"Seldom do we think of our clothes as a shield."

We are all naked, always. When one picks out an outfit to wear over top of their skin, it still reflects vulnerability; be it the suit, the tie, the jumper, the sideways fullback baseball hat. Seldom do we think of our clothes as a shield, rather we tend to relate our stylistic dressings within the confines of self expression. I understand that clothes shield us from the elements, but to ascertain our drive to use such a practical application to create a barrier is in my opinion, silly.

I have a skin condition called Tinea Versicolour. It is a fancy term for blotchy skin, white spots that are fungal in nature. It is not a contagious dermatological condition, but is unsightly to others nevertheless. Naturally, I am shy when I take off my shirt. My friends in high school used to call me the "spotted leopard" and when it gets burnt by the sun or i run up a hill, my spots turn from white to bright red and get itchy. It may not come up on the photos but my spots are constant reminder of who I am physically. This shyness should stop me from getting naked, but it doesn't. I spend my summers skinny dipping every chance that I get, and the beauty of aging leaves me more carefree and less concerned about my appearance... we will all be dead soon enough, right?

The reason I chose to participate in this project was spontaneous. If I were asked to do a naked photo shoot while I went fishing in advance, the likelihood of me going through with it would be slim to nil. I was asked on the spot and said yes without thinking, the best way. It felt better. The bugs weren't bad and my goodness, to get some air up in the parts we generally cover up is extremely rewarding. I would implore any of those who have reservations as to how they look or, how they feel they look to simply say "fuck it" and get naked. Its easy, doesn't cost a dime and the act itself opens doors that may have been locked for years.

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