When was the last time you stood in front of a full-length mirror and took a good, long look at yourself, totally nude? If this sounds horrifying to you, you’re not alone. A survey by Glamour magazine found a shocking 97 percent of women have hated their body at some point. But why? Everybody and every body is different, so what’s the big deal?
Body confidence is a constant issue among millions of women, and it starts younger than you may think. The University of Central Florida conducted a study of young girls, three to six years old, and found almost half of them were already worried about being fat. Furthermore, almost a third of them said they would like to change something about their body. The negative thoughts start early, and women become so used to them it feels normal. So, could you stand in front of a full-length mirror totally nude without having one negative thought about your body?
1. Spend More Time Naked
Believe it or not, being naked or wearing the bare minimum is good for your confidence and your health. Think about the end of the day: You come home, kick off your shoes, unhook your bra and leave a trail of clothes to your room. Clothes are restricting, no matter how comfortable, and it always feels so good to take them off. So once they are off, enjoy it. Spending more time naked means spending more time getting to know your body—as it is, in all its glory. As Kate Fridkis of The Frisky points out, you feel more comfortable in general when you get used to being naked. You know every curve, every freckle and there aren’t any “Whoa, where did that come from?” surprises.
Numerous health benefits are linked to going nude, too. According to doctor of neuropathy Natasha Turner in The Huffington Post, sleeping nude can improve your hormonal balance and body composition, reduce blood pressure, help you sleep better and lower your cortisol level.
It’s easy to cover up the parts of our bodies we don’t like with clothes, makeup and other shields, but when we strip down to our birthday suit or want to wear some sensual lingerie for our significant other, there is nothing to hide behind. No more crutch to support our self-depreciating ideas. Looking confident and beautiful starts with feeling confident and beautiful in nothing but skin (and maybe a little lace).
If you’re planning on a sexy night with your special someone or just want to feel better in a swimming suit, feeling good physically can help your emotional and mental confidence when baring it all. If you know you’re going to be going au naturel (or close to it), prepare long before the pants come off.
To feel good physically, avoid heavy, starchy foods before stripping down. Eat light meals and drink plenty of water to feel your best. Do yoga or other light exercise earlier in the day to make you feel energetic and euphoric.
Laure Redmond, author of “Feel Good Naked,” suggested in an interview with Oprah Magazine that in order to mentally feel better about your own skin, turn off the television and put down the magazines that constantly shove body obsession in your face. Instead, read a good book, listen to happy music or do something else that makes you feel good about you. Feeling comfortable in your own skin isn’t just about being sexually confident. Your self-esteem is important to your everyday life.
3. Feel Your Best in the Right Lingerie
Again, everybody’s different. When you want to wear something that leaves little (or just enough) to the imagination, choose a style that fits your personality and your body. Above all, you want to feel comfortable and confident. Even though the latest lingerie from Victoria’s Secret may look fabulous on the model in the catalogue, it may just not be for you—and what’s wrong with that? There is a spicy little ensemble for everyone. Wear something that fits your body shape and makes you feel good, not self conscious, when you have it on. If you are adventurous, try a slinky costume or piece of leather lingerie from YumDrop for some steamy fun. If you like a more classic style, try a lacy teddy to feel sensual and confident.