FFT: How many items do you need before you can get out the door?

This post is inspired by the Bravo reality tv show/social experiment, “Stripped”.

Initially, I wrote off the premise of the show as ridiculous. Why would I want to watch this? And, why would people sign up to walk around naked for 21 days? 

After watching a rerun of the first episode, I realized I had misjudged the show.  It’s interesting to see how the participants respond to being stripped of everything they own, clothes on their back included. It’s even more fascinating to see what they choose to take back each day. It definitely reveals what they prioritize and what they feel insecure about. For example, one woman was really tested when she couldn’t take her makeup bag back. The bag itself counted as one item but all the makeup in it didn’t. Ultimately, she decided that if she couldn’t have it all, she didn’t want it. She got so upset that she didn’t want to leave her house.

Most women can probably relate to feeling insecure without makeup, at one point in their life or another. Makeup, clothes, shoes, and accessories are supposed to be the armor we wear to take on the world. At least that’s what society tells us. In case you are wondering, this woman is gorgeous without makeup. But regardless of how others perceive the way she looks, she had to find self-worth within herself. With the encouragement of her partner and feeling like enough was enough, she finally decided to brave the outside world. She chose to walk out in the Christmas onesie she picked out on the first day instead of the nicer clothes she managed to get from previous days. The response she received from people was overwhelmingly positive, showing that it’s really the attitude you wear and not what you wear. 

Being stripped also reveals how strong or fragile our relationships are when there are no distractions and things to hide behind. For example, taking on the experiment revealed to the married couple in the first episode that they were ready to start a family. The evidence is in how well they supported and nurtured each other through the entire process. In the six month follow up interview, it was revealed that they were pregnant. In the most recent episode, however, a couple obsessed with fitness didn’t fare so well. The experiment heightened the guy’s insecurity about his body (he was previously overweight) and his girlfriend’s faithfulness even though she dated him before the weight loss and never gave any reason to doubt. In the six month follow up, it was revealed that they had broken up. The takeaway here is that trust, support, and ability to adapt are all necessary for surviving this experiment and coming out of it with an intact relationship.

While I would not sign myself up for this experiment, it got me wondering: how many items do I actually need before I can leave my apartment? And, how many days would it take for me to have it all back?  Side note: I was originally going to count the items I need in a single day but that would make for an unnecessarily long post. I think this will give me a pretty good sense of things though 🙂

So let’s get into it.

Getting Out of Bed

I’m blind without my glasses so I had to grab those. I also had to put on a sweatshirt and a bralette because someone rang my doorbell and I wasn’t about to open the door without proper coverage. Not pictured: my slippers, underwear, and pajama pants.

Total : 6 items = 6 days

Making Breakfast

Oatmeal and green tea. I usually have coffee but it’s that time of the month (+1 for pad) and coffee usually messes with my stomach. This is very hard since I love coffee but I love having an easygoing stomach more. Not pictured: electric water boiler, cellphone (super handy to occupy oneself while water is heating up), and towel to wipe off spoon post-oatmeal stirring and pre-almond butter scooping.

Total : 10 items = 10 days


There was one episode of “Stripped” where three roommates went two weeks (!) without brushing their teeth. Their clothes were more important but I beg to differ. Fresh breath and clean teeth are both priorities in my book, especially since I’m still recovering from my wisdom teeth extraction. And soap because washing your hands is good for you and everybody else.

Total : 4 items = 4 days

Face Prep

I swipe micellar water all over my face and neck. Not pictured: cotton pad and hand towel. Then I pop my contact lenses in because they’re just more comfortable (usually) than wearing glasses for the whole day. For the past few days my skin has been a bit red and bumpy (seems like a reaction to something) so all I put on my face is my favorite moisturizer of all time and my sunscreen. And of course, I need to roll away those dark circles and put on lip balm. (Full routine here). I don’t bother with makeup because I’m just more comfortable without it. I would honestly feel more naked without my skincare.

Total : 8 items = 8 days

Getting Dressed

I change out of my pajama pants into jeansand add on a jacket and a scarf. Today was a 50 degree day so I am kind of relieved but mostly wishing there wasn’t global warming.

Total : 3 items = 3 days

Heading Out

I stuffed my wallet, headphones, hand sanitizer, tissue, and hand lotion with me in my jacket pockets so I wouldn’t have to carry a bag while I go food shopping.

I obviously had to wear socks, sneakers, and carry my two tote bags (the other one is inside the one pictured), and an umbrella because it’s raining 🙁

Total : 10 items = 10 days

Final Thoughts

I needed a total of 41 items just to get through my routine and get out the door.

I decided that I would never be able to do this experiment for the following reasons:
-I live in Brooklyn so there’s no way I would walk outside naked and walk half a mile to retrieve just one item every single day (people on the show had to walk half a mile to the storage unit where all their stuff was packed away.
-I would never dream of getting on the subway without shoes on or clothes for that matter.
-It’s winter and not being able to cover up would probably lead to frostbite and potentially being frozen forever.

I honestly wouldn’t have stopped to reflect on the little things I take for granted if I hadn’t watched this show.

Having breakfast, slippers to shield me from the cold floor, a working cellphone, an umbrella to shield me from the rain, and a pad for my menstruating self-these are things that not everyone may have. When I pause and look at it this way, I can’t help but feel incredibly grateful. I care less about what I don’t have and am able to look at what I do. This will be great to refocus my mind when negative thoughts inevitably come creeping in.

I commend the people who take on this experiment in the show because it certainly takes a lot of mental strength and at the very least a positive attitude.

Would you ever sign up to do this experiment? Why/Why not? What would be the first item you would choose to take back?

Thanks for stopping by. See you in my next post!

Sophie 🙂

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