The ‘Bare Naked Truth’ About Nude Modeling

Emma Barbato


Walking across Red Square between classes I often found myself avoiding the slightly uncomfortable side glances of various men and woman who had seen me in various states of undress.

I’m not positive they really recognized me; I mean I am wearing more than my bra, but that awkward uncertainty lurked right between my shoulder blades just the same. I wondered what the appropriate response was in this kind of situation.

Do I give them a “so-you-have-seen-my-nipples” smile, or maybe one of those “this-isn’t-that-unusual wavey nod” things. More often I pretended the whole naked ordeal never happened; it seemed like one of the classier options.

While I might like to say that yes, I am so outrageously seductive that I have had liaisons with scores of McDaniel’s student and teacher population, I really just don’t have that sort of energy.

I am a nude model – one of the few students on the fair Hill that wasn’t afraid to bare it all for the sake of art, literally. Well, and money; money is good too.

It’s not hard to sit in the art studio naked as the day you were born while students sketch or sculpt your various body parts. You often stare at the clock that is inevitably wrong, always wrong, your head filled with Glar, or rather, the regret of the taco salad an hour earlier.

The real trouble starts when the clothes go back on.

How do you look your boyfriend in the eyes and say, “Honey, I am going to get naked in front of your friends for money today.”

Honestly, it just sounds bad once your bra is securely fastened. Like many other aspects of college life, it’s just better when you are in the buff. And there is also the emotional turmoil you feel sitting in your apartment later that day as your roommate and his girlfriend, who happens to be one of your best friends, snuggle on the couch. You can’t but think, “Huh, he just stared at me in a thong for an hour. Does that classify as a breach of friendship? Should I go to confession?!”

These are the tough questions faced by student models everywhere.

It’s the clothed activities that really suffer once the paint brushes are put away.

When I contemplate the numerous times people have asked me how I could consider doing what I do, I think to myself, “How could I not? Nudity is the only relief I get these days.”