Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Two Views of Nudity

by Anonymous

I got two different stories in my youth. My mother constantly told me to cover up, to wear shorts over my bathing suit even when it was just family in the pool. I think I was 6 in the backyard playing soccer with my brother when I took my shirt off due to the 100+ degree heat and my mom came flying out of the house telling me to put it back on. My mother has always been uncomfortable with bodies, how they function and what they look like. My dad’s approach is totally opposite. He’s a doctor, and to him a body is a body is a body and nothing to be embarrassed about. He has no shame and will answer any question about bodies like you asked what was for dinner. I saw my dad naked countless times, but it never seemed weird. Actually I think it was really healthy, because I was never afraid of the male body and felt like I knew more than most about how bodies worked.

That being said I was still a shy kid and very afraid of people seeing me naked. Come high school I had some crazy friends who thought running across bridges over the freeway at night naked was fun, and other such antics which I won’t go into. So I tried it, and it felt amazing. So free! All different shapes and sizes of teenaged girls running naked, one at a time, across the freeway with no fear. I also ended up seeing most of my male high school friends naked as well either running naked laps or playing truth or dare. And I don’t think it was a bad thing. Being nude and seeing my friends nude was empowering.

In college I found myself quite alone in my body confidence. There were so many girls that thought they were fat and ugly, it was easy to let it rub off. Eventually I found friends that were a more positive influence and I felt we were free to do and be who we wanted to be, and that sometimes included skinny dipping, underwear dance parties, etc…

The biggest jump in my views on nudity came a few years ago when I got married. I remember taking my clothes off for my husband on our wedding night. It was crazy, and when he took his off too I was like whoa that’s so cool! Now it’s a totally normal thing. I may come home to find him sitting naked at the kitchen table—doesn't even phase me. I have inadvertently started cooking dinner naked, but why put clothes on if it’s hot in front of the stove? I also don’t mind if people see me naked, honestly I think I look better naked than clothed anyway. I always thought it would be fun to pose for an art class. Pretty sure we've been naked in every State Park we've visited; it’s kind of a running joke. Something about nature just makes you want to take your clothes off and be free. It’s also pretty exciting wondering whether or not you’ll get caught. What’s going to happen if somebody sees us, their eyes are going to melt? Ha ha, blinded by the beauty! Modesty is respect for your body, not being ashamed of it. I think more natural and normal nudity would be a very good thing for society. Seeing normal people naked, like my dad when I was a kid, or my friends in high school, my husband, even the men peeing in the street on my mission has never been a bad thing. In fact I feel lucky to have been influenced by so many people that are comfortable with their bodies. And it has had a very positive impact on my confidence in my own body. There’s a reason so much art is of nudes, because the human body is beautiful!

2 comments:

  1. I loved this entry. As a convert of the church and a person who was raised in various churches growing up I have always struggled with the teachings that a naked body was somehow inherently evil. I have always viewed a body in general as an impressive and beautiful thing male or female. However, it is difficult to share this view as most people I talk to have the absurd view that nudity=sexuality. While there are times when a body nude or clothed can be a sexual thing, the two are not mutual inclusive. It is refreshing to know that there are people who share my views and who aren't afraid to voice them. I look at other countries where nudity is more openly embraced and see the moral compass of men and women being no worse and usually better than those of Americans. In this nation we have created a sex culture where so many young men and women are told that nudity bad, sexual thing that they become enthralled by seeing and experimenting with it to see what the fuss is all about. I believe if more people were as open as this writers father about bodies society would be a more accepting place with people loving their own bodies and I truly believe this would cause a large decrease in the desirability of pornography.

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  2. I agree with you, but I gotta say, I don't cook naked! Hot in front of the stove it may be, but oil splatters and such on tender skin are NOT something I enjoy :-). I have done just-an-apron a few times, but even then...too much surface to get spattered!

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