My man walks around the house completely naked. Not only that, when he walks around the house completely naked he’s completely comfortable! Dare I reveal this much…? He walks around naked and confident!
Me? It took me a while to be comfortable in my own skin. I darted naked from the bathtub to the rack that held my towel. I skimmed through the shadows from the shower to my closet and then over to the bathroom sink. Naked was difficult. Naked was painful. Naked took some work. It took body reclamation. It took body intervention.
Naked is not just a state of body. Naked is a state of heart and soul. Statistically, naked of the body is easier for men than it is for women. 31% of men sleep naked on a regular basis, but only 14% of women do. But naked of the heart and soul…naked of the mind…yes, that’s difficult all around. It means seeing the truth. The real truth, not just what someone else told you to believe. Naked is the state of raw humanity.
I got naked in front of over 200 men and women at my recent TEDx talk in Santa Barbara.
I didn’t actually remove my clothing. I got naked the more difficult way. Naked of the heart. Naked to the soul. Naked in my truth. I told a story of when I was a little girl and I experienced the first offense to my feminine body.
I was only 7-years-old playing outside with my friends Donald and Brian Doyle who were 7 and 8. It was hot out so we took off our shirts and stretched out in the shade to cool down. Donald and Brian’s mother saw us from her upstairs window and screamed down, “Sheila Kelley, you naughty little girl, you put your top on! You should be ashamed of yourself!”
And immediately, I was. Immediately, I shut down my body and put my top on. That day, I was (wrongly) taught that my nakedness was dirty. Much worse than this, I was taught that a boy’s nakedness was not. My name was the only name called from the upstairs window. I was the only one whose nakedness required punishment. The Doyle boys were taught that male nakedness is acceptable, and that female nakedness must be controlled.
Beginning in childhood, women experience multiple offenses to their bodies’ natural physicality and sexuality every single day. And we develop a very unnatural hatred of our bodies. A hatred that breeds eating disorders, cutting, obesity, and addiction to plastic surgery. We learn to shut down and hide our bodies, and to turn off our physicality and sexuality under the guise of protecting it.
If you think this problem is only a woman problem, you are mistaken. Instead of allowing our natural feminine wholeness to be revered as it was in ancient civilizations, men from childhood are taught that female nakedness must be controlled, and in extreme cases, they learn that it is okay for women to be attacked, beaten, and dismissed as less valuable.
Is it any wonder that it’s more difficult for women to get naked?
I believe women are the 8th Wonder of the World. They are the sculpture on a pedestal, they are the oil painting lit with soft light, they are the bronze statue brilliant and bright. They are valuable, priceless and stunning. Yes, feminine nakedness is a work of art.
Do you agree? If so, share this blog with the women in your life, and inspire them to give their nakedness some Daily Love. They don’t even need to undress. They can:
• Shine their radiance with a smile right into the eyes of a stranger
• Caress the back of their neck with a slow delicate stroke of their fingers
• Dance their hips in a circle right in the middle of the grocery store the very next time they go shopping
I encourage everyone to post in the comments, on Facebook and Twitter this week asking your friends and family to have an honest conversation about nakedness.
Ask: Can we protect the feminine globally without trying to control her?
This is my first of many blogs in which we can explore this topic and others in a collective mission to celebrate the genius of the masculine and feminine in harmony. I hope you’ll join me.
With a Big, Fat, Luscious Hug,
Sheila Kelley is the founder of Sheila Kelley S Factor™ at SFactor.com and the #RedefiningSexy social movement at SheilaKelley.com, author of The S Factor: Strip Workouts for Every Woman, TEDx speaker, and global femme leader. Connect with Sheila on Twitter and Facebook.