Nudity is a funny thing in our culture.
At the most fundamental of levels we each choose the ways that we want to be perceived by others. We say certain things, and act a certain way, all just to impress upon those around us that we are a particularly-flavored and individualized entity that is to be seen and understood in the light of our personal choosing. Through these actions and preferences for our desired image we erect boundaries between ourselves and the outside world; hiding the truth of what’s within behind the custom mask that we have sculpted and arrogantly deemed to be superior to the authentic “me”. However, the most ubiquitous of all the masks, the most uniformly employed of all the boundaries between the self and the world, is the entirely physical boundaries we blanket ourselves with to block the eyes of the world from seeing who we really are: Our clothing. We use clothing to mask our sexuality by blocking the physical symbols our bodies possess of reproduction. We use clothing arbitrarily through a sense of “fashion” to decide what a person is in this world. We use clothing to provide a safe separation from the very world we are helping to create. We use clothing to limit ourselves.
Being a relatively hairless pink-skinned creature, it stands to reason that to survive in the wide array of climates humanity has occupied, clothes must be employed. In the heat of the desert sun clothing is needed to keep our skin from burning, and in the frigid cold of northern climates only a fool is to be found out-of-doors without a proper insulating layer of clothing to entrap their body-heat. But, what of the climates where the environment is not so corrosive to our flesh? What of those times of the year where the weather is in complete compliance with the needs and capabilities of human body? What role do clothes play in such circumstances?
I argue none. None at all beside giving us all one last thing to cower behind in our self-consciousness, feelings of inferiority, and adopted alien guilt.
You see, clothes stopped being thought of purely as a tool to further the capabilities of man on a mass-scale thousands and thousands of years ago. Obviously the need for a warm jacket in the winter and t-shirts to block sunburns in the summer are both still realized, but our cultural connection with clothing’s roots goes so much further into our psyche than that. Now, clothing is simply another layer of the multiple boundaries we establish between ourselves and the world around us. I say that it's arguably the most important of them all; it’s so important to us that it’s the very first boundary we don immediately after awakening in the morning before setting out on our daily tasks in the outside world. We literally begin every day by blocking all ability of others to see who, in fact, we really are. Some might argue that the body is only a vessel, and that the person is the mind, therefore the body is not to be evaluate and can essentially be cut out of the equation. I vehemently refute this, for the body and mind are one.
Over the millennia, certain religious doctrines have integrated a strong energy of guilt into their dogma to funnel authority into their proposed “forgiver” of said guilt, and therefore to the humans who claim to be in communion with it. This guilt has been most heavily placed upon the human body itself; demonizing the most powerful and potent facets of the human form and leading all into a belief that God created some of their parts in beauty, and some of their parts in sin. It is as if we have been bred to fear our own greatness. This is a terribly destructive mindset to perpetuate, because it leads to a gross confusion towards the nature of human sexuality and reproduction in general; a confusion that is blatantly seen all around us in the forms of prostitution, sex-trafficing, and unhealthy sexual relationships in general. It is seen in the teenage boy’s secrete computer porno library that he hides form all else and visits when he feels like enjoying his “bad” side. It is seen in the “Grey" depths of the myriad sexually-driven “romance novels” poured over by women by the millions who then turn around and talk about it online and at work in hushed voices. Everyone, it seems, is living in a complete denial of their own sexuality.
Let’s talk about “modesty". I love that word, because it is in fact one of the most restrictive words employed in today’s modern times. In a world filled with people who harbor guilt for possessing “sinful” body parts, modesty is absolutely key to surviving the onslaught of gossip and judgment such a world generates. Ask yourself, what is it about the female breasts that are so sinful? What is it about a penis, or a vagina, or the crease between a person’s gluteus maximus muscles, that screams for the heavens to damn them? Nothing! They were created in perfection and beauty along with the rest of the body! A set of each of those “sinful” body parts brought you into this amazingly beautiful world in the first place! It is WE who carry the subconscious misplaced guilt of our confused and fearful forefathers; even those who profess to be non-religious or the like still seem to carry this cultural fear towards nipples and genitalia. Such illogical creatures we are. I’ve seen hardcore religious folk and atheists alike judge an otherwise innocent woman, calling her a “whore” because she dared to expose more of her body than they themselves would be personally comfortable showing of their own. How filled with judgement and animosity can we possibly be?
