Some of you might remember that I hit the muay-thai gym pretty relentlessly towards the end of last year under the training of Quentin and Winston Chong. I alluded that I had a reason, but wasn’t allowed to announce it yet.
Well, today that reason hits the shelves.
I had the immense honour of being asked to participate in Marie Claire’s annual ‘Naked Issue’ as one of the 35 celebs who take it all off in support of a great cause. Nothing will make you hit gym harder than the prospect of your nekkid self being in a Country-wide magazine. Thanks to Dragon Power Muay Thai, I managed to tone up enough in 2 weeks that I could face the camera (after a big glass (read:bowl) of rosé .
I was joined by fellow comedians Schalk Bezuidenhout and Shimmy Isaacs on the shoot and many giggles were had. I have seen more of Schalk than I ever wanted to – and you can too, if you buy the magazine.
It’s for an amazing cause this year, Blow the Whistle. Which is an organisation that aims to alleviate abuse of women and children by speaking out. I have seen a few comments today already of people on twitter saying ‘how is getting naked going to stop rape? that’s like showering to stop aids’ Ok. Whilst funny, that’s flawed for two reasons. Getting naked should not allude in any way to ‘rape’. Nothing should invite rape, so being naked or fully clothed shouldn’t have any impact on the notion of whether or not someone might get raped.
Secondly, making us vulnerable in front of a camera, naked. Is showing the vulnerability of all the women and children who feel equally (if not far more so) exposed and shamed when they try to speak out. It was handled on set in a very sincere and sombre manner, and all of us were acutely aware of the point of what we were there for. Sure, Shimmy, Schalk and I are all comedians – so of course there were pockets of laughter – but there was a feeling of gravity when the shooting started, that feeling of vulnerability that every women has felt, walking down a street late at night. Or in the middle of the day.
Being vulnerable and taking off all of our masks and clothing ‘armour’ to reveal ourselves at our honest core. That was the message that we all knew we were taking part in. It made me shake, not from fear, but with emotion. Emotion for all of the humans, myself included, who have felt helpless and speechless at some point in their lives – with no way to speak out.
They even put the bare minimum of make-up, no mascara, no colour. Nothing to make us feel shielded.
It was a beautiful experience, and I’m so humbled by what it opened my eyes to. They captured the image of Shimmy and I in the first few shots, the shoot was wrapped so quickly. The photographer said she did it that way because there’s still a vulnerability in one’s eyes as they first become naked, and thats what she was trying to convey. The honesty.
Check out Blow the Whistle, they have a new app that you can press a panic button that automatically notifies three of your chosen phone numbers of your location. It also allows you to set ‘home’ routes to tell people where you are travelling from and to so that if you don’t arrive on time, it notifies your contact people.
The magazine is out today supported by 1st For Women Insurance. Pick it up, get involved. Speak out against violence and abuse of women and children. It’s everyone’s problem.
How to get involved:
Share your voice! Speak up and tell others to do the same.
Marie Claire has created a picture gallery on its website (Marieclaire.co.za), where readers can post their message of support or opinion on sexual violence. This gallery will be shared on Marie Claire’s Facebook page. To drive engagement and more discussion; 1st For Women Insurance will donate R10 000 towards The DNA Project when the Facebook gallery reaches 1 000 shares.
Donate: SMS the word ‘WHISTLE’ to 38157 to make a donation of R10 towards BTW.
Buy a whistle for R36 from The Cross Trainer stores or from hotels in the Legacy Group around South Africa. (For more information, visit Whistle.co.za)