While scrolling through Twitter today I come across the hashtag #normalisingnaturism, and this tag struck both my curiosity and excitement. I thought “someone is on to something here”, and as of this writing on Friday there were literally hundreds of tweets about this. I managed to find some hidden gems among all those hashtags. Very exciting.
The goal is just like it sounds, let’s make naturism, Nudism, and naked body acceptance, well, normal!! It’s very shameful (honestly sinful) for we as humans to judge someone for choosing to live their life as a naturists. Nudity itself is neither sinful nor wrong, but what is sinful is how we pervert, sexualize, shame , judge, stare, or show lust towards those who do. I hear this a lot: “I don’t want anyone to see me naked, and I don’t want to see anyone else naked…”. Ok, sure, but why is that? We’re taught shame from the moment we actually become aware of our bodies and it’s socially acceptable to enforce these beliefs on those around us. My question to those who scoff at the idea is what about showering in the locker room, military service, or even everyone seeing you naked at the doctor or other professional service? Oh, that’s ok because it’s socially acceptable because it’s non-sexual, right? Insert eye roll. Those examples are socially acceptable, so why can’t general social nudism? Could it be the imagination and the curiosity that we have as humans and our ability to not control our thoughts?
How many of you have been people watching or just strolling through the mall/shopping center and just wondered…Would he/she feel comfortable being naked in a safe environment? I’m curious to know what he/she looks like naked? What insecurities do they feel that would prevent them from being a nudist? I know women who say they don’t like even their husbands to see them naked, and they usually have sex in the dark so their bodies can’t be seen. When I hear statements like this I can’t help but feel a bit of sadness for both the husband and wife. Why does she feel that way? How does her husband feel about it? I see them both as missing out on the joys of being naked, especially as life partners who you are supposed to fully surrender your body to (in a healthy and safe way). She misses out on the freedom and he misses out on the excitement of seeing his wife naked, particularly during sex. It has to be disappointing to some degree.
When I see examples like this I can’t help but blame society, but most importantly I blame the media, especially advertisers for promoting only those seen as “perfect” bodies. Everywhere you look the models are always toned, cut, just the right height, and overall physical beauty. Truth is, like most things involving a group of people, statistically speaking there are fewer of them than the normal crowd.
So how do we “fix” societies perverted view of the naked human body? Honestly, I don’t think it’s something we can completely fix in any short amount of time. The most successful way would preferably be through some kind of legislation to remove public and social nudism from being unlawful. However, we do need some control in place to prevent indecent and truly perverted acts (I.e. public sex, child protections, etc), but when it comes to harmless nudity, we should have some liberties as nudist. Some cities and states have loosened their regulations allowing certain public nudity, and I am very thankful for those who understand, but we still have a long way to go.
Okay, so trying to have sweeping reform is going to be a bit of an uphill battle…unless we have millions of dollars to throw at lobbying efforts to overcome those of other interest groups. How do we help? How do we fight against “the machine”? Social media can be an awesome ally if we use it right and pushing grassroots movements across the country (strictly speaking in the USA). We can write letters to our locally and nationally elected officials, write letters to the editors of various media outlets, and even writing your own blog to improve our presence on the internet. The greatest movements were made by the smallest of people. Just think of Rosa Parks and her bus boycott movements. I mean, that lady was bitchin’ and refused to be held to a different class and standard. If a big enough stink is made and enough people rally together, then worlds can be changed. Like the hacktivist group Anonymous says “you may be able to take down an individual, but you can not destroy an idea or a movement.” So what are we? A person, an idea, or a movement?