The breastfeeding thread got me thinking about nakedness, and people who see the human body as dirty or shameful.
Outside of our personal lives, I feel like most of the naked bodies we see are actors and supermodels. Do you think that, as a culture, we'd have better self images if we saw more average-sized naked bodies?
I'd say that I'm pretty modest with my body (no triangle bikinis for me, thanks!), but I wonder what it does to our psyche when feel that we must literally cover our most basic physical selves to be socially presentable? I remember my mom had no problems walking around the house naked when it was just our family at home. We kids used to tease her that she had "no shame!" But looking back, why should she have felt literally ashamed of her own god-given body?
(And FWIW I'm actually very glad that she did that. I think it gave me a non-sexualized vision of the human form and helped with my own self-acceptance and body image.)
"Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out." ~John Wooden
Having watched "naked and afraid", a survivalist type reality show, I no longer think naked is natural. Clothing yourself is the natural option for me. One military special forces guy was down and out for three days due to sunburn. Wearing clothes and shoes makes sense.
My father would walk around the house with underwear and a fairly long shirt. Not naked but not quite dressed for public either.
In DH's family his father or mother would never be caught out of the bedroom without slippers, pjs & robe.
I will frequently walk around the house with little to no clothes on and DH will also but we have no kids. We live on a fairly private property so little chance of neighbors seeing anything. But I have had to scramble out of the office and further into the house one day when my SmartPak delivery came. Oops. Dog warning system worked well.
I sleep fully naked, DH underwear only. However when vacationing with DH's family I will use a tshirt and running shorts as PJ's. It simplifies the middle of the night trip to the bathroom.
I think American's can be oddly prudish about certain things such as sexuality and nudity but conversely we idolize stars that have wardrobe malfunctions. There would be less likely a wardrobe malfunction if the cleavage didn't plunge so much and the skirt wasn't so short and she wasn't commando. Wardrobe malfuctions are okay but a little girl kisses boy in kindergarden and it is sexual assault. Where did we get so messed up?
Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community. (Tidy Rabbit)
Meh, I used to go around the house naked for a while. Family home, with my bro and parents, when I was...idk exactly, mid-teens I think. On a whole "this is normal and natural" phase. We're from Europe and I've been to lots of clothing-optional beaches with my family, and I took advantage of the "topless is ok" Ontario ruling when camping, but I imagine my parents were thankful when my phase ended.
And frankly, clothing is more comfortable. We lost our protective fur, so we must have fake-fur. But yes, I do laugh heartily when North Americans freak out about topless women on beaches because "the chyyyyyldrun!"
Let the children see a non-sexualized boob, it won;t scar them for life.
There are all kinds of reasons why people wear clothes.
We never saw our father with any other than long sleeved shirts and pants.
For all those years growing up.
Then, as adults, we found out why, he didn't like his concentration camp tattoos to show and no, he was not jewish either.
I think some of the responses have beautifully illustrated the point you were trying to make, OP. Perhaps if we saw more normal/average bodies on a regular basis people would not be "Eww, gross. I don't want to see him/her naked!" It strikes me as a very juvenile approach to the matter.
Bodies are not perfect but we, as a whole, don't really grasp that because the only nudity we see are sculpted, surgically altered, air brushed, made up versions of the human form.
I think it would help tremendously for people to see and become desensitized to the normal human form. It has lumps, bumps, and hair in weird places. A stranger's body is not there to be attractive for you. The sooner we all are okay with that, the more accepting I think we would feel with our own body image.
But looking back, why should she have felt literally ashamed of her own god-given body?
I remember being grossed out by seeing my mother naked (occasionally -- she certainly didn't walk around the house in the middle of the day that way) when I was a kid. The pubic hair, EWWWWW.
With that said, I don't think she -- or any of us -- should feel ashamed of our bodies. At the same time, I appreciate those who respect the fact that many of us would rather see everyone else covered up to some degree, thanks. That the "naked aesthetic" just doesn't appeal to us, regardless of the size or fitness level of the naked person. Even in a womens locker room, I STILL don't especially want to see anyone else's "business" and don't want them to see mine either.
And I really don't think I'm a prude!! I guess there's just something about seeing it "in real life" -- I'd just rather . . . not.
"Business!” cried the Ghost, wringing its hands again. “Mankind was my business. The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence, were, all, my business.”
I have cats and dogs in the house. No way am I walking/sitting without layers between me and what they track around. I'm not shy about changing in front of people (goes with dancing and theater territory) but I would like some layers on, kthnx.
And as far as most people's hygiene goes...no, I don't need to see it. (Plus around here, your choices would be "sunburn in bad places" and "frostbite in bad places." This is not really a climate favoring too much exposure.)
I think a lot of it is how other people react to states of dress or undress. I can't quite remember the quote about a particular culture, where nakedness is "commonly seen but rarely noticed."
The summer between HS and college, I worked at an all-female residence camp that featured living in big tents, largely without electricity. All 20 of us staff shared a single bathroom-with-electric that was a big, concrete room with a couple shower heads and a single commode behind a small curtain. It didn't take long for everyone to figure out how to politely ignore each other's state of undress. When I started college in the fall, the communal bathroom had a large shower with four shower heads and a single curtain between the two pairs of shower heads (yeah, I don't quite understand the logic, either). I think there were 30 to 40 of us sharing it. I went down to take a shower, and someone was using one of the heads on the other side of the curtain. So I fired up a shower on the unused side. About 10 seconds later, the other girl blazed out of there freaking out about lesbians and people who were incredibly rude not to wait their turn, etc., etc., etc. Seriously???? Thirty-plus 18 year old females are supposed to take turns in a single shower?? I'd kinda like to have one this decade. Many of them never did get over it and spent a LOT of time waiting until the bathroom was completely empty to do their business.
I have learned the hard way, though, that when investigating strange noises outside in the middle of the night it's a good idea to take that extra minute to put on some clothes.
When I was a kid, our great neighbor Mrs. Bodnizer used to say that if everyone walked around nude, there would be a lot less sex going on. I always thought she was probably right. I hung out (oops maybe not the right word?) with guys all my life, and guys are not very modest, even around their friend's girlfriends.
I'm not modest. But there is a place and a time for nudity and for wearing clothing. I think restaurants should require clothing. (no shirt, no shoes, no service.) However, the beach, where I grew up, and Lake Lanier where I sailed as an adult, well those areas should be free rein for nudity. We had so many guys exposing themselves at lunchtime in downtown Atlanta that we started calling them "public parts" instead of "private parts." And we had the bath houses with doors open. One bath house employee even offered the mayor, Maynard Jackson, a freebie when he was stuck in downtown traffic. He was not amused, and campaigned to shut all the bath houses down.
Being in the deep and coastal south, we all grew up wearing as little clothing as possible. But not in restaurants. I don't want to see anyone's "public parts" in restaurants. There should be separate rooms for breast feeding, and other rooms for those who wish to eat au naturel. but hey, on the street, they can let it all hang out as far as I've always been concerned.
I started a life drawing class a couple of months ago, nude models, male and female. Some 'better' than others. And it actually IS very good to see variety, 'realness', imperfections, I suppose. No matter what the person looks like when they first take off their robe, you can always find a beautiful line to draw. A beautiful shape.
Our bodies should be appreciated for what they can accomplish. Not how they measure up to society's idea of perfection they have thrust on us. It's been very good for me.
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