At twelve years old, everything changed with the discovery of my father’s porn collection. The glossy images ignite in me an unrelenting desire for attention. Now, reflections on my stripper past permeate my thoughts as I take on the new roles of mother, caregiver and wife. While helping my baby take her first steps, I nurse my mother through the final stages of breast cancer. This story is a meditation on a woman’s life through her body, motherhood and loss.
Spiraling through memories, torn between the woman I am becoming and the woman I have been, I am continually Stripping Down.
Sheila Hageman is a multi-tasking wife and mother of three who blogs for The Huffington Post. Her memoir, Stripping Down, February 2012, from Pink Fish Press, is a meditation on womanhood and body image. Her Decision-Making Guide and Self-Discovery Journal, THE POLE POSITION: Is Stripping for You? (And How to Stay Healthy Doing It), Every Day Create, December 2011, helps women to further value their own identities through their quest to understand their motivations for stripping. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Hunter College, CUNY, where she also graduated as valedictorian with her BA in English. She is a Yoga instructor and teaches Writing at Housatonic Community College and Kaplan University. She has work in many anthologies and magazines like Salon, The Fertile Source, Prime Mincer, and Foliate Oak Literary Journal. Sheila has appeared on numerous radio and TV shows including ABC News, NBC News and Anderson Cooper. To learn more about Sheila and everything she does, please visit SheilaHageman.com or StrippingDown.com.