I'm not in the habit of doing nude photo shoots. Especially at "my age." When my mompreneur friend Karyn Climans, helmet safety advocate and owner of Tail Wags, invited me to take it all off in support of Mothers Against Naked Riding, I agreed.
I'm not an exhibitionist, especially as my once fit body is beginning to sag like an old fence. But, the underlying messages are so important I sucked it up and took it off.
Here's why I agreed to do go topless for the Mothers Against Naked Riding campaign.
First, my kids have finally discovered the joys of biking. On most weekends you'll find all of us peddling along on some path. It's an idyllic image...except for the fact that one of us isn't wearing a helmet. If you guessed it was my husband...you win, but we all lose. It makes me furious that, whenever he can, he "forgets" to put on his helmet. He's sending a hyprocritical message to my kids that THEY need to wear one, but daddy doesn't. To be a role model, we need to model the behaviour we want our kids to emulate. Also, he may actually fall off his bike and smash his head. Stranger things have happened.
Second, I agreed to pose topless for the Mothers Against Naked Riding campaign because I am trying really hard to celebrate my imperfections. That's what makes us all beautiful. When Karyn asked me to bare it all to promote helmet use, the first thing that crawled into my brain was that worm of insecurity. I'm not thin enough, my boobs aren't as perky as they once were, I have rolls of back fat where my muscles used to be.
And then I yelled STOP to that insidious insecurity and changed the message in my head. I'm not perfect but I am PRETTY DAMN GOOD. My boobs may droop but they are HEALTHY and BIG. And my rolls of fat are the price I've paid for living a more sedentary life. SO WHAT?
Both Karyn and I agreed there would be no airbrushing to create that damned illusion of perfection that makes all of us feel not good enough. So yay for Karyn, Samantha Monpetit-Huynh (from Core Expectations) and me for being beautiful, strong and confident enough to create an playful campaign to make you stop and think. And yay for photographer Kevin Gonsalves who did wonders with lighting.
Added perk: Gorgeous naked men! Here's a Mothers Against Naking Riding video featuring some lickable -- I mean likeable -- guys showing their, ahem, support for wearing helmets.
The photos are fun. The message is serious. Please wear a helmet when you do sports -- that includes your kids, your partner, your friends and you! Feel free to post our posters everywhere. And if you want to take it all off in the name of Naked Riding, you have my permission.
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