The Truth Stripped Bare

“I felt free, liberated, and proud of myself as a woman.

- Katherine Baker

Terms such as body confidence and body positivity have become more prevalent in recent times, to encourage women to become more comfortable with their physical appearance. Yet for many women this remains a difficulty.

Influenced by social media, advertising, upbringing, peer groups, and other factors, a large percentage of women have a negative body image towards themselves and others.

On a sunny winter’s day in early August this year, and as part of the Naked Truths photographic project to help women overcome some of the negativity surrounding body image, we met Kat Baker. A unique and inspiring women, Kat has since shared some insight into her body image journey.

In 2019 Kat was diagnosed with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). She lives with chronic pain and has to carefully manage her condition on a daily basis.

Upon initially meeting Kat, and without prior knowledge of her condition, she appears radiant, with a smile that would light up a room and a personality to match. “Sunny” is certainly a word that springs to mind when contemplating this beautiful woman.

One of Kat’s friends volunteered her to be part of the photoshoot, something she says she never would have done of her own volition due to feelings of insecurity; but she was grateful for the encouragement to participate and ultimately found the experience “joyful”.

Kat says, “Being body positive, to me, means to appreciate what we have been given and to love every part of yourself, falling in love with the imperfections that make us uniquely individual.”

Kat feels strongly that women should lift one another up.

“We should be empowering each other, not putting each other down, shaming, and making people feel uncomfortable about their insecurities.

“We should all let our beautiful selves shine and not change or shrink ourselves down to make others feel ok due to their jealousy or insecurity.

“Jealousy and insecurity are things we can change.

On the topic of nudity, Kat tells us, “In the past I would have been way too shy to participate in a naked photoshoot.”

“Due to my illness, I am 100% sure I would have said no.

“The night before the shoot I was vomiting from 1am. I was really feeling sick from my illness.

“In the morning, I was tired and still feeling very sick; I was all up in my head.

“I wanted to opt out but I didn’t, and I am glad that I didn’t.”

Kat made the brave decision to soldier on, telling herself “let’s do this!”

Speaking candidly about her condition, Kat explains, “living with CRPS and PTSD pretty much steals your life from you; some things are taken away that you can’t get back.”

One side affect of CRPS that Kat has experienced is weight gain and fluid retention; something that she has struggled to accept and which has had an impact on how she feels about her body. But despite this, she fully immersed herself in her photographic experience.

“I embraced every moment [of the shoot] and did not expect to feel what I did that day.

“I felt free, liberated, and proud of myself as a woman.

“I think freedom is happiness, especially when you have an illness like mine, where your freedom and choices get taken away from you.”

Uplifting words indeed from a woman who has been through so much.

“When we put limits on ourselves, we are doing that with our own minds. Sometimes we have to get out of our own heads.

People often ask Kat how she remains so upbeat. She affirms that she has no other choice.

“Choice is so valuable and important. Healthy people don’t realise that until it is taken away from you.”

But Kat urges that “you CAN do things you never thought you could.”

It takes a lot of courage to take part in a photoshoot where either partial or complete nudity is required, and courage is something this inspiring woman has in bucket loads.

And what would she say to other women wanting to get involved in this project?

“I would push people to get on board and support this project. It’s so fun, tasteful, not invasive, amazing and an experience of a lifetime. I can’t even explained in words how it made me truly feel. Grab ya girls and get on board. If I can do it with a disability, anyone can. Do something totally out of your comfort zone and see how free you will feel. Love being a woman and supporting other woman of all shapes and sizes. Let’s love our bodies no matter what. Let's get naked!”

1 comment

Gráinne Myles

What a beautiful story to accompany a beautiful woman. Thank you inspiring us all and reminded us to love who we are. 💜

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