I have been thinking about nudity or to be more exact common perceptions about nudity. I have arrived at a few personal realizations on the subject and I would like to share them with you. Please note that for the sake of this article i will be using the term “Nudity” to refer to not just the state of being fully unclad but also clothing that is considered “sexually provocative” or “exposing” (It’s a bit of a stretch I know but please pardon it ) And also these are my thoughts and are not intended to be all encompassing. If they resonate, hold them close but if not consider the thoughts crap and act like this guy below:
Like I mentioned above, I have been thinking about nudity and I believe that it is perceived along the following lines:
1) Nudity is Pornography
2) Nudity is Sexual and should only be expressed privately between couples
3) Nudity leads to sexual harassment and or abuse
4) Nudity is a sign of moral decadence and is disapproved by God
5) Nudity is a sign of insecurity and is for the purpose of getting attention
These and probably more are what I believe are the common mindsets through which Nudity is processed but of late, I have come to consider them as being flawed. Let’s examine each one:
1) Nudity is Pornography: It is true that nudity is an element in Pornography but I will argue that the same way we a fork used in a murder does not make it a weapon of mass destruction (it remains a kitchen utensil) the element of nudity in pornography does not make it pornography. I consider Pornography to be an exploitation and abuse of nudity (and sex) rather than a true display of it.
2) Nudity is sexual: It is true that nudity is a part of sexual expression but does that apply to every context. When a person takes a bath, sleeps in the nude, goes to the gynecologist or poses to be drawn or painted, nudity is involved but is the context sexual? I don’t think so and i believe that the equating of nudity with sex is one of the reasons for the recent (as far as I am concerned) ridiculous issue some people have with women breast feeding their babies in public.
3) Nudity leads to sexual harassment and or abuse: I disagree vehemently with this. The nudity of a person does not rob another of his or her sense of reason. This act of placing the responsibility of one’s sanity on the shoulders of another (and it is the woman that suffer this the most) is a debasing act that reduces the man to a creature of instinct who needs to be kept in line by not “stirring him up”. Sexual abuse and harassment starts and ends with the perpetrator. We are responsible for ourselves. We all have brains after all. I believe that it shows great depth of character (and insight) when we consider every man and woman, no matter how they are dressed as people who are worthy of respect and honor.
4) Nudity is a sign of moral decadence and is disapproved by God: I can’t speak for other religions (as I haven’t studied them) but if i use the account of creation in the Bible (and if we take it literally), the fact that God created Adam and Eve naked seems to paint a very different picture about how God sees nudity. In fact shame about the naked body (and subsequent clothing) only came in when Adam and Eve partook of the tree that God explicitly warned them not to touch. Hmmmmm…
5) Nudity is a sign of insecurity and a need to garner attention: Could this be true? Most certainly but does it apply in EVERY case? From my experience, that is a no. This is because some people (both male and female) have very different views of the human body. They see their bodies as works of art to be celebrated and displayed proudly and have no need to get “attention or affirmation” from others as they are secure in their personal beauty and even when the person is using nudity to get attention, “slut shaming” is not the solution because we have no idea where that person is coming from. We do not know their past. We do not know what they have seen and or been through. I believe compassion, curiosity and a listening ear will heal where judgment will only exacerbate.
What is the point of the above? Is it a call for everyone to get naked? No (you do you). It is rather a call for us to look deeper and re-think what we have grown up believing and to refrain from casting judgment and condemnation on others that hold different views and mindsets from us. So here is a little suggestion: rather than condemn or call a person names, ASK questions. If possible get to KNOW the person (you might just learn something that you can integrate with your own intelligence and better you life with),SHOW compassion and if you cannot do any of these, then IGNORE and go on with your life.