What if I told you that one way to get over your body hang-ups, was to get really nude?
Stick with me, guys.
My body has been through a lot over the past couple of years – a lot of women’s bodies have. From age 14 to now, my body and I have gone through a multitude of changes.
There was the mystery illness at 15 (most likely a nasty bug brought back from overseas) that led me to lose weight quickly, causing me to throw my guts up day and night. There was a period of time after that where I battled injuries from dance and slowly regained the weight I had lost, and then some.
Watch: The importance of good body image. Post continues after video.
There was the past 12 months, where a sticky family situation led me to overeat.
During these years the way I’ve thought about my body has changed dramatically. I could list the reasons why I should’ve hated it, and I admit, for a period of time there, I did.
Then I ended up getting really nude. And it taught me to love my body.
My mum had always run her own mini ‘nude household’, butt with her partner thrown into the mix, wandering around the house nude was never an option for me. But when mum and I moved out for a year so I could be closer to school, clothing became optional. Out of pure laziness, I stopped wearing any.
Abby and her mum. Image: Supplied.
I got used to the stretch marks on my thighs. The acne scars on my shoulders. The more I saw them, the less I worried about them.
I saw things I love too; like the awesome curve that goes in at my waist and back out at my thighs, and the strength through my torso from years of sweating it out in a dance studio.
I feel free, not exposed, in my nakedness. I find comfort in my body- how could you not when your thighs are providing the perfect resting place for your forearms while you slouch over a computer screen at 1am.
It is confronting, of course, when you realise that there are ROLLS when you slouch. But there is also a release in knowing that this is the way your body is.
After moving back in when I finished school, I kept my nakedness up, I felt the best about my body I had in years, and I was determined not to lose this feeling. Now, I try to be nude as much as I can - doing my hair and makeup without clothes, writing, eating, reading, listening to podcasts, cleaning my room - at least 10 minutes a day of quality nude time keeps my body image demons at bay. (Post continues after gallery.)
The Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health, found that only 22 per cent of women within a normal healthy weight range reported being happy with their weight.
Despite being of a healthy weight, almost three quarters of the survey participants (74 per cent) desired to weigh less. More than that, of the women surveyed who were evaluated by health care professionals to be underweight, 25 per cent wished to weigh less still.
And yet, in a world that tells me that my thighs are too big and my boobs have too many stretch marks, and where statistics suggest that I should be rocking back and forth in a corner, lamenting my flesh and nibbling on celery, nuding up helped my body confidence grow and flourish.
So, friends, I invite you to give it a try. It’s not easy at first - you will avoid mirrors like a vampire. But soon, you’ll have them set up in your room so you can see your boobs AND bum at the same time. Promise.