The Power of Loving Your Naked Body

Flashback to seventh-grade gym class… after we had finished dreadfully staying in the back of the line in the game of kickball that we were forced to play for forty-five minutes, I would stand in the corner of the locker room, facing the wall and change my shirt as quickly as possible so that no one would see my revealed body. I used to be so secretive about my body; I felt that it was something that I had to hide and should be embarrassed about. Of course, a lot of this comes from the socially constructed concept that bodies only exist to be sexual, but we should also reserve that aspect of ourselves. Growing up uncomfortable in my body has always been my main reason for hiding it. Even just a year ago, my body was something that I only showed myself, and even then, most days I couldn’t bring myself to look at it. But lately, I’ve been finding a comfort in my own nakedness and it is something that has shifted my perspective on my body.

A few weeks ago, I went on a hike with a friend, where we impulsively took topless pictures of each other. This experience was not something sexual but was more of an experience of learning to be comfortable in our own skin. These moments remind me to accept my body in its most natural state. These are the moments where I’m not focused on sucking in my stomach or getting the right angle. In a moment where you’re comfortable with your own vulnerability, you have nothing to hide… not even from yourself. I can’t hide the way my body changes shape when I sit down. I can’t hide the bones that stick out that shouldn’t because of the way I’ve treated my body in the past. I can’t hide the little bit of fat in places that I wish there weren’t. I can’t hide that I have a body, and recognizing that is my first step to self-love.

This experience is not only limited to sitting topless in the middle of the woods. This can be the appreciation of your own body when you get out of the shower. This can be the nudes that you take for yourself. This can be the comfort of being naked and vulnerable around the people that you trust. 

This is just letting your body exist as it is… with nothing to hide.