I Was Interviewed While Nearly Naked
And that wasn’t the most vulnerable part!
For most of my life I called myself a “never-nude.” Meaning, no one, not even my partner, was likely to spot me with my pants off unless I was getting a pap smear, or having sex. In any other situation nakedness was a NOPE.
I’m not absolutely certain where my fear of being naked came from. It’s possible it had something to do with the time I went skinny dipping as a kid in my cousin’s pool and was having too much fun to get out and use the bathroom. Maybe my aunt screaming, “EVERYONE GET OUT OF THE WATER!! THERE’S A FLOATING TURD!!” left an impact.
Regardless of how it started, it never stopped. Through highschool I’d hear my peers whispering behind my back because of my refusal to shower after gym class. Incapable of not giving my all when it came to sports, I’d roll into my 7th period English class looking like I'd been caught in a sweat-storm and smelling amazing. Later, while playing college basketball, the locker room was my worst nightmare. Still in the closet, I was mortified by the idea that any of my teammates would think I was checking them out. But even more than that—I didn’t want anybody else’s eyes on my prize.
The most memorable moment of my never-nude years was in my late 20’s. Struggling with chronic and debilitating panic attacks, I made an appointment with a local healer who said she was certain she could calm me down. I stood outside in my birthday suit for over an hour while she and her assistant chanted, sung, and threw herbs at every inch of my body. Just when I thought, “This couldn’t get any worse” her assistant leaned in and whispered, “By the way— I really love your poetry.” Needless to say, the healing ceremony was not the remedy.
When I was diagnosed with cancer, my fear of being naked quickly dissolved. So did so many other fears that had held my nervous system hostage for decades. In this vulnerable interview with Style Like U, I strip down to my panties and share the countless ways my experience with illness has been surprisingly and gratefully healing.
Thanks for watching, everyone!
Love, Andrea (In the Buff) 🖤
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