There's plenty of reasons to giggle about National Nude Day
— or at least wonder if your feeds are about to be flooded with nekkid beach-goers. But there's a better reason this offbeat holiday deserves recognition and celebration: Because embracing nudity is about embracing body positivity.
Research shows that improved health and happiness come from cherishing our authentic selves
. That especially means our naked, make-up free, this-is-me selves, too. Accepting — and celebrating — everything from the big ol' family nose to a face full of freckles is an essential part of self-love. That's
why National Nude Day isn't just a day to be titilated by the topless Kim Kardashian's of the world (hey, we applaud Kim's self-love too!). National Nude Day is for everyone. And you don't even have to get naked to be part of it.
One Woman's Body Positive Project
No one knows the value of body positivity better than Natalie McCain, the creator and photographer behind The Honest Body Project,
a photo series dedicated to helping women love their bodies. The black-and-white images here are samples of her work (and she's posting more on Z Living's Instagram account
Here's McCain's stance on self-love. Trust us, you'll want to repeat every word like a mantra:
"When you strip away your clothing and see your body, what is your reaction?"
"So often we shame ourselves — we make comments that we would never say to our best friend, yet we feel we deserve them. Our so-called imperfections are all we can see, when we are so much more."
"Our bodies are beautiful. No matter your shape, size, whether you have stretch marks or not — your body is beautiful. I hate the messages society sends us daily. We become numb to what we are being told, since we have heard it our whole life."
"Body image begins developing in childhood and these messages were ingrained in us many years ago. We don't need a cream to fix our stretch marks or to be a certain size to be beautiful. Being healthy in both body and mind is key. Love yourself!"
"The next time you see yourself nude, tell yourself how beautiful you are. Make small steps each day towards loving your body — and soon enough you truly will. You can't "fat shame" yourself skinny — love your body and treat it well!"
McCain's favorite scultpure is Crouching Aphrodite
, located at Italy's Museo Nazionale Romano (Rome's National Museum). It's a representation of the goddess Aphrodite surprised at her bath.
Take a close look at the statue, at right
. This is the goddess of love, beauty, pleasure, and procreation...and she's a curvy gal without a six-pack.
The takeaway lesson here? Women of all shapes and sizes are beautiful, seductive, and desirable, and have been so for thousands of years.
For more inspiration, follow The Honest Body Project online or find The Honest Body Project on Facebook.
McCain also recommends supporting a project called the "Mid Drift Movement,"
a documentary aimed at "exposing the underbelly" of motherhood, and another strong voice in the body positivity movement.
Want to dive further into the incredible body positivity movement? Don't miss these great reads:
WATCH: Z Living's Body Positive Health & Wellness series
What will you do to promote a message of body positivity on National Nude Day? Tell us in the comments!