On Monday, when Dr. Mehmet Oz dropped by the Red Velvet Cake Studio, he talked about the importance of being or becoming comfortable with our naked selves. So many of us are so critical and even ashamed of our bodies that we choose just to ignore it.

Not good, says Dr. Oz.

We can learn a lot from frequently visually examining our bodies top to bottom, front to back. When we do that, we’re more likely to notice changes that could have an impact on our overall health.

Click here to hear Nikki Woods’ “What in the Weekend?” report.

In most circles, certainly ours in the studio, the men had fewer reservations about letting it all hang out. The women, though, for all different reasons, had conditions on when and where sheer nakedness was acceptable.

One person just felt good about certain parts of her body being exposed, but wasn’t crazy about the total package.

Another woman said she’s okay with her imperfect body, and her husband is too, but she gets uncomfortable when her husband comments about it too much.

I have no problem with being naked, but as my two boys get older, I’m finding it harder and harder carving out my naked time. Recently, I was in MY room, in MY closet, in only a bra and panties, trying to find something to wear. My youngest son burst into the room, quickly covered his eyes while shrieking, “I didn’t see that one coming!” It makes me very sad to think I have to wait until my sons leave for college to stroll around my house in the buff.

I think a lot of women fail to realize that some of the areas of our body that we may be self-conscious about, a lot of men are perfectly fine with. We talk ourselves into not accepting what’s good about us sometimes based on other people’s standards – the media, our friends, chicks at the gym and even our doctors. If most black women I know got down to the weights our doctors say we should be, we would probably look sickly … forget about being sexy.

So, Get Naked Friday is all about loving your self enough to stare your body down and get to know yourself on another level – and appreciating all of your unique curves, valleys, hills and plains, all of the wonderfully unique things about you that make you special.

But I want to take nakedness a step further. How about examining not just our bodies in a closer way, but our hearts, minds and spirits too? How about our friendships and relationships with our spouses and family members? How naked are you willing to get, figuratively speaking?

Actress Taraji P. Henson said that she would rather go naked than wear fur, as the PETA saying goes. And she did – get naked, that is – as the most recent celeb to pose sans clothing for the animal rights organization. Taraji stripped down for a cause that was important to her.

How many of us would do the same?

Honesty and truth equals freedom, and the more layers we’re willing to shed, the closer we can get to who God intended us to be.

Just finding the courage to confront our own naked selves is a good start. Looking inside and shedding some layers is a better one. Who knows what we’ll uncover?

Nikki Woods is senior producer of “The Tom Joyner Morning Show.” The author of “Easier Said Than Done,” the Dallas-based Woods is currently working on her second and third novels. You can friend her on Facebook or follow her on Twitter: @nikkiwoods.

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