On the cover of this year’s ESPN the Magazine‘s body issue, NBA star Dwyane Wade bares his biggest insecurity—his outie belly button. You may roll your eyes at what seems like a small or silly worry, especially for a top athlete who looks like Adonis. But hearing how Wade’s belly button made him self-conscious as a child is pretty heartbreaking:
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. I knew from all the kids I had seen that nobody else had what I had. No one else had an outie. Even when I got to high school, I didn’t want to do swimming class because I didn’t want people to see my feet—as an athlete, my feet were a little rougher—and my belly button. I had my doctor write me a note to say that I couldn’t do swimming.
Those uncomfortable feelings didn’t go away. Wade has been asked to be in the body issue for years and refused. It’s worth noting that he also released an underwear line, Naked, this year, which might have something to do with his choice to strip down to his birthday suit.
Regardless, we’re happy he’s sharing his story. The full issue hits newsstands July 8, but in the meantime, we’ll just stare at these dope photos.