abstract art naked woman

Self Love Starts With Nudes

Out with the old, in with the nudes.

Two years ago, when I broke up with a long term partner, I vowed to take a break from sex. 


This break didn’t have a time frame stamped on the front of it, but rather depended on something a little more indefinite: I promised myself that I’d only have sex again when I could look at my own body and feel like I loved it.


According to one psychological study published in 2019, around 20% to 40% of women reported dissatisfaction with their bodies, as did 10% to 30% of men. These insecurities can be clearly seen as beginning in adolescence, as another American study found that at age 13, 53% of girls were unhappy with their bodies, a figure which jumped to 78% by age seventeen. Overall, it’s clear that body insecurity is a collective issue. Whether stemming from our family and friends, outdated medical approaches like the BMI scale, or the limited demographic of bodies we see on social media, the hardest part of living with body image issues is that they can so easily last a lifetime, a realization which personally prompted my recontextualisation of how I viewed my body. I didn’t want to waste my twenties hating myself. So, I started finding ways to make sure that this wasn’t the case.

Since the dawn of social media, the concept of self-love has become increasingly challenging. The majority of bodies we see online are posed, stationary, and edited, so it’s no wonder that when we look in a mirror and see a natural, unedited, moving body that it feels so foreign. 


But looking at your body in this way is one of the best ways to encourage yourself to appreciate it.


One recent study in London emphasized the power in this approach, as researchers placed strangers in a social situation where the only investigated factor was how they reacted to spending the evening completely naked. By the end of the study, the body confidence of all participants had drastically improved, and anxieties around how others may look at your body had significantly decreased.


Studies such as this make it clear that nudity is something that we need to get used to again. However, admittedly, getting naked in a room full of strangers does feel like a bit of an intense first step.


For a slightly more relaxed approach: perhaps it’s time to start getting naked with yourself.

The Preparation

Before you even make the decision between iPhone and Polaroid camera, you might want to try getting comfortable in your nudity off-camera. For example, when you first get out of the shower, rather than wrapping yourself up in a towel, try treating yourself to a full-body moisturize. Be intentional in the way that you massage your body, touch yourself gently, and use a bathroom mirror to appreciate your reflection. Try complimenting your reflection, and note 5 things about your appearance which you like.


As you practice this more and more, you’ll find you become increasingly more comfortable without your clothes on, and so taking the next step of capturing this will hopefully feel less intimidating.

The Set-Up

When you’re ready to get in front of the camera, there are a few different approaches you can take.


Firstly, ‘nudes’ don’t have to mean completely naked. You might go topless and stay comfy in your joggers, or keep your cute shirt on and snap a half-dressed photo from behind. 


Alternatively, you might feel at your sexiest in some new lingerie. With the lingerie market estimated to reach 11.6 billion USD by 2032, it’s no surprise that so many people feel sexiest in a matching set.


When buying your new lingerie, it’s important to centralize what you find sexy, not what you think other people would find sexy. If red and black aren’t your vibe, then find something different! Whether it’s bows, frills, fishnet, mesh, latex, leather, cut-out or crotchless: let your own ideas of beauty lead the way, and find an outfit which you’ll feel powerful in.


Alternatively, you may decide to take your photos completely naked. Whatever you decide, make sure you prepare your space in advance: make sure it’s warm, comfortable, and private, and set the lighting to a mood that works for you, whether that is aggressively red LED’s, or a soft candlelit glow. Play around for as long as you need - after all, the sexier your environment feels, the sexier you will feel within it.

The Shoot

When it comes to your photoshoot, the most important thing is to give yourself time, especially if you’re not a regular nude-taker. It may take a while to figure out how to position yourself best, your favorite angle, or even just how to feel most comfortable and at ease in this new scenario.


Whilst this is a completely subjective experience, there are a few positions which you may want to try:

The Pillow Princess

Try lying down on your bed and taking a photo exactly as you are. You could use your free hand to caress your chest, or stroke your thigh - the beauty of this pose is that it’s totally personalisable, and totally up to you!

The Back Arch

This pose works perfectly if you’re trying to figure out your angles, as you’re guaranteed to look hot from all perspectives. Whether from the front, back, or side, arching your back creates a beautiful curve and accentuates your natural assets.

The Sitting Pretty

For use with either a mirror or just a self-timer camera, try sitting on the edge of your bed and spreading your legs. This pose works particularly well with partial nudity as well as full frontal.

The Kneel and Squat

A timeless classic, you can accentuate your curves by either kneeling or squatting when you take your sexy selfies. Kneeling can help accentuate the natural shape of your ass and thighs, and squatting allows for a full range of movement in your pelvis so that you can play around with different angles whilst you snap.

The Mirror

Less of a pose and more of a lifestyle, mirrors might be your best friend when it comes to taking nudes. With a mirror, you can capture as much of your beauty as you want to, whilst also improving your confidence by seeing just how sexy you look in real time.

Whatever approach you decide to pursue in your nude-taking journey, the most important thing is that you feel comfortable - these nudes are for you, and no one else. You don’t need to impress, or arouse, or fit into whatever narrow box social media will present to you as ‘desirable’. Your only goal is to work towards accepting and loving yourself, exactly as you are.

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