I got naked in front of 42 strangers for 20 quid

But it’s OK because it was for art

I was ArtSoc’s life model for a day. And it was as terrifying as you’d imagine it to be.

It all started during a tipsy conversation with a family friend of mine, a brilliant artist, who told me how empowering modelling for a life-drawing class is.

Though I was pretty drunk at the time, it got me thinking… why not get naked in front of a load of strangers?

How bad can it really be?

It was something I whacked on the bucket list not really thinking I’d ever go through with it.

I think I had a mid-freshers week crisis and realised I was in third year. Next year I’d be a proper adult with proper responsibilities and I’ll soon be old and probably fat.

So I decided I’d do it now before I get to a point where people actually cry and beg me to put my clothes back on.

It was that or run a half marathon, and this seemed like a lot less effort.

The pink dressing gown couldn’t hide me forever…

However, what the drunken me seemed to have forgotten was how terrifying lying completely naked in front of a group of strangers inspecting my most intimate parts for two hours would be.

The moment I was asked to “de-robe” the situation hit me, 42 students were sat waiting expectantly for me to get my kit off but it was far too late for me to back out then.

As I took my giant pink fluffy dressing gown off (sexy, I know) I asked them to “be kind to me please…”

What was most embarrassing was being hyper aware of every bodily function.

I was so nervous that I was boiling hot and a little sweaty (grim, I know) and that’s all I kept thinking about.

Then my tummy started rumbling (I hadn’t had time to finish dinner because I couldn’t stomach it) and, to make matters worse, it was deadly silent in the room.

Yes, these people have all seen me naked

All I could think was thank the lord I had done a little “landscape gardening” and general preening for the occasion because there really is nowhere to hide.

To make matters worse, next door (this was only Cornwall House, not some shag pad on the Titanic) someone was rehearsing “Roxanne”.

By The Police.

About putting on your red light and selling your body to the night.

It was all too ironic and I couldn’t help but laugh (I probably wasn’t the best ‘still life model’).

The other thing nobody warns you about life-modelling is how hard it is to reintegrate back into normal society after you’ve gone through such an experience.

One of the girls in my lectures was at the class that day, and has not only stared at my naked body for two hours, but also offered to let me keep the drawing at the end of the session.

We have not mentioned the incident since.

Even worse, at the end of the class when two of the guys were leaving they gave me a little nod and a cheeky “thanks”, so God knows what’s happened to their sketches… I’m just hoping I don’t bump into them on campus again.

Me. Nude. Captured forever

The other paintings I have kept are safety hidden away in my wardrobe, never to see the light of day.

My housemates keep volunteering to put them up in the lounge, but that is definitely not going to happen any day soon.

So after all this drama, would I recommend the experience to a friend?

Surprisingly, I probably would, mainly because it’s a cracking story to crack out every now and again – how many people can say they would do it? (To clarify, getting your bra out to the Baywatch song does NOT count).

Also, it has given me more body confidence and £25 in the back pocket, so it has its perks, though I would say it takes a lot of balls (no pun intended), probably a lot more than I anticipated.

And, of course, you should do it just for the fun of telling your parents you’ve done it. I think my dad may even be a little proud of me, bless him.

The real face of a life-drawing model survivor. Still naked.