Rob 's Story

My husband Rob has a sort of wonderful, naïve, honest enthusiasm in his approach to life that sophisticated people would probably find wearying, but I adore.

He didn't hesitate to come along for a nude photo shoot for a friend, even though he knew little about what it was for or how it would happen. His friend had asked, and he had said yes, without hesitation. That says a lot about him.

When he was in the studio, something wonderful happened, that also says a lot about him.

Rob, naked in front of me, and the photographer, talked poignantly and completely openly about his struggle throughout his entire life to feel good enough. He talked about his struggle to lose weight, his struggle to support his family and to be a good person, but most of all, his struggle to measure up to what society demands of him, and what he demands of himself. And how often, in the end, he feels he is found wanting.

It was one of those heart-wrenching conversations that you remember for the rest of your life, not necessarily for the content or the topic, but for the complete baring of one's body and soul. I watched Dave, our photographer, respond as people often do to my husband's complete honesty, like a flower in the sun. I did too.

Since then, we have struggled together to re-capture that moment in written words. But another part of who Rob is, is modest. He cannot understand why the moment was so wonderful, or in part, what the fuss is about.

I think though, in writing this, I have part of the clue. Rob, in his openness, gives permission to other people to be open. It's a rare gift that comes infrequently.

That, really, says the most about him.

I really consider myself to be an ordinary Aussie bloke. There's nothing particularly special about me.

When my good friend Dave asked my wife if she would be prepared to have her operation scar photographed, I thought nothing of it apart from the fact that Dave was looking to do a photographic exhibition.

Then out of the blue, he asked whether I would be prepared to pose nude for his exhibition. This was at first a little confronting because there I would be, with no protection of clothing. But I thought about it for some time, then thought “what the hell”. I'm happy to help Dave achieve his goal to have an exhibition that shows ordinary Australians at their most vulnerable.

As stated above, I'm just an ordinary bloke who's spent a great deal of his life attempting to control ever-increasing weight - I have spent a lot of time going up and down like a yo-yo, sometimes achieving weight loss. Other times, I just think, “bugger it”. I am who I am.

I'm like millions of other people in this world - working hard, trying to get ahead, trying to earn enough money to have nice things. I spend time worrying about money and whether we've got enough to make ends meet, just like lots of other people.

I have a wonderful wife and three wonderful children, who I dearly love and have a great deal of fun with. They are a part of who I am.

At the end of the day, what you see is just me.