The annual Marie Claire naked issue is always a talking point for the nation, and this year will be no different, but, the publication decided to take all that focus and channel it towards something we need more of; body positivity.
The aim of the campaign has always been to take people's interest in nudity and use it for a good cause but people still are not able to see past the nudity and their anger about it.
“Although we live in a country enshrined by a liberal and progressive constitution, we are still a deeply conservative and patriarchal society. We can debate that too, but look at any of our major institutions: schools, universities, churches or parliament: we’re liberal, but only to a point. We are quick to police the naked body, and particularly women’s naked bodies,” explained Marie Claire about their 2017 issue which featured the likes of Nomzamo Mbatha, Thando Thabethe and Omuhle Gela.
The theme of this year's campaign is #DearBody, and the ZAlebs featured in the photo spread have lead the charge in body positivity by writing personalized letters to their body, apologizing for the wrong they have done to their bodies in the past and promising to do better moving forward.
Check out some of the notes published by the likes of Nina Hastie, Khanyi Mbau and Thick Leeyonce.
#DearBody, I've started being kinder to you. I want you to know: I love you, you are part of me, and you don’t have to hurt to know you’re alive. YOU’RE ENOUGH! YOU’RE BEAUTIFUL! YOU EXIST! AND THAT IN ITSELF IS A MIRACLE. We're in this life thing together, we might as well enjoy it! Keep smiling Queen. Love, Nina Xxx If you had to write a letter to YOUR body, what would you say? Join the conversation with myself, and many other wonderful women who have been brave and vulnerable in this Naked Issue by writing your own #DearBody and tag @marieclairesa ...
#Dearbody: Hey you sexy thang. Yes you, my curvaceous one-of-a-kind vessel. I may say disparaging things about you at times, but I really do love you and I promise to adorn you like the sacred temple you are to this fierce soul. I celebrate your beauty and your resilience. Tumi This year I was a part of Marie Claire's New Naked campaign, and I wrote this letter to my self. Share your own letter starting with #DearBody and tag @marieclairesa ❤️
#DearBody, You’ve been my shield and my protection since I was inside my mother’s womb. Our journey is not smooth, but it's beautiful. I now look at you in the mirror, even with your lumps and bumps, and think to myself - you are perfect just the way you are.....I’m learning to accept you. This year I was a part of Marie Claire's New Naked campaign, and I wrote this letter to my body. As women we are continuously critiquing ourselves... it’s difficult these days to be happy with what you have. This was definitely one of the scariest most empowering experiences of my life. This therapeutic process made me realize that there is so much to be grateful for when it comes to my body and that my journey with my body is a lifelong one which has taught me so much about being a woman and being proud and making positive and healthy changes if I want to. I am so grateful for this campaign and what it has taught me about living BOLDLY and I hope that my bravery and that of the other women will make you take time to reflect on your relationship with your body. Share your own letter starting with #DearBody, and tagging Marie Claire SA
So @marieclaire_sa’s New Naked campaign is here and my butt is in it! I had the pleasure of doing it with the magical @sherlinbarends - a colleague, friend and professional hype woman. I had a chance to write a love letter to my body #DearBody, I didn’t appreciate the amazing things you did when we were younger. Until I realised that you are my life partner. Body, we’re stuck with each other. You surprise and delight me with your strength and resilience, even when I don’t feel like showing up. Love, Sibongile I shared my love letter - are you ready to share yours? Use #DearBody and tag @marieclairesa
#DearBody This letter was difficult to write because it made me realise that I don’t compliment you enough, and that this love-hate relationship will take time to outgrow. I will embrace you and appreciate you for as long as you are on this earth to carry me; you are made, just for me. Love, Keneilwe #thenewnaked2018
What to read next: What does nudity have to do with charity?
Main image credit: instagram.com/mbaureloaded