Recently, I came across an issue of ESPN Magazine that caught me a little off guard – in a good way. The reason? Dwyane Wade was naked. Yep, naked. I wasn’t aware of ESPN’s ‘Body Issue’ before (even though it’s been around since 2009!), but I’m sure as hell a fan now (and not for the reasons you’d think). First of all, if you haven’t read the article, you should read it.
In short, Dwyane Wade explains how he’s rejected all of the past offers to be featured in the Body Issue (he was asked for the past seven years to be exact), because he really wasn’t comfortable with his body until very recently. Ever since he was a kid, he’d been self-conscious about his “outie” belly button and has had other body insecurity issues. I know he doesn’t look it, but he’s 34 now—which is why it’s so interesting that this year he agreed to being naked for the issue. And he’s revealing more than his body—he’s talking a lot about his insecurities and body confidence.
This couldn’t be more relevant now that Dwyane is officially a Chicago Bull as well as a proud native Chicagoan (my hometown team–I’m so excited!). Dwyane sheds light on the important fact that EVERYONE, even guys and even famous people and even professional athletes, have body image issues. I’m so proud of him for admitting this in such an inspiring way. He even says in the article that people would probably be surprised by the fact that he’s insecure because of who he is.
But the reality, people, is that literally everyone goes through things like this. I don’t care who you are, how thin, how famous, there are going to be times when you are insecure and self-conscious in some way or another (and I hate that so much, but it’s true).
But here’s the other thing: That’s perfectly okay. Because eventually, like Dwyane Wade, you’ll come to terms with yourself and be confident with your body and feel comfortable showing it naked. Dwyane is now THIRTY-FOUR and he just said he recently got comfortable in his skin, even in front of his wife. That is epic stuff. And not because he’s insecure, I don’t wish that upon anyone, but because he’s being honest and has gone through something the everyday person has.
I don’t think I’m the only one who has ever thought, “Oh wow, that celebrity [insert hot Victoria’s Secret Model] is so hot, I want to look just like her. She’s perfect.” But in reality, they’re real people too. They have their own insecurities, and it’s important to acknowledge that.
This also goes back to my huge belief that wishing you were something else, wishing you looked like someone else, wishing you were thinner, etc. will get you absolutely nowhere. What happens when I become as hot as Adriana Lima? I still have the same shit going on in my life, I still have obstacles, and my life won’t just whip itself into perfectness. And that’s why we all have to keep believing that we are perfect the way we are.
Kudos to you, Dwyane Wade, for opening this issue up to not only men, but professional athletes, celebrities and everyone else out there who is affected by this in some way (I know I am). It shows that we all have things to work on and hardships to get over, and it doesn’t matter who you are or what you look like, you still have shit going on.
With that, I warmly welcome you to Chicago, Dwyane, and am proud to call you one of the Bullie Wullies!
Photo credit: Keith Allison