Ahead of our Brave Get Together this 4 November we caught up with Kat and Jenny, hosts of The Naked Podcast.
What happens when people talk naked?
There’s laughter. There’s embarrassment. There’s often some squealing as everyone takes their clothes off but then it’s unexpectedly completely normal! The vulnerability of getting naked means that it changes the energy in the room. There’s a nervousness that charges the atmosphere, and gets the adrenaline pumping. Because people are generally naked with other strangers there’s an uncertainty over what to expect. It provides an intimacy unlike your standard face-to-face interview.
Being naked is an incredible leveller. There’s no judgement, you’re all just bodies. Without the clothes you shed your inhibitions. It’s BRAVE to take your clothes off in the first place, because of the taboos around nudity so you’ve already overcome one of life’s great hurdles before the recording has even begun!
How does it change a conversation?
After recording with more than 50 people we’ve realised that people become more open. When you strip away clothes, there’s a sudden realisation that people are all the same underneath. Our guests often can’t quite believe that they are sitting and chatting to us completely in the buff. As journalists we are used to being the ones with a certain amount of power, wielding the microphones and asking the questions - but when everyone’s in the buff it’s a level playing field! Nudity is a great leveller. Despite soon forgetting you are naked, women have shared stories with us that they’ve not thought about for years and years.
One of our first podcast guests Alison Glitheroe told us how her mum slapped her when she told her she’d started her period. Her mother only apologised on her death bed. After we’d stopped recording Alison said she’d not thought of that for 20 years. Stripping away clothes often means stripping away our internal defences. That nakedness and vulnerability makes people more open, more honest and quite literally more revealing.
And are there any lessons from this approach we could use in our lives?
When we came up with the concept of The Naked Podcast we were TERRIFIED of what people would think of us or say about us. Fear loomed large in the early days of inviting people to be guests and explaining the concept to them. We were worried people would think us strange or not understand the concept. The very first guest we rang was Sam Cleasby who lives with an ostomy bag after having her bowel removed. She understood our garbled explanation and said yes, even though she was nervous of the nudity! Recording the podcast has shown us how much is to be gained from pushing ourselves out of our comfort zones.
There’s great freedom in realising that even if people criticise us, we believe so strongly in our aims to improve women’s self-confidence and self-esteem, that actually any criticism doesn’t matter. We’ve received amazing correspondence from people all over the world who tell us how much the podcast has helped them, and how they’ve learned to love their bodies. It’s also taught us that taking a different approach to something can get different results. We often talk about how different the conversations would be with clothes ON.
What’s the thing YOU are scared of doing? What is STOPPING you? What’s the WORST that could happen? What’s the BEST that could happen? When we stop and ask ourselves these questions we realise that actually, there isn’t much stopping us apart from our own negative thoughts. You can be brave and brilliant – we give you our permission!
Tickets for our Brave Get Together on 4 November, our biggest event of the year, are on sale now - for members and non-members alike. Head here to see the full speaker line-up and buy yours today.