“If one of the most interesting places to be is your inner world, you will never be bored when you are alone.”
On new year’s day in 2018, I launched this blog. I’ve contemplated why I named my blog Get Naked With Joy. On the surface, it probably seems like I did so because I have a tendency to post naked self portraits of myself but there’s a slightly more complex reason. As many of you already know, in 2017, after experimenting with a polyandrous relationship, I ended up leaving my husband. During our separation and divorce, I was labeled with some very unsavory titles (whore, cunt, slut, etc.) by people who were once my “friends” and “family”.
Rather than allow myself to disappear into the shadows, I chose to take charge of my life. There was something deeply liberating about stripping down and exposing myself publicly (literally and figuratively). Of course, once my site launched and those same people found out about me posting my “Get Naked” journey, I earned myself a new title; prostitute. Somehow, sharing my nakedness (emotionally, spiritually and yes, physically) sparked some deeply disturbing perceptions about me. Don’t get me wrong, I have absolutely zero judgments on people who choose to do sex work. What I take issue with is people thinking that, just because I post naked self portraits and photos of myself online and speak openly about my life, I’m a “prostitute”. There is no correlation between the two actions.
In the beginning, I felt whorrible;) I was worried about the effect all of this negativity and judgment would have on my kids. Some of the people who commented on my blog enhanced my fears, by calling me names, sexualizing me, objectifying my body and some even threatened me sexually. I felt a deep level of guilt and shame for bringing this type of attention onto myself. But over the past few years I have continued to contemplate my naked journey and I realize I have nothing to be ashamed of. There is no need for me to feel guilty.
I am not the only one who has experienced this type of judgment. Kaat Bollen, a psychologist and media personality lost her license due to some “revealing pictures” of herself she posted on Instagram. Back in early 2020, someone anonymously reported Bollen to the Belgian Commission of Psychologists – the organization that looks after practicing licenses in Belgium. Then a special disciplinary committee heard Bollen’s case and decided against her, issuing her an initial warning. Bollen appealed the decision. After reviewing Bollen’s case in January 2021, the committee temporarily suspended her license. I haven’t yet heard the final judgement. It is my hope that the support she is receiving from her social media supporters and fellow body positive activists will help Bollen get her license reinstated.
“For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.” -Nelson Mandela
It is stories like Kaat Bollen’s and other bold men and women that motivate me to continue being myself and expressing myself freely. By casting off the suffocating chains and limitations society has placed upon us, by living and expressing ousrelves in a way that not only respects and enhances our personal freedom but also respects and enhances the freedom of others…we experience personal libration, but more importantly…we encourage others to liberate themselves…
My wish for you is that you find your path to liberation and freedom…
From my heart to yours,
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And as I did once (I’m pretty sure I did), I want to thank you so much for sharing all these aspects of your journey with us, and never forget that, despite all the hate some may throw on you, there’s so much love and appreciation coming from many more just for you.
I feel the love ❤️
With positivity you will be rewarded
I’m sorry to hear about the verbal and mental abuse you have had to suffer Joy, and all for the sake of living life how you want to without harming anyone else.
It’s good to hear voices like yours in the fight to free ourselves of the prejudice and censorship against nudity in art, photography and society in general, as well as reducing the limitations of our personal freedom and the way to live as we choose.