Do We Have To Get Naked To Be Heard?

Every time I turn around, I stumble across another viral post whose sole purpose is to get an important message across. The author wants the masses to lean in a bit, cup their ears, and listen…truly listen to what she has to say. And, in a world crawling with people hunched over devices, hungrily devouring more and more useless information throughout their day, what then does it take to get them to listen?

Victoria's Secret, Undressed, Lingerie

You may have come across the most recent article to have gone viral, EMBRACE – The Documentary.  If your news feed looks anything like mine, numerous friends and family members have shared it.

“Body Image Movement’s job is to harness and facilitate positive body image activism by encouraging women to be more accepting of who they are, to use positive language regarding their bodies and others, and to prioritise health before beauty. Our goal is to reach as many women as possible around the world and speak to them about how we can learn to fully embrace and love our bodies.” – Taryn Brumfitt

Taryn, or as she lovingly refers to herself, Taz, had an epiphany while considering a little lift here and a little tuck there. Tired of the pressure to look a certain way, tired of preaching the importance of loving your body to her daughter yet hypocritically wishing her own breasts were a bit more perky and her tummy flatter, she took a long hard look at herself and decided to make a change.

She posted before and after photos of herself like the internet had never seen…her before shot was what many strive for as their after shot. Her after shot is of her as naked as the day she entered this world, before the pressures to look a certain way had begun to slowly seep into every cell of her being. Sound familiar?




Without having to look up from their devices, people started leaning in, cupping their ears, listening.


Beth Whaanga’s, Under The Red Dress photos stirred up some attention as well. When she asked commercial photographer, Nadia Masot to capture her naked body marked with scars from a double mastectomy, as well as a hysterectomy, lymphadenectomy and melanoma lumpectomies, she wanted people to listen. She obviously believed the best way to do that was to get naked, show the world her scars, hopefully drawing their attention to the importance of taking care of their bodies as well as supporting those clothed in their own battle scars.

There are other articles floating across social media where people are getting naked and being heard. Brooke Birmingham refused to put her shirt back on when Shape Magazine allegedly refused to show her photo in a bikini after losing 172 pounds. (I get that she wasn’t completely naked, but you get my drift). The magazine had approached her about running her weight loss story, but after seeing her in a bikini allegedly refused to show her photo citing editorial policy.

“If anything, they should want my picture on their site,” she wrote. “My body is real, not photoshopped or hidden because I feel like I should be ashamed. This is a body after losing 172 pounds, a body that has done amazing things, and looks AMAZING in a freaking bikini.” – Brooke Birmingham

We’ve since learned it was all just a misunderstanding (wink wink) and the magazine has recently committed to feature Brooke in an upcoming issue –  as well as other women with similar weight loss journeys who have nothing to hide.

These instances then beg the question, “Do we have to get naked to be heard?” 

It seems to me, given most of those getting naked are women there may be an underlying issue here. As women, do we have to shock people in order to be heard or does gender not play a role here at all?

Is it just a matter of a world saturated with so much information 24/7 that the only way to get someone’s attention is to bare it all?

Perhaps, many of us are craving a more basic being, finding the need to strip away all the pressures forced upon us to be someone else…to be more, always more.

Then again, maybe, just maybe the few of us who have reached this state of acceptance simply long for others to experience the freedom.

What do you think?



41 thoughts on “Do We Have To Get Naked To Be Heard?

  1. I think it is a naked woman, not art!
    God has given her a gift.
      When he is naked to get attention.
    But who?!
    Rather than a real romantic look ….
    Thousands of sensual lust-ridden eyes …
    The eyes are cold soon …
    After another naked eye looking Mygrdnnd.
    It does not give women Mnrlty …
    She gets naked to be popular.
    But not like this!
    It is best to choose a better way …
    Family, family, faithful and loving wife

  2. I think it is a naked woman, not art!
    God has given her a gift.
      When he is naked to get attention.
    But who?!
    Rather than a real romantic look ….
    Thousands of sensual lust-ridden eyes …
    The eyes are cold soon …
    After another naked eye looking Mygrdnnd.
    It does not give women Mnrlty …
    She gets naked to be popular.
    But not like this!
    It is best to choose a better way …
    Family, family, faithful and loving wife….Thanks.

  3. I always struggle between writing for myself vs. writing for others. It’s a big question, but the real answer , I think, is staying true to yourself. If you are prepared to get naked to do that, well, then, okay, but I’m not going to read it. I read yours today because I always read your posts. Shock value doesn’t last; real truth does (that’s why we’re conflicted about this–it’s both…)
    Great post, as always.

    1. I have found that I can’t allow myself to think about how this reader or that reader might react to something I’ve written. When I do that, I lose a bit of myself and since I write with more heart than anything else, I can’t afford to do that. So, I simply write and hope that my words touch someone. You’re absolutely right about shock value not lasting and truth is I appreciate readers like you who keep coming back because you enjoy my posts not because you were shocked into it. Thank you!

