The Feel Institute


  • The Naked Photoshoot

    Naked again

    Anyone who has known me, in particular settings, over the last few years, may have seen me naked. It has been a thing I have been doing more and more.

    Earlier this year, I’d stumbled across a post for a project called ‘Age cannot wither her’, a set of 16 women in their glory, in their ‘birthday suits’, looking regal, exotic, confident, shy, soft, fierce and so much more. ‘Wow’, I thought.

    I left a comment below the post, saying I’d love to have been part of something like this. It was met with a sharp reply encouraging me to contact the photographer.

    Did I get naked?

    Long story short…..I did. The date of the shoot was booked. The photos were taken. The final image picked.

    Yesterday I finally plucked up the courage to write the words to go support this version of me and now, today, it is live. Eeeeeek!

    Here it goes. I will now be able to answer, in confidence, the question, ‘Is there a naked photo of you on the net?’

    Yes. There. Is.

    Seriously, following this link will show me naked

    Using my naked body to speak up

    These are the words that supported my mask removal:

    When I turned 40, everything changed.

    Suddenly, I had a voice. It seemed as though I was able to speak up and, more importantly, speak out. There is a permission that comes with age, a credibility.

    Now that I am nearer 50 than 40, I realise this decade, for me, is all about transformation.

    I started the decade as a consultant in the city, unsatisfied with life and love, and failing to adhere to the gendered, patriarchal societal expectations around me. My curly hair wasn’t neat enough. I wouldn’t wear the obligatory heels as the arthritis in my feet was too painful. I wasn’t small or quiet enough and no matter how good I was at my work, I didn’t fit the mould.

    Making the change

    I am hardly recognisable as the deeply in love, ethically non-monogamous, pansexual, freelance problem solver, soon to be a certified sexological bodyworker, skyclad howling, dancing, shamanic goddess, little girl, queen, mama wolf, strong, fragile, human I am today. Hallelujah!

    This is my first photoshoot, never mind my first naked one. The excitement of being part of something this important, hid the process that was about to unfold. I have been getting more and more naked these last few years. I find it liberating and can often be found in some festival dancing scenario getting my kit off and encouraging others to do the same. We were born this way.

    Societal expectations

    Despite all that, as soon as I agreed to the shoot, my inner critic, judge and jury, went to town, subtly at first, although the town was where they were heading, make no mistake!

    I wanted to look good. I didn’t want to embarrass myself. I wanted to be a better version of me. My serious significant chocolate addiction was tempered at first. I got on my bike a bit more. I told myself that this was a good thing, and, to certain degree it was, however, at the same time why couldn’t I show up as I was?

    Predictably, the 10 days running up to the photoshoot, involved a foreign trip, more than typical booze consumption, a chocolate mountain, lack of sleep, a dodgy tummy and, wait for it, slashing the sole of my foot open, on an acrylic table, whilst trying to see the moon out of my window, less than 9 hours before the shoot. You couldn’t make it up.

    What do I see when I look at this photo?

    I see a girl with a woman’s body. Strong, hard-working legs, a tummy that holds lots of emotion and feels delicious to the touch. A Predator. A fragility. Certainty. A pride at getting this far alive. Sadness that I trimmed my beautifully wild pubic hair right down, just a week previously, in a moment of self-doubt because I wanted to fit into someone else’s ideal of what a woman should look like …… a lover, an artist, a sister, friend, confidante. An activist. An aspiring life model?

    Most of all, I see a woman in the prime of her life, with hopes and dreams.

    I have so much more to do, to learn, to be.