Miami Heat’s Dwyane Wade is opening up about his body confidence for the first time as he bares all for a new magazine spread. The shooting guard gets candid about embracing his “naked truth” and the body part he’s the most self-conscious about.
It took seven years for ESPN to convince the 34-year-old to pose for their annual body issue because of his fear of being nude in front of others who may judge him.
“Someone may look at me and think, ‘Why would you have insecurity?’ ” he told the magazine. “Well, this is real life and I’m human, and these are the things that I deal with that many others might deal with.”
One of those things he had to deal with was embracing his outie belly button, something he was uncomfortable exposing growing up.
“I never even wanted to take my shirt off when we were at the swimming pool or outside during water fights,” Wade said. “The only people who went into the pool with their shirts on were the kids who were overweight – and me. I knew that I was different.”
The athlete said he would get doctors to write him a note excusing him from participating in swim class. He didn’t want students to see his navel or his feet because “as an athlete, my feet were a little rougher.”
He later embraced his physique when he saw how much fun others had and eventually found body confidence four years ago when he turned 30.
“As you go through life, you get more comfortable with yourself. It’s like everything else with life – you change, you grow. People might think it’s simple but for me, it was hard to even feel comfortable walking around naked when it’s just me and my wife. So the thought of doing it at a photo shoot in front of people – it was like, ‘No way ever.’ ”
Referring to his underwear line called Naked, the 13-year NBA veteran said his “naked truth” is “being my authentic self. That became a part of me doing this shoot. I’m like, ‘You know what, nothing is clearer than this, being my authentic self.’ Right here is just me baring it all. This is as authentic as it gets.”
Though he doesn’t even notice his outie belly button now and jokes that he’s always naked nowadays, he said posing for this issue isn’t just about boasting his fit frame.
“It’s bigger than me showing my body off,” Wade said. “That’s not as important to me as telling a story of overcoming a fear. It hopefully gives someone confidence to really be their authentic self.”
Go behind the scenes of Wade’s photo shoot in the video below.