Annie Leibovitz exclusively for Vanity Fair

How To Join The “Stupid Trend” of Nude Pregnancy Shoots Without Shame

The past five years have seen an increase in the number of women, including a couple of celebrities like Beyonce, and latest, Serena Williams who choose to mark the momentous occasion of childbearing by posing nude in front of the camera.

Nude shoots have become somewhat popular in the western communities and sometimes even without the excuse of a pregnancy.
Seeing as a lot of trends have been accepted by Nigerians regardless of how conservative we claim to be, some people have already condemned the “trend” calling it “stupid” and “something they will never understand”, probably in a bid to shame those women before-hand, who may want to consider being a part of it. Which is where a lot of people get conflicts wrong because you cannot fight effectively what you have condemned or chosen not to understand.

From experience, I’ve come to realise that those who are usually so opposed to an idea that they fight it with so much hate and indignation, want, in some weird way, to be part of it.
Hence, this article which was written for the intent of those who may want to understand more, why a woman will choose to go nude for a pregnancy shoot and who may eventually want to partake in it.

The first thing you have to understand before you proceed is this:

1. Your body is yours and yours alone.

No matter how much another person may want to covet, blame, abuse, disregard another’s body, your body remains your own.

It is yours to express with it the myriad of emotions that you feel (yes, including sexual), and it is yours to cover up or expose without shame or repercussion. Your body is not responsible for another body, neither is another body responsible for yours.

2. However you choose to express yourself is valid.

There is no one expression more holy than the next. That Nkechi chose to cover up her body doesn’t make her a better functioning individual than Fatima who chose to expose hers. Your worth — and anybody’s really — does not lie in your body, and even if you do not approve of another person’s way of expression, learn to respect it.
Tearing down another’s clothes because she wore something you define as “indecent” thereby making her more “indecent” is a reaction that does not and will never solve anything. All it exposes is your lack of control and hypocrisy.

3. Preferences are not invitations.

When we talk about our wants and desires, we often talk about how we like a particular kind of ice cream or an interesting genre of music. No one (that I know of) ever responds by saying you chose the chocolate-flavoured icecream so that the ice cream man in the ice cream truck would notice you and probably dump an ice cream on your head. Or that the fact that you danced to gospel music meant that you should be taken to heaven with immediate effect.

Just like those preferences weren’t invitations, that a woman choose to record a moment in time with or without clothes is not an invitation for abuse or molestation. That a woman chooses to do anything or go anywhere really with her body is not an invitation.

With the knowledge that your body is yours alone and your expressions are valid, it then follows that it is indeed possible to express yourself in anyway you choose, publicly or privately, for yourself only, and not for the purpose of attention seeking. Maybe sharing, but not attention seeking.

There’s a difference between sharing and attention seeking. One is a beautiful thing while the other is toxic, and if you’ve ever felt like you needed attention from something or someone at one point in your life and later experienced sharing your love and body with another person, I’m sure you’d agree with me here.

Knowing you are enough, and valid and complete and worthy of love regardless of your preferences, what and who you’ve been through is paramount.

Knowing all these (and the fact that at some point in our history, we were the ‘savages’ who did not wear enough clothes), and with constant reminders to yourself not to care what anybody else thinks,
I’ll be looking forward to celebrating with you (or your wife) as she celebrates her womanhood in full glory!

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I write about digital product design.

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Adaku Nwakanma

Adaku Nwakanma

I write about digital product design.