It is our culture’s norm to say that if too much of a person’s epidermis is exposed to the naked eye, then they are wrong. How unequivocally silly. This is seen in varying degrees all around the world, and most heavily afflicts women. I’ve been to places where naught but a women’s eyeballs may be seen by anyone other than their husband, and we sit back and say such things are stupid and restrictive, but then we turn around and flip the hell out when a female nipple slips into view on live television. Can you not see that this is the exact same spectrum of thought, just two different locations on that spectrum? Can you not see how ridiculously illogical it is to say “Yes, you can restrict the rights of a woman to do as she will as a living sovereign entity, but only if you do it the same way we do”? Can you not see that we, as a culture, are still perpetuating a mass guilt of our own divine vessels? Tell a kid not a stick his hand into a cookie-jar, and what happens? Now, tell that kid his entire life that nipples and genitalia are sinful and aren’t to be ever exposed, then wait and see what you find on his computer when he’s 16. Filth. This culture breeds people to be sexually repressed, and repressed aspects of the mind have a nasty way of making themselves known later on.
We, as living breathing reproducing organisms in a diverse wonderland of other living breathing reproducing organisms, innately enjoy the sight of a healthy and well-maintained naked human form. This is in our very genes, and cannot be subdued even with the strongest of guilts. It’s our evolutionary makeup to subconsciously identify potential mates based upon the symmetry of their face, the shape of their bodies, and the complexion of their skin. This is instinctual, and is performed by literally every species known, because such things are a direct download of information to our subconscious indicating the genetic potency of the individual, and therefore their suitability as a potential mother/father of our children. Animals are attracted to the healthiest mates, thus by definition the healthiest mates are the most attractive; there’s just no getting around it. Babies from around the world have been proven to identify beauty by the exact same genetic standards, regardless of the culture they were born to. This is based off of their own genetic inclination to be attracted to the faces and forms that have the closest approximation to perfect dynamic symmetry, a trait only gained through proper nutrition and health. The health of a potential suitor directly shapes the beauty or lack thereof in their physical bodies, and when “attractive” aspects are identified, this is a clue to the psyche that such is to be desired and pursued. Clearly for the establishment of love to take form much more needs to be considered than initial physical impressions alone, but this says nothing for the nature of initial human attraction. There is no sin in taking pleasure in admiring the naked human form. Literally every other organism on Earth does so every day. To argue against this innate quality-control mechanism’s worth this is to argue for evolutionary genocide.
The problem is that the pleasure we subconsciously take in the sight of a healthy human in the nude has been defiled by our alien ancestral guilt that we’ve been trained to adopt through our culture. Because of this guilt, we repress such internal natural pleasures and even berate ourselves for experiencing them in the first place; reinforcing the initial guilt construct. Over time, the confusion such a love/hate relationship involving nudity and sexuality generates grows and grows. It becomes so powerful that many people ruin their whole lives over a sexually-oriented problem or circumstance. This is nonsense. Why is it wrong for a person to be seen in the nude? Even more importantly, why is it wrong to ENJOY the sight of a person in the nude? I think that such “wrongness” is in fact the very concept that perpetuates the idolization of naked bodies behind closed doors and all the unhealthy mental constructs that form as a result. Why do we hypocritically say that the less-clad woman walking on the street is a “skank” then turn around and watch our celebrities dance in lingerie or less on a stage calling it “art”? Perhaps if our culture wasn’t so focused on loving/hating sexuality, it just maybe wouldn’t be such a big freakin deal. You know, like with the rest of the natural kingdom.
I think it comes back to us, the individuals. Imagine you’re walking around some downtown festival at the nearest city to you home. Imagine that it is a beautiful day and there’s a slight breeze keeping it from becoming too hot outside. Every now and then the sun is blocked by a fluffy cloud as it drifts by, and all the beer and wine that is to be expected at such an event is flowing. Now, imagine that all of a sudden, literally every article of clothing in the immediate vicinity vanished. Everyone, all the thousands of people around you, are instantly and completely naked. What would you do?
