Faith Teope – Money Savvy Like 1,000 Naked Photos
We are moving beyond the idea that pin-ups and nude photos are just for men and it’s taking on a new purpose. Many celebrities have chosen to post nude selfies and do professional nude photo shoots for several reasons, but the most common reason we hear is the power they feel they have taken for themselves. Is there really power in stripping down in front of a camera? I decided to find out first-hand.
I have always been curious about the experience of a nude photo shoot, so I reached out to the most artistic storytelling videographer I know to collaborate on the elegant narrative I wanted the nudity to express. I can personally say that it certainly was a powerful experience and, leading up to the day, I found myself contemplating a myriad of life’s facets.
To own your body’s beauty and know that it is not about objectifying yourself to men, as they say, it is baring (almost) all and claiming your sexuality over hiding it. There is honesty to self and strength in the claiming process.
The current society we live in feels like a healing society. We have residual pain from life experiences and crave to be happy, have strong mental health, and be in control of our life. Consider the many ways we humans work to retain or take back our power. Perhaps it is in how we lay out our daily routine, home organization, or how we curate our social media, the events we decline and those we accept, the friends we keep, or the relationships we sever. Perhaps it is a nude photo shoot.
While I find the human body enormously powerful and deserving of profound respect, I was quickly distracted by the strong correlation between power-owning through a nude shoot and financial independence. I then grappled. Talk about being naked and we can keep an audience but drop the word “finance” and they run for the hills. Why is that? Why is financial literacy not sexy or more commonly associated in the mind with power? I let the idea pause in my mind and planned to circle back to the thought after the 6-hour photo shoot. Stay naked with me and don’t let the “f” word deter.
Modeling naked in front of a camera took more courage than I anticipated. In my head, I thought it would be so easy to drop my robe and pose to evocative music, but when the moment came to undress, I found myself intimidated, hesitant, and self-conscious. My team for the shoot was warm, went at my pace, and was patient as we swiped through music till it spoke to me. We started with an oversized blazer, pasties, tiny nude undergarments, and high heels. The pasties came off and I stayed hidden in the coat, then when I felt as ready as I would get, I went for it. Complimentary words and exclamations went a long way toward my confidence levels. I can’t pinpoint when, but there was a point where it suddenly felt natural. No longer self-conscious and feeling fully accepted, I was able to create what I had in mind and even more. By the end, I nearly forgot that I was completely nude. I respected myself more, appreciated what my body had accomplished, understood my sexuality, and knew it was something I could do again with pride.
Fantasize with me. You’re excited because you really want this. You have vulnerably chosen to strip down the facade and admit that you can improve your financial acumen. It is incredibly uncomfortable, but once you get the hang of it, expectedly it begins to feel natural. With time, your ability to make good money moves levels up because you never stop listening, learning, and adjusting. You have pride knowing you can stand on your own, that you are savvy with your money, and you run your money instead of your expenses running you. Perhaps you’re in a healthy relationship and regardless of how joint you are with this person; you know every move your money makes. You are no longer a victim of circumstance. Your money skills are not cold, they’re savvy, respected, and serve as a beacon for your loved ones to do the same.
What do you do with 1,000 naked photos of yourself? Just like your finances, some moves are private, some teach you about yourself, and there are some that you cannot help but share with others, but there is so much power in every single one of them. Using your financial resources to maintain a lifestyle image could indicate you are spending your energies on what other people think. Just like naked photos, money management should be focused on what you want not what you think everyone else expects of you.
Owning your prowess of finances should be a tantalizing conversation because though there is often a disdain for the love of money, no matter what lifestyle or dream you have you will need money. Keep it intriguing and power-bestowing. Avoid things that nurture sarcasm towards adulting because negative inputs waste your energy. If you are living paycheck to paycheck, you are perfectly positioned to get creative with your finances and see immediate results. Find ways to not spend, find ways to spend cleverly, find ways to shave fixed or variable expenses, and learn one new thing (taxes, 401k/retirement accounts, point systems, frequent flyer miles, grocery intentionality, alcohol consumption, HSA, insurance, etc.).
If you’re shutting down when it comes to money conversations it is most likely because there is something still to be understood about how it serves you. We, humans, do things that we believe will have an immediate efficacy in our life — true to our survival instincts — so harness that. Make it easy for yourself to succeed by taking the time to dissect the impact you are looking for and then let that be your north star.
The money journey is such a personal one, but I believe that to make changes financially you must breathe life into your lifestyle’s vision. Without a vision, it will be difficult to stay intentional. If I didn’t commit to doing a nude shoot, it would have been easy to enjoy a photo shoot with wardrobe changes, but then I would not have done what I’ve always wanted to do.
One satisfactory thing about doing this nude shoot is that I am single and did it just for me. I plan to do it again in the future and whether or not I have a significant other it will still be primarily for me. In exact similarity, I stand firm on the fact that you should be financially independent whether or not you are in a healthy relationship — it is not a cold stance, it’s wise protection of your trajectory (and respect for what you’ve already done). A healthy relationship should not diminish your financial movement, it should amplify it. Who planted the idea that loving someone meant opening yourself to financial vulnerability and being dependent on one person’s control of the money? Tucked in there, lies another discussion of the difference between loving support and irrational exposure.
As though you have made the personal choice to take 1,000 naked photos and experience the self-loving power, own your money conversation and be in control of what that means for your lifestyle, your goals, and your future. Invite honesty to yourself about your finances and put strength into claiming control. It’s time. You owe it to yourself to be money savvy.