"I'm nervous to do anything to my instrument which is my face," says Nash in this week's issue

Niecy Nash is totally comfortable in the skin she’s in.

In fact the star just proved it, stripping down to her underwear for an empowering 50th birthday photoshoot this week.

“I’ve never done a photoshoot where I’ve been that exposed,” Nash tells PEOPLE in this week’s issue. “I just wanted to say, ‘This is me. And I am so comfortable with who I am.'”

Neicy Nash, 50th Birthday
Credit: Robert Ector

The newfound confidence came after a difficult year that included the Claws star announcing her split from husband Jay Tucker, and seeking therapy for unaddressed childhood trauma.

But these days, the woman Nash sees in the mirror is someone she’s totally in love with. “I am forever grateful for how resilient God made me,” she says.

  • For more on Niecy Nash’s empowering new phase of life, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday.
Credit: Jeff Lipsky/foureleven.agenecy

And she’s also grateful for her imperfections. “One of my favorite things about myself is my smile, because I’m one of the only people left in Hollywood with their original teeth. Me and Steve Buscemi,” Nash says with a laugh. “I’ve held on to something in an industry that will say, ‘You need to change that.'”

FOX And FX's 2017 Golden Globe Awards After Party - Arrivals
Credit: Allen Berezovsky/WireImage

And she’s learned to love her curves more as well.

“Not too long ago I posted a video on Instagram where I tried on a bathing suit and then just ripped myself to shreds, like ‘Ugh, look at that, what is that?’,” Nash recalls.

“I had to apologize to myself and remind myself that these hips carried three children and brought them into the world successfully. On days where I feel insecure I always study myself until I find something I do like.”

Nash’s go-to workout these days is hitting the roller-skating rink with bestie Sherri Shepherd. As for her thoughts on plastic surgery, she’s not knocking it, but she’s not ready to try it.

“I never say never,” she says. “But I am fearful to do something to my instrument, which is my face, because I don’t know if it’ll move the same, you know what I mean? I don’t want to be thinking about crying and can’t do it!”

24th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards - Arrivals

Nash is more interested in helping other women feel as confident as she does now. With a new shape-wear line in the works, she’s also sharing her secrets to looking “snatched”.

When it comes to her physique, “part of it is just the way I’m made up,” she says of her curves. “The other part you can achieve with the right shape-wear. That will be my gift to the masses because I figured this thing out.”