Personally, I’d go grab another beer, but I digress.
What would you do, though? It’s the classic naked-on-a-stage-in-front-of-a-bunch-of-strangers nightmare. Are you afraid of what you really are? Is there some aspect of your body that would absolutely terrify you to have exposed to all those around you? Ahhh, now we are getting to the heart of the matter, aren’t we?
You impose upon others the restrictions that you have already imposed upon yourself, but since it’s them and not you, often times those restrictions are amplified in your thoughts of them. If you think that it is wrong for another to be naked in public, then you are implying that YOU can't stand the thought of being naked in public. I ask you why? Has God not created you in his perfect image? Are you not proud of who, in fact, you really are? Are you not capable of honestly dealing with your fellow human without first emplacing a physical barrier between their eyes and your skin? Why not? What have you to be afraid of? Where is the root of this nonsensical shame you lug around every day of your life for the body The All has bestowed to you?
Obviously the culture and the laws are the way they currently are, and nobody’s sayin to just start walking around naked in public, but if in fact EVERYONE suddenly forgot their obsession with clothes but you, what would you do? Would you be the one to continue on wearing them to hide yourself while everyone else is engaging with one another in a heightened sense of honesty with themselves and others? What are you hiding? Do you prefer a world of secrets, judgment, repression, and confusion?
I’m no “nudist”. I ain’t gonna go join some weird-ass colony of naked people or anything. I’m just saying that I think it would be in all people’s best interest to ponder why, exactly, they are afraid of others seeing their physical form the way it actually and truly is, and to deal with these thoughts openly with themselves rather than constantly ignoring them as normal. People too often seek to “cover up” the parts of themselves that they do not approve of, both physically and mentally, but I tell you that these two are but opposing sides of the same coin called “spirit". For whatever reason, people like to hide these things nice and deep behind closed doors though. I’m curious why, for if there is something about yourself that does not bring you joy and contentment, should you not shine a light upon it so that it can be corrected with efficiency rather than fumbling in the dark? Rather than covering up the belly you gained in college, and mocking another for exposing theirs in your judgmental jealousy, why not simply rid yourself of your belly and join them in their confidence and beauty? Instead of covering up the wrinkles on your face from your unhealthy lifestyle with make-up and toxic bullshit, why not seek to perfect the face of your naked form?
It’s far too easy to lie. It’s far too easy to paint a face on to correct for shortcomings, or to wear a particularly-cut shirt to increase the perceived size of your shoulder and chest muscles. Such isn’t even a challenge. Such is a lie. Why not embark upon the true journey of your life; the one where you drop the bullshit veils between you and the world and actually work on honestly perfecting yourself? Alas, most are too lazy or too fearful to do so. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not hating on the beauty industry here. There is a significant level of therapy involved with helping another realize their beauty through such avenues, and in reality the changing of one’s “look” can be an exciting venture that allows many men and women alike to play with various facets of their beauty and further their own self-expression. Such can help some realize just how beautiful they actually are. The issue I have with such things is when they are approached purely as a quick-fix to otherwise entirely improvable issues. That is a lie, and it is mentally degrading to the self.
In a world where everyone is honest with themselves about their shortcomings and confident in their own divinity, “nudity" wouldn’t even be a concept. Imagine a world of the healthiest possible people; a world where all individual’s health radiated to such a degree that each and every person was in fact a sculpture of The All that brought each and every pair of eyes beholding them joy and excitement at the same time. In such a world every human would be filled with love, and mutual respect for the sovereignty of each other's body would be ubiquitous. In such a world, there would be no sexual assault, because the pain inflicted on one would be deeply felt by the other. I desire to see a world of people so radiant, so beautiful, so loving, and so empty of judgement for others, that the crime itself would in fact be the wearing of any clothing at all. In such a world we would all walk uncovered and unhidden together in trust through the Gardens of Earth; the Eden our planet is destined to become.
How can you grow a proper flower if you are constantly hiding the bulk of it in the shade?