Mastin interviews Gabby Bernstein about how she turned rock bottom into her life's purpose! → Check it out!

How Naked Are You Willing To Get?

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

###

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.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1389211724 Angela Miale

    Sheila, your blog and video today really spoke to my soul! I have never before realized what a correlation there is between my yo-yo dieting/eating disorder and my sexuality.  I am in a male dominant industry and have been for 10 years and I have consistently been “coached” that I dress A. too sexy and B. too frumpy…..sometimes in the same outfit.  I have likewise struggled with a food addiction and a dieting addiction that have overtaken me at times.  Listening to and reading your blog has finally helped the lightbulb go off for me.  I practice yoga every day, but this is my last struggle.  I can’t even meet my eyes in the mirror, it is too uncomfortable for me.  I definitely feel that my sexuality is a “bad” thing and it is something I am extremely embarrassed of— and for what? I have a limiting belief that a “mother” or a “leader” should not be sexual.  So I have tried so hard to punish myself with overeating so that I can be less desirable.  Your story about Donald and Brian Doyle really hit home for me, and made me cry.  I don’t want to do this to myself anymore. Thank you for being so authentic and genuine.

    • http://twitter.com/thesheilakelley Sheila Kelley

      You’re welcome, Angela. Thank you for reading and sharing!

  • <3

    I already know which one I’m doing! I’m headed to the grocery store right now!! Swing it! Swing it! LOL! Thank you! This is beautiful.

    • http://twitter.com/thesheilakelley Sheila Kelley

      Nice!

  • Marlene

    Beautiful and so very true! Being naked is the best way to live authentically and discover all the beauty life has to offer. Love this, thank you!!

  • Cartysgirl

    I like what you had to say.  I am struggling to love my body again after having breast cancer.  My shape is very different from what I have been used to for the past 40 years.  I have been trying to get back into being comfortable with my body especially when I go to exercise and change in the locker room.   Unfortunately, some people are not ready to see scars in places you normally don’t see them.  I understand that and do not have a problem explaining things however, sometimes I would just rather go thru these times without hearing a gasp or a whisper.  I am getting better and healthier though and that is the main thing.

    • TDL Reader

      Hi Cartsygirl
      I am a 12 year breast cancer survivor, as well. I understand how you feel. I had a masectomy at 37 years old. The scares are a daily reminder when I look in the mirror.
      I am so grateful to have lived through 6 months of chemotherapy and 28 days of radiation. The important thing is to get better and healthier! Everyones body changes! Sending you good vibes!

      • Cartysgirl

        Thank you so much TDL reader. God is good and he gets me through it all. Blessings to you and your family for 2013

    • http://twitter.com/thesheilakelley Sheila Kelley

      Thank you Cartysgirl. Check out my #RedefiningSexy global women’s movement at SheilaKelley dot com. In the More Videos section there’s a feature about an S Factor student named Diana that you might find interesting. 

  • Eug B

    WOw !JADORE MERCI’!!!!LOve it ! thank you that is a big start !Can’t wait to follow you.

  • Eug B

    Ho and I forgot to say that you touch my heart.

  • CoachDave

    Sheila, great job on this! I can’t wait for your next post!

  • Katse999

    i love it.. what a goddess… keep teaching as the globe needs what you have to offer…

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000514592955 Kiki Wilson-Harshman

    I had a similar childhood experience – I was coerced by neighbor boys into removing clothing and when we got found by one of the boys moms  I was sent home with a scarlet letter and a bag full of shame- no consequences for the boys that bullied me into the act

  • http://www.facebook.com/hkstrang Heather Strang

    Where’s the LOVE button on this thing?? xo THANK YOU! xo

  • Vaneszaf

    That was an awesome video and blog!  Thank you…   So many women are afraid of shining their radiance or not sure how to!   I am learning to be more naked every day and loving it! 

  • http://twitter.com/thesheilakelley Sheila Kelley

    Thank you, Kiki. It’s happening all over the world and I hope by sharing our stories we can inspire change. Visit me at SheilaKelley dot com.

  • Queen

    Sheila!! I am on the brink of tears right now…. I am 25 years young and this video opened my eyes as to why I struggle with the way I dress and why I struggle with having intimate relationships with men.  
    Story 1:
    When I was 11 years old on a family vacation in Miami, I wore a tank top with no training bra, at the time I was developing breasts,  my ultra conservative Grandmother told my mother who then told me that she didn’t want me to wear that tank top anymore because I was showing too much breast! Can you imagine an 11year with training size breast showing “too much breast?”
    Story 2:
    Again I was 11/12 years old and I was in New York, it was summer time and my mother asks for me to accompany her to the supermarket, so I wore shorts.  When we returned home, my mother tells me, I don’t want you to wear those shorts ever again…  
    This video just made me realized why I have not worn shorts in over ten years!!!!! Are you kidding me?

    I have numerous other stories I can share but just the idea that growing up I was always told that I must cover my body, or I “look too grown” or that sex is bad and men only want sex from women.  No wonder I almost NEVER wear skirts or dress up or look sexy because subconsciously   it is wrong to do so. And every time I do dress up and show some skin, people are in complete shock “Oh my goodness dress like that more often,” “You have beautiful legs show them more often”  Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for sharing this video. Such a release. 
    2013 I’m wearing shorts! I am showing my sexy beautiful legs, my curves, my breast.  I have a sexy, beautiful female body!

    • http://twitter.com/thesheilakelley Sheila Kelley

      You’re welcome, Queen. I hope my video inspires you to conquer the offenses your body has been subjected to. Every woman deserves to feel whole and unashamed. See my Redefining Sexy campaign on SheilaKelley dot com for more inspiration. xo

  • Maria

    I’m watching the video now actually and have paused to think about the Joseph Campbell quote up on the PowerPoint – “Woman is life and man is the servant of life. The male’s job is to protect the women”. It troubles me, this kind of generalisation. I think it is problematic to polarise male and female with notions of ‘feminine’ and ‘masculine’, even when these constructions are ‘empowered’ or ‘glorified’. There is great diversity within females and males as groups.. many women would reject being defined by their reproductive potential, especially since many choose not to, or cannot, reproduce. And perhaps many would think as I do, that I do not wish for or need male protection (in particular). Rather, I think this discussion could be framed as allowing full expression for all people, including sexuality, including males.. and asking that every member of the community respects the right to this expression and responds to need for support and protection for anybody. 

  • Ldywryr

    Beautiful and worth sharing with every woman.  Thank you!

  • Streetpolitics

    YES!

  • loulou

    This was just fabulous…and so NEEDED. Thankyou. Its taken me 41 years to love my body and my femininity….and now I don’t hold back!!! I recall my first “offense” and it was very similar, at 7 years old, riding bikes in the backyard with no top with my brothers.

  • Alan

    Hi Sheila,

    Unfortunately, your essay has a huge mistake in it.  Women are at least the first through seventh wonders of the world!

    Great speech and essay and, especially love your attitude, Sheila!  If women only knew how absolutely captivating and energizing that type of attitude is to us males.