naked around the house

I love being naked. If I’m home and no one is over, chances are I’m naked or wearing one of my fabulous robes (I have five!). I sleep naked every night and practice yoga naked every morning. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not practicing Rockette high kicks naked in the living room or sitting my bare butt on all the surfaces in the house or anything. I really just feel 100 percent more free when I am naked or in a sassy robe.

When I get home I like to drop my clothes immediately. Sometimes I wonder if my neighbors know that five seconds after I close my door I transform into a naked wood nymph. (Don’t Google that in a coffee shop, trust me on this one.) When I get home and undress it feels like I am shedding the entire day. I get to let go of the highs and the lows and just breathe in the moment. I’m able to cast off all the pressure to be someone I’m not to please others. I’m just left with my thoughts, my feelings, my body and my breath.

Some days are so exhausting and overwhelming that getting naked is imperative for my mental health. I normally can’t wait to come home and free myself from everything. If I’m feeling particularly weighed down from the day I like to strip down and jump on my yoga mat. There are certain poses where I am quite literally faced with my own insecurities, for example candle pose where my stomach is pushed in my face. I’m really forced to breathe through any anxiety or discontentment with my body. It helps me remember to breathe, let go and love myself.

I’m not exactly sure when this started or how I came to love my own nakedness so much. When I watch home movies of myself I see a beaming, wide-eyed toddler who is naked as a jaybird, so it’s nothing new. I would however advise parents not to let their kids run around without diapers unless you love cleaning pee off the floor and giving multiple baths a day. When I really ask myself why I love being naked I think a lot of it has to do with me trying to achieve body peace. I have curves and have been ashamed and objectified because of them my entire life.

Spending time with my own naked body helps remind me that it is my body. It belongs to no one but me. It’s purpose is not to be put on display to please other people or to be controlled by anyone else in any way. When so many people are telling you what to do with your body it’s easy to feel like it isn’t yours.

I have also struggled with eating disorders on and off my whole life. I have always had a weird love hate relationship with clothes. When clothes fit right I feel like the fabulous, yogi, cat lady diva I am. But when they are tight or hugging me in the wrong way my entire body is filled with extreme anxiety and I feel like I will explode at any moment. That has never actually happened but I seem to constantly forget that fact in the moment.

But when I’m naked and not being squeezed into something too small for me I love my curves. I can touch my skin and remember that, wow, I am a living, breathing, beautiful human. There is nothing wrong with me. I look in the mirror and find things that I love instead of focusing on my perceived imperfections. Being naked makes me feel free from all the guilt and shame I carry around my body, it makes me feel powerful, it makes me feel human and it makes me feel beautiful.

Alexandra Bates is an acclaimed actor, writer, painter and proud cat mom based in Austin, TX.  She loves hugs, vegetables, body glitter and listening to your life story. See Alexandra’s other work and follow her here.

[Image via Comedy Central]