Self Portrait: Nude Photos Reveal A New You

By Jennifer Hanes, D.O.

When performing an exam on a female patient I am frequently asked the same question:  “Do I look normal down there?”  And despite reassuring the patient that all of her anatomy is healthy, there always seems to be a missing piece.  In some gynecology offices they use mirrors to help the patient learn more about herself.  A few months ago one of my patients brought a new idea to my attention.

She had a rash on her bottom and was unable to see it clearly. To track the progression of the rash, she began taking pictures of it with the camera on her phone.  As her physician I noticed it was much easier for her to discuss her anatomy when looking at a picture rather than pointing directly to her body.  This sparked an idea that I have since shared with some of my female patients, and the response has been so incredible I would like to share it with you, my readers, as well.

Take pictures of yourself naked!  Yes, you, by yourself, without your clothes.  As women we often compare ourselves to photographs in a magazine, yet have you ever seen what you look like lying on a bed?  Unless your ceiling has mirrors, probably not.  To ease into taking photographs first use it as a medical tool to document any moles or lesions on your skin. If you do have a suspicious area on your skin make sure to have something of standard measure in the picture.  If you do not have a ruler or tape measure then use something else of standard size like a paper clip, or even your finger in the photo.  This is to document the size of any moles or suspicious lesions that you will want to have examined during your next appointment.

With that exercise complete, begin taking photographs of your other body parts.  The purpose is to see what your body looks like to others, not just the vision in the mirror.  Be creative and take lots of pictures from many different angles. The more light on you the better to enhance your beautiful body.  Ever wonder how your breasts look from the side?  Hold your camera to the side of your body and click away.  Are you curious to see your vagina from your partners perspective?  Take a picture.  If you are feeling squeamish or nervous, that’s completely normal.  However, do you think it odd that your physician and your lover have seen your body in a way that you have not?  Shouldn’t you know your body and your anatomy better than anyone else in the world?

So after your next bath, plan for some personal time and take lots of photos of your body.  Try to be gentle with your self-critiquing.  Also realize that for a magazine portrait, there are people setting up the perfect lighting, make-up and background.  They also can take hundreds of photographs before finally catching the perfect shot.  Do not be timid about exploring your own beauty.  Take dozens of pictures. In the age of digital photography a hundred photos is equal to the cost of one. Not happy with the lighting or the angles you’ve shot? Simply hit delete, reset and reshoot.

Every woman has a beautiful body if she just takes the time to appreciate it.  Your favorite might be a photograph of your hair when you lie down, or how your nipple looks from below.  Be creative.  As you experiment, immediately delete those of a less than desirable quality so you do not focus your attention on shots you dislike.  When you have a few that you believe are beautiful, give yourself time to really look at your miraculous body and appreciate what you look like, from every angle. The purpose of this exercise is not to circulate nude images of yourself, never advisable, but to use your camera as a tool for exploring your unique and precious body.

The next time you see a model in a magazine and you feel less than ideal, remember the pictures of your body.  You are an amazing creature just as you are.  If you ever doubt this truth, just snap a few photos to remind yourself of how truly beautiful you are.


A board certified emergency physician, Jennifer Hanes, D.O., discovered that patients have greater success when they understand their bodies.  With that unique philosophy, she founded Empowered Medicine, PLLC, where knowledge is powerful medicine.  She empowers patients with her articles, motivational speeches and private consultations.  You can learn more at