On Being Naked...
It comes up more than I’d like, and there’s nothing I can do about it. I am always, or as often as I can be, naked. I don’t know whether my inherent dislike of clothing happened during my youth, or if it’s something that has arisen as I’ve aged, but my proclivity for being in the nude has fostered something of a reputation around my personal “brand” (which is a new term given to one’s “identity”). The fact I’ve ghostwritten more than 5,000 PhD dissertations for doctoral candidates studying the humanities, completed countless pieces of coursework and white papers on the climate crisis, or have international experience in policy-shifting behavioral data research seems so redundant when compared to my most popular social media platform, and the photographs I choose to post on there - which are the most honest to my personality.
I’m so bored of explaining myself to people who query my personal choices, as if it has any impact on their life, that I thought I’d write this article to send out whenever it comes up next… likely in the next twenty-four hours.
Here is where I should go on a tangent about the social polarization between Europeans and Americans in regard to the way we react to our bodies, but I fear that I do fall outside of the norm, even in Europe. When I turned 21, my university housemates bought me several pairs of giant granny panties to deal with the nudity issue, but I ended up walking around in the granny panties for the better part of my final year. This is not a personal choice, it is me as I am, and if one more person is stupid enough to slut shame me for it, my follow-up article will consist of a thoroughly researched breakdown on why that person is a dick.
To fully breakdown the answer as to why I am so comfortable in the buff, I fear we must go into listicle format…
Growing up in the UK, but getting to travel a lot, meant that wearing less clothes was a treat. If you could leave your apartment or the campervan without a cardigan, then you were balling out of control. Real talk. Why anyone would want to live in the cold is beyond me.
I freak out about my weight all the time. I’m human. I also live in Los Angeles, and this place makes people cut themselves up on the regular to keep up with physical appearances. The pressure is horrendous, and pointless. We’re all beautiful. Some of us are very unhealthy (I am definitely skinny fat) but since spending more and more of my time in the nude, I care less and less about the stupid overly-aesthetic shit that the shallow folks love out here, and have also cared less about what I eat and when. Living alone helps with this, obviously, but the side effects of being nude have massively improved my ability to love my body.
Eating disorders and mental health should probably go in the same category, but I’ve separated them because I want to shine a light on my amazing clients. Over the last few years, I have helped conduct human behavioral research in order to write my forth-coming book, and to support all of the other wonderful projects I’ve been assigned to. My clients have graciously been my guinea pigs for studying how nudity impacts our mental health. To date, my preliminary results have suggested that intermittent to sustained nudity at home improves (a) day-to-day happiness levels, (b) sexual confidence, (c) sexual performance, (d) intimacy, and (e) overall confidence. If you’d like to learn more about these practices, get in touch!
I grew up working class, and as a result, have a huge bias and appreciation for the stylistic genius of the charity-shopper who can pick five different items with varying patterns and styles, and turn it into a high-fashion runway look. I don’t really care about fashion. I’m definitely a flamboyant dresser, but most of my clothes are second-hand or old as shit. The few pieces I do have that are new, are still fairly loud. Either way, I just don’t care. I don’t like that we judge people for the clothes they wear. I appreciate the artistry of the fashion industry, and I respect high fashion as a form of art, but consumerism fashion can go fuck itself. The high street should be full of weed stores, not cheap clothing brands engaging in sweatshop labor and filling our planet with trash.
This is a very serious part of my decision to wear and buy less clothing. Heydon Prowse turned me onto Extinction Rebellion movement to boycott fashion by only shopping in second-hand stores for a year. Initially, I thought, “shit, I’ve always done that…” The climate crisis is destroying my generation’s chance at a real future, so if my natural instincts contribute toward solving that, that’s cool.
The simple answer to the nudity question is that it just sort of happened. I had a photoshoot a few years ago where I got to model nude for the first time for a major publication, and it spiralled from there. I was always nude at home, and felt awkward on shoots where I had to wear clothing, because I would never wear most of that stuff in my own time anyway. Now that I have more opportunity to wear the clothes I’ve been gifted over the years, I’m loving bringing stuff out of retirement, but would always rather be home, naked, with my cats, eating oranges, watching the X-Files, with someone I love.
I highly recommend introducing nudity into your day-to-day life. It’s a great way to chill out, watch a movie or show, read a book, or spend time in conversation with your romantic partner. I do it because I want to, and there isn’t really more of a reason than that, but it has some wonderfully positive side effects.
Thanks for reading!
*bonus points for those who spot the irony in this piece