By Dan Burkitt
Is there a feeling more liberating than getting naked? Probably. I imagine paying off a massive debt or being released from jail would come close. Particularly if you’re self-conscious about your body and don’t enjoy being naked. And that’s probably true for a lot of people. But let’s put that to one side.
I really enjoy getting naked. I like to strip off and stroll out the front door, completely at one with nature, completely comfortable, completely free, until I get arrested. I’m on several registers.
Of course not, come on now. I’m a sensible, verging on dull, frigid, cold wet fish sort of guy. I wouldn’t take that risk. But I do enjoy wearing my birthday suit in the comfort of my own home. So much so that, at university I earned a bit of a reputation. The following is 100% genuinely true.
It was the last night of my first year at uni. Ah, yes, simpler times. I was in the Halls Bar, stuck in a nostalgic trance for the year just passed. I was stood there, slightly dazed, slightly pissed, minding my own business, when I was approached by a girl I didn’t recognise.
She said, ‘Hi this is a bit weird but do you live opposite K Block?’
‘Yeah, I do. Why d’you ask?’
‘Oh my god! You’re the naked guy! What’s your name.’
‘Wow, well it’s great to finally put a name to the face. I live in K2 and we always see you strutting around naked right in front of the window. You won honorary member of the flat in our end of year awards.’
‘Oh right, nice, cheers.’
‘Well nice to have met you.’
And then she walked off. For the following two years, I had this eerie feeling whenever I was on campus that I was walking past people who had seen my nude body. Lucky them.
I have to admit, I was pretty surprised when she revealed that, unbeknownst to me, I was a minor celebrity in K2. But then again, my room was a complete fish bowl. There was a massive window that faced several flats just a few meters across the way. Was I supposed to close the curtain every time I wanted to strip off? Don’t be ridiculous. Life’s far too short.
I think being shameless about nakedness is important. Anyone who’s been to the beach with their dad will probably attest to this. Being comfortable in your own skin, unabashed about who you are, your flaws and imperfections, is a powerful thing. Gok Wan knew what he was on about.
So next time you’re feeling self-conscious and constricted by life’s demons, just get naked. But maybe don’t do it next to a window if you live in a Halls of Residence.
The copy scores 84.1 in the Flesch Reading Ease test