just window dressings. Be genuine, helpful and kind and your beauty will radiate from the inside out.

    But that is a terrific selfie and butt shot. Good reminder why I make sure I know squat.

  43. Laurel says:

    Very well said! Great points! Oh and You Go Girl!

  44. Balinda Peacock says:

    If I had a nice backside I guarantee I would take a pic and post it very happily

  45. John says:

    You are completely and utterly beautiful. Both face and butt. :) Love your bravery.

  46. Craig Davenport says:

    Good on you Ms. Hamilton, you should be proud of your gym work as well as your natural beauty. As a LEO I have had women partners in the past and your character Ms. Blake is awesome. I would hit the streets with her anyday.

  47. Blu says:

    Laurell, you look lovely! I must say that I am now motivated to hit the gym. I keep procrastinating but it is time to get my ass in gear! :-)

  48. Kim Reshetar says:

    I think your pics look great! Even your ass !!! Lol…nothing wrong with showing off your hard work. Love love your books!!! Waiting for next Anita book ,! !!! When???

  49. raeblue says:

    Thank you so much for this, its all about the courage to love oneself no matter what. Egotistical shit heads try to tell us we need to be one thing or another. I live most days with little to no makeup. And btw I hope my ass looks that great at forty!

  50. Melinda says:

    I believe that no matter what a woman looks like on the outside, she is a Goddess. Women need to start thinking of themselves in this way.

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