When you think about body insecurity, Dwyane Wade’s chiseled form is most likely not the first image that comes to mind. However, the Miami Heat shooting guard recently opened up about his struggle to shed habits of self deprecation and allowing insecurities about his body to keep him in hiding. Wade has stepped out of his comfort zone and into something much bolder: his birthday suit.
After seven years of turning them down, Wade finally agreed to grace the cover of ESPN Magazine’s Body Issue. Wearing nothing but his game face, Dwyane Wade shows vulnerability in more ways than one. He reflects on the embarrassment of having an “outie” belly button as a child, and the struggles of having the rough, unsightly feet of an athlete. Wade even admits to having his doctor write him a note excusing him from swimming so he wouldn’t have to be seen by other kids.
“I was just never comfortable until about four years ago, when I started feeling comfortable with my body overall,” Wade says. “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.” Wade goes on to speak on his commitment to fitness and how it’s a struggle to maintain a healthy diet because he feels like “a fat boy at heart.” He also talks about the feeling betrayed by his body when he suffered injuries to both his knee and shoulder in 2007.
This striking moment of vulnerability for the athlete and business man was a refreshing insight beyond his tough exterior. “Right here is just me baring it all,” he says. “This is as authentic as it gets.”