Melissa Lapier—December 2010
Profiles—Melissa Lapier—December 2010
Name: Melissa Lapier
State: New York
Club or AANR-East Affiliation: Naturist Family Network
Role(s) with AANR-East: Board of Directors
How you got started with nude recreation: It all started with a backache. After many days of pain I finally went to my doctor. She checked me out and told me that she didn't see anything, but with low back pain it would be necessary to have a gynecological exam to ensure that all was well inside me and not causing back pain. Though I was 28 years old, I'd never had an ob/gyn check-up and was terrified. The doctor, Joan, made an appointment for me to come back to her in two days for the exam. These were two of the longest days of my life.
Why such a big deal over a medical exam? I had huge body issues. Taking a shower or using the toilet required me to close my eyes because I simply couldn't see myself like that. I slept fully clothed, right down to shoes and a belt. (Yes, there were reasons for this fear, but it's not something to discuss here.) In short, if I couldn't even use the toilet with my eyes open, how in the world would I ever get through this kind of exam???
The day of the exam came and I tried my hardest but completely freaked out. Not just a little. A lot. We're talking getting a "calm down" shot and calling the medical practice's psychologist in to the room to calm me down. The exam got done and revealed no problems, but it was clear to me that this couldn't continue.
So I did what any self-respecting 28 year old did in 2003: I Googled "body acceptance." Imagine my surprise to see a page full of links to nudist sites. Surely this wasn't the answer to my problem-I just needed a self-help book to fix me up and I'd be fine. But there was no self-help book and I felt I had no choice but to conquer my fears. So I clicked on a nudist website, which turned out to be nothing like I had expected. And it also turned out to change my life forever.
Within that site I found message boards and, after reading numerous messages, posted a question about whether this strange lifestyle would ever be possible for me. I hoped to hear that it would not, but, instead, met people who could help. After only a short amount of time, I was showering with my eyes open. Then I was enjoying a little bit of nude time after the shower. Within a short period of time, you couldn't keep clothes on me.
What a wonderful and healing gift nudism has been to me! My old fears surrounding the body and nudity are completely gone. I've also been told by family and friends that my personality has changed dramatically in that I am no longer shy and quiet but am now happy to speak with others and far more confident. Nudism is powerful that way. And a whole lot less expensive than the years of therapy that many people would expect due to the severity of my difficulties--the only costs were for some new towels and sunscreen!
What does nude recreation give to you/mean to you: In short, nude recreation is freedom. Certainly freedom from clothes, but also freedom from MYSELF. Within nude recreation I can be free from fears of feelings of inadequacy and shame. Further, without clothes I am more free and able to accept others for who they are rather than what they wear.
Your vision for nude recreation/ or / your vision for AANR or AANR-East: I would love for every person to try nude recreation for a day. Though I'm quite certain that anyone who tries it will like it, experiencing it for a day would bring healing to so many people and would decrease the stress level of everyone in the world.