Jessi Kneeland feels safe when she’s naked. (Photo: @remodelfitnessnyc/Instagram)
More often than not, Jessi Kneeland is naked. She believes being unclothed is a “conscious act of trust and freedom” and a representation that she feels safe in her body and authentic self. But in a recent Facebook post, she’s wearing jeans and a long-sleeved, hooded sweatshirt and credits the sudden craving to cover up with being in a saddened emotional state. “Some people stress eat. Apparently I stress dress,” she stated.
Interestingly enough, the way this New York City-based physical trainer feels stems from a primal need to feel protected. “For thousands of years, we’ve been wearing armor to cover ourselves when we’re vulnerable,” Jodi Aman, psychotherapist and author of You 1 Anxiety 0: Win Your Freedom Back From Fear and Panic To Keep Calm, tells Yahoo Style. “You’ll see animals in a hole, cowering in the dark. We’ll cover our head if something is coming towards us. When people are sad, they may hunch over or cover up with a blanket. It’s a basic instinct — a biological, fear response.”
Aman further explains that individuals tend to wear various types of shields on a regular basis. “People do it all the time — sometimes they rely on makeup, weight, tattoos, jewelry, or clothing to cover up or hide some sense of vulnerability,” she states. “It could have to do with what they look like or perhaps they have been attacked in the past. It depends on a person’s situation and perception of vulnerability, but jt comes from knowing there are dangers out there that can happen at anytime.”
She refers to Kneeland’s desire to bundle up as “mental protection,” and adds that it’s also natural to shield the front of our bodies. “We cover the front because that’s where our organs are,” says Aman. “We feel that if there’s some kind of barrier between ourselves and the energy of that awfulness, then we can protect this energy from getting into our heart.”