Nudism and Body Shaming
April 20, 2016
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Nudity – a few things come to mind when thinking about the topic. Society has shaped our minds into thinking the most obscure things about the human body. When thinking about the naked human body, some people think about obscenity. They say the naked body is something that should be “covered up.” They say it is never okay to expose yourself willingly.
However, you don’t hear people shaming those who show their body for specific purposes, such as supermodels, right? Those who have an amazing figure, beautiful skin, those people who dress half naked for advertisements or music videos, those things are considered okay.
Why can’t everyone be free to show their bodies the way that the supermodels do? Why is it such a crime to do so unless you’re in front of the camera? Why is there a negative stigma about nudity and nudism?
The natural human body is something to be embraced. People shudder at the idea of nudism. Last time I checked, we were all born into this world as nude babies. It’s adorable when you’re seven pounds, small and chubby. At that stage, some parents even photograph their children sleeping nude because of its beautiful and artistic nature. It’s beautiful, yes, but once that child grows into a fully developed adult, everything that was once seen by the eyes must be covered so that it may not be seen to the rest of the world.
You won’t see many people who express themselves as nudist. Visible public nudity is illegal in the U.S. due to public decency laws. There are no federal laws against it, but there are state laws.
In some parts of the world, such as Spain, Mexico and Brazil, nudity is more accepted.
I’m not saying that I would join the nudist groups, but I do support it. I believe that clothes are barriers. They tend to put us in a specific social group based on the kinds of brands and styles worn.
Another reason why I support nudism is because I applaud anyone who can embrace their bodies with confidence, no matter the shape or size of that person. A lot of people do not want to show their bodies because they are not comfortable with how they look. They may have stretch marks, be overweight, too skinny, too dark or too pale. In society today, if you’re not a certain weight, height or have clear, beautiful skin, showing off your body is looked down upon.
I asked one of my friends, psychology major freshman Durrand Smith, what he thinks about nudism. “
I feel with ideas like that, some things are for the public eye, while other things need to be kept to oneself,” Smith said. “People want to try to break free from the traditional ways that were instilled upon us from childhood such as with sexuality, breastfeeding in public and countless other things. It may just be where I’m from that influences my views on nudism. Maybe we have to warm up to the idea.”
I think that everyone is going to have their own opinions about nudism, and there won’t be a moment in time where it will finally be acceptable in the U.S. But when I look at other cultures that embrace the body’s natural form without enhancing its appearance, I wish that I could be in a place like that – a place where you’re not judged by the smallest thing, such as what you wear.