by Melissa Gearing (The Naked Naturopath)
I have always felt more comfortable without clothes than with. I grew up in a naked kind of house where doors were left open and I never thought much about it until I started visiting friends and doors were always closed. For me, this has always been my comfort zone. I was awkward at high school with people and groups and spent much of my time in the library.
Always comfortable with my body, I have worked very hard to become a public speaker and face and be confident with my personality and being myself. As well as sitting one on one with people and finding the confidence to support them as a health professional.
Today we are surrounded by nudity. However, it is not our own. Body confidence in my young teenage clients and women in general is so low and I feel that the bombardment of nude or half nude, edited, selfies is very much to blame. The people putting up the photos are often very skinny and have a knack for good filters. I truly believe that the only nudity we need to be concerned about and the key to finding our body confidence is within (or outside) ourselves.
I am often naked so look at myself in the mirrors around the house as I am walking past. When was the last time you spent time in front of the mirror naked? Prejudice and judgement on ourselves has no place here. It is just about appreciating different curves and shapes and the colour of your own skin. Once you have achieved this you can really start to appreciate the differences in other people (with or without their clothes on!).
I’m not talking about perving on everyone who passes you or heading to the beach and staring but just taking the time to appreciate different bodies and realising that every body, including our own, is so unique and beautiful and deserves respect and positive thoughts. We can often be so happy with most of our body but focus on one part that bothers us and this negativity spreads. I believe that being happy and confident with your whole body is key to a healthy mind overall.
When I released my Naked Naturopath podcast with semi-nude photos the response was so overwhelmingly supportive. To me, this was the best way to portray what I hoped the podcast would become. A genuine and stripped back approach to health advice without all the complexities and confusion that seem to go with food and medicine. So, here I am naked on a chair or with some bottles. And here is some advice and how I try to live the healthiest, most balanced life that I can.
However, I was surprised by the amount of people who commented they wished that they could be so brave. I responded with my usual vigour about nudity-do it! Why not? You get one amazing body and this one fleeting life. If you want to post a selfie up in your bikini (or without it) then I say go for it! Backlash? Delete those people and forget them. I did not get one negative comment from The Naked Naturopath promo, but I understand there are haters out there. Or you can always take the pic and keep it just for you. This is also really special. We don’t have to share everything in this age of over sharing.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not all been peaches and cream. I had a mild eating disorder as a teen and my struggles with food guilt have been ongoing throughout my twenties. However, I will not let this define me. I have made it my mission to share the good place I have found and have written my two cookbooks in hopes of sharing a simple and balanced approach to eating with an 80:20 rule of thumb. This is the best way I have found to remove the guilt and worry, and enjoy life, love, food and me.
Now, being pregnant, some of the changes to my body are scary and others elate me. My hubby took the picture featured on this post of me before we were going to bed one night and I was inspired to write this blog and share it. I want my daughter to grow up confident in her own skin.
Truly being naked is not just about getting your gear off or showing off to the world. Nor is it about comparison with any other human being. There is no pictures or posting required. It is about finding a happiness deep within yourself. This, you can keep, or share when you are ready.