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Body of evidence

By Rose Cooper - posted Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Recently I dreamt I was in a lovely garden, sitting at an easel, painting. An elderly couple came along and after a while I was suddenly, uncomfortably aware that I wasn’t dressed. I wore a sarong about my hips, but I was naked from the waist up. At this point I casually made an effort to position my arms so as to obscure my breasts from their view.

If the couple were aware of my semi-naked state they seemed unperturbed. I remember thinking “well, if they don’t care, why should I?” And I relaxed again. Then I woke up.

The most common interpretation of your average Naked Dream is that it’s a metaphor that exposes the dreamer’s perceived faults or feelings of vulnerability to some situation in their life. Normally this would be true, especially in my case - as I am literally plagued by recurring naked dreams, but I’m fairly certain that this time my subconscious was merely reflecting the fact that I had gone to bed the previous night, knowing I would start work on this very article the next morning.


The article being my candid documentation of my thought processes leading up to, during and after my appointment to pose nude for a professional photographer on the eve of my 49th birthday. Clearly, the writing of this piece has me a bit on edge. The peripheral fact that I’m about to get my kit off for posterity causes me nary a ripple of concern.

Gulp. Did I just use the word “ripple”? Oh my god, why did I want to do this again?

The desire to pose “artistically nude” for a talented photographer (and I don’t mean in one of those fuzzy, Vaseline-lens glamour shots they try to sell you in shopping malls, but for something that might actually end up in an exhibition) is something I’ve always wanted to do but somehow never had the opportunity.

Rose Cooper

Suddenly here I am, staring down the barrel at 50.

It’s now or never … isn’t it? After all, there’s this hideous beast following me, its ominous shadow looming over my shoulder, waiting to pounce. You may have heard of it - it goes by the rather serious handle of “gravity”. She’s really making her presence felt lately, and once this bitch takes hold completely, I’ll be forced to ditch any perception of myself as aesthetically-pleasing to the eye … won’t I? Computer says “yes”.


Denial notwithstanding, my decision was based on a determination to thumb my nose at society’s obsession with youth.

After all, I am not some pampered celebrity with my own stylist and personal trainer, am I? I don’t have a liposuction hose connected from my butt cheeks to my cheekbones, nor do I work out every day. I don’t even have fame or indeed infamy to add cache to my mystique.

I’m just an average, everyday 49-year-old mother-of-three who is fed up to the back teeth with not seeing her kind being realistically represented via the electronic or print media. I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore.

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About the Author

Rose Cooper is a freelance writer and actor who has contributed to many national publications over the past 20 years. She was Australian Women's Forum Magazine's most prolific contributor as well as their Sex Advice Columnist. Her areas of expertise include comedy, women's health and sexuality issues, relationships, theatre and pop culture. For more of Rose's articles visit:

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