  4. Such a powerful post Leah…. amazing isn’t it? Gosh, I think such mixed feelings about it all. I totally agree with all you shared and I love that women can be confident and want to share their physical bodies for a purpose that is good and worthwhile and honorable.

    It’s the ‘others’ I have a hard time with. The hot topics will always draw people to listen- it’s human nature- both the good kind and that bad yes?

    Death, sex, births, conflict…. all attract attention.

    1. Thank you. I have mixed feelings too, which is how this post came about. We are definitely drawn to the shocking – good or bad. There just seems to be a trend for women in particular in using naked and sexual titled posts to get attention. The ones I site here are promoting a good message, but the others as you say…hmmm. Not sure how long the trend can last.

  5. I have a lot more respect for people who aren’t famous at all than people who get famous by shocking people. Anyone can get national attention by doing something crazy — it’s doing AWESOME things that deserves the attention.

    1. Absolutely. I guess if shocking people enough to pay attention to a worthwhile message is what’s working for now, then so be it. It’s just a bit sad that it’s necessary.

  6. I am neither in a place of acceptance NOR in a place where I want to get naked.

    But yeah – this title buys into it a little, too.

    1. I’m in the middle most of the time, but always a work in progress. I have my moments in either extreme. The title has the word “naked” in it so I guess in that respect it does feed into the notion that nudity gets people’s attention. How disappointed some folks were if they clicked hoping for something more than just my words. 😉

      1. Samara did an AMAZING blog post yesterday, titled ‘How I lost my virginity’, with the precise aim of screwing (pardon the pun) the SEOs and getting people to come read her post about BOOKS. It was awesome.

  7. My father always told us, “You’ll have to work twice as hard in order to get half the attention, so prepare yourself to standout.” But THIS is ridiculous! Not the real woman bodies, of course, but perhaps the notion that some women are crying out in any way they can because they feel unheard from a society with selective hearing. Girlpower! ~Karen~

    1. Love your dad’s wisdom! 🙂 The notion that women are daring to bare it all because it’s the only way to be heard is disturbing if in fact that’s the case. I appreciate real women showing real bodies and helping others embrace their own bodies. It’s this trend of “I’m going to shock them with nudity so they’ll listen” that I wonder about. I guess if we feed into it then it works. 😉

  8. I loved the woman who said she was “soft and luscious”. 🙂

    I hope her message is heard. And I would read your blog without the word ‘naked’ to draw me to it. 😉 Sadly there is so much out there vying for our attentions that people do try crazier and naked strategies to be noticed.

    1. I loved her response too! 🙂 I’m all for baring your soul and if tasteful naked photos get the message across for a good cause then all the better. I’ve just been seeing so much of it lately that I wonder what it is truly saying.

  9. In a world where shock value has become as bland as white noise, even if people are being heard when naked, two seconds later the public has moved on. I’m glad more realistic versions of women’s bodies are getting out there, though.

    1. Yes! Naked woman posts about specific cause, post goes viral until next naked woman posts about another cause and on it goes. I’m glad to see more realistic bodies being embraced as well. The messages behind the naked photos are usually good. Just interesting that’s what it takes to get attention.

  10. I don’t personally have anything against the shock and awe way of gathering attention, but it really does seem like one of the only ways a woman can get people to “listen.” That’s sad. I mean, it works the same for our blogs. Have you noticed? Negative titles, titles that include things of a sexual nature, those are the ones that get the most attention. If we say positive, happy things, it’s more likely the attention won’t be there. Perhaps that speaks to us as a society, more than a gender issue.

    1. I have noticed that it’s mostly women using this tactic and definitely see an underlying issue. You’re absolutely right about titles of a sexual nature getting more attention and yes it speaks to us as a whole vs a specific gender. How to get the pendulum to swing the other way then is the real question.

      1. I don’t know, but I do see bloggers using it to their advantage. I mean, by simply choosing the right title, you can up your readers and get them to listen to the message you are really trying to deliver.

      2. Yep. I’ve seen that too. Let’s see if I get more traffic by having the word naked in my title today. Lol Of course, it may not be the type of traffic I’m interested in. 😉

      3. I bet you do, and even if it isn’t, do you think they’ll read it? I bet they do, or at least most of it, because they are already there and your words will capture them.

      4. You’re too kind. I think you gals have convinced me to give your shorter prompts a try. Will head over for this week’s prompt and see what you’ve come up with!

  11. I think these kinds of stunts are just signs of the times in a world filled with more and more white noise. People feel they need to do something shocking or outrageous to be heard and to stand out. Being naked is just one device, but one that doesn’t always work, can overshadow the message or backfire. I wrote this comment in the buff and see? No one noticed…

    1. Ha! I almost spit my coffee out! I agree with you about there being so much white noise that people want to stand out. I guess like anything else it won’t be shocking after awhile.

    2. I read your blog almost everyday but I’m curious Leah, did you have more readers today and I wonder if you do see a surge if it could be attributed to the provocative title and photo?

      1. Thank you Vernette. I’m glad you keep coming back! I’m going to check my stats in the morning to see this particular post’s activity. I can say that it has started more of a discussion in the comments than other posts – which I love.

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