From Sharon Stone’s recent snaps in Harper’s Bazaar in nothing but a pair of heels and a necklace – at age 57 no less – to Kim Kardashian’s naked selfie of her pregnant body, celebs are not afraid to strip down – but why? What is motivating these women? Experts say there are many psychological benefits that can oftentimes outweigh the criticism stars receive, but the key to preventing nudity from ruining one’s image is moderation.
“Some psychological benefits of posing nude can include a feeling of empowerment, increased confidence and body image, and an overall feeling of pride,” said Dr. Kimberly Moffit, PhD. “Women, like Sharon Stone, may pose nude to feel empowered and in control of their bodies, especially if they are proud of the way it looks or confident in who they are as a person. Some women take pride in demonstrating to other women that all body types are beautiful and that beauty can take form in many ways.”
Dr. Atira Charles, image consultant and CEO of Think Actuality LLC, says in addition to women gaining confidence, the decision to bare all can also positively affect their image.
“In the case of celebrities, social media ‘likes,’ social media ‘followers,’ and TV/radio/blog attention have become a symbol of something being ‘good’ for one’s image,” she said. “Therefore that reward of attention and fame confirms to that celebrity that ‘nude equals good,’ which is why we continue to see them.”
However, experts say moderation is key, and celebrities like Kim Kardashian who flaunt their naked bodies more often than others, could be leaning too heavily on nudity as part of their identity.
“They are making a conscious decision to define themselves with nudity as a ‘mask’ that they wear,” Charles added. “In the case of Kim K., she is purposely and deliberately defining herself as one that values sexuality, nudity and beauty. Because she has self-defined herself this way, the world then expects it from her. It is almost like an informal contract that she has established with the world. She gives the world images of her body, the world likes it, it is lucrative for her, she then continues to give the world what they want.”