Show Me Your Naked Side

Photo by Darius Bashar on Unsplash

A recent story on brought back a memory from a college art class lecture. Or maybe it was a photography class. It’s been so long I can’t remember. Anyway, I remember learning the concept of Naked Versus Nude in art.

A nude image depicts a person flawlessly. Smooth skin. Flowing hair. No scars or imperfections. Glossy.

In contrast, a naked image reveals who a person really is. Lumps and bumps. Sweat. Grit. Raw and unfiltered. The person may gaze back at us with a this is me expression.

What prompted my trip down memory lane? My good friend Christopher Robin’s story titled No Matter How Sexy Someone is…

Chris’s humorous story leans heavily on the reality of living with a real person, but in my mind, that’s where the rubber hits the road in a relationship. That’s living with someone’s naked side.

Because here’s the thing. A person’s glossy side may be initially attractive but that’s not what makes someone endearing.

The shiny nude version doesn’t reveal who someone is. That’s the cleaned-up ready-for-church side. To truly know who someone is we must see their naked side. The side with messy hair. The side that exposes their humanness.

The comfort of a relationship happens on the naked side — the side where we can be ourselves. We can relax. Be vulnerable. Authentic.

Deep love and acceptance live on the naked side. To get there, we gotta dive below the surface. Peel back layers. Reveal our naked side.

Who’s under that shine?

Whatcha got in there?

a curious firefly, © 2022

This story was originally published on Medium as part of a 250-word story challenge. I think this clocked in at 255.