If clothes aren’t physically or emotionally healthy, why are we horrified when people don’t wear them?
Show a man with a gun… it’s called action. Show a man with a dick… it’s called indecent.
There’s something wrong with the way Americans have come to accept almost every aspect of the human condition except for the most natural one. We’ve accepted guns, drugs and violence, yet refuse to accept bare breasts and genitalia.
Put a man killing and raping women in a movie and it may go on to win an Oscar. Put a naked woman on the screen, and it won’t be allowed a nomination (take “Blue is the Warmest Color” for example).
We’ve become so desensitized to everything, but the one thing that makes us human. We’ve come to accept almost every negative aspect of human nature, yet refuse to condone the most natural state a human being can be — the nude.
With the recent craze of the health benefits of sleeping naked, I couldn’t help but wonder if there were more benefits we’re missing out on by always covering up.
Are nudists colonies onto something? Are we depriving ourselves of essential nutrients and benefits due to our perversion to the human body?
What would happen if we accepted our bodies the same way we accepted everything else? What would happen if we stopped covering up and started stripping down? What would happen if we all just let our bodies hang out in the open and didn’t hide them in dark worlds of porn, indecency and fetishes?
According to Matthew Westra, a psychology professor at Longview Community College in Missouri, “Nudity is a taboo in America because we primarily equate nudity or nakedness with sexuality and we have taboos about sexuality.”
This association between nudity and sex is exacerbated by the use of strip clubs and pornography that have come to represent a wrongful or sinful type of behavior that is only achieved in the nude.
There’s no denying Americans are prudish by nature. There’s also no denying, however, that if we could get past our childish perversions and accept nudity as a basic and natural human form, there would be a lot less “deviousness” and fewer obsessions with the human body — and we could all just stop caring so much about it.
When clothes come off, so do the stigmas
Things are only taboo because we make them that way. People only go searching for something they can’t have because its “illicit” status makes it intriguing.
If men, however, were exposed to nudity on a normal, everyday basis, they wouldn’t fantasize and obsess over it the way 14-year-olds do at the sight of their first breast.
According to Dr. Conrad Manning in his paper “Virtues of Nakedness: Physical & Psychological Health,” “By making nakedness an ordinary, matter-of-fact, common experience, unassociated with sexuality, the unhealthy prurient interest in pornography would be considerably lessened.”
Imagine if men were desensitized to the female body. Imagine if they didn’t feel the need to rip a woman’s clothes off to fulfill some fantasy they’ve created in their minds.
Imagine if men stopped putting all their time and energy into seeing women naked and just learned to live side-by-side with them?
Fewer clothes, fewer problems
Imagine if we lived in a world where bodies weren’t hidden under layers while models with “perfect bodies” ran around half naked? Imagine if we all just looked at each other the way God made us without any implications or idealized notions of the perfect body?
According to Manning, it’s our clothing that creates our insecurities and inability to accept and love each other the way we should.
We put materialistic value on the human form and it’s created mental illness along with body dismorphia and an undesirable environment for humans to live and communicate within.
Early exposure means early acceptance
Like anything, most of our neuroses and phobias form during childhood. But what if we’d grown up in a nude household? What if we’d been taught from a young age nudity is natural and the human body is beautiful?
Studying these effects in their book, “The Naked Child: Growing Up Without Shame,” Dennis Craig Smith and William Sparks found that children exposed to nudity from a young age became either unfazed by the human body later in life and sometimes, psychologically stronger because of it.
More studies were done on this topic. One study published in the Journal of Social Psychology by Marilyn D. Story examined 264 children and their parents. The results proved children raised around nudity grew up with a higher body self-concept.
According to Story, “coming from a nudist family played a more significant role in the children’s positive self body-image than their race, gender, or area of the country in which they lived.”
Baring your body means banning bacteria
In another paradox, humans donned clothing to keep away parasites and filth, yet only created breeding grounds for different types of infections and disease.
While clothes may seem like a way to keep the dirt off, we’re really only harming ourselves more.
In the study “A Naked Ape Would Have Fewer Parasites” published by the University of Reading, “Lyme Disease deer ticks can grab onto our sweaters and sea lice can sneak into our bathing suit crotches.
Cinched-up belts, ties, and clothes impede breathing. Men’s snug pants raise testicle temperature, lowering sperm count and fertility.”
Along with infertility rates and Lyme disease, clothes also contribute to yeast infections and UTIs in women. They are creating problems by trying to eradicate them.
Naked today, alive tomorrow
What if I told you shoes were causing you to lose brain function? What if not wearing shoes meant decreasing your risk for Alzheimer’s? What if stripping down the clothes meant adding up the years?
According to Dr. Norman Doidge, “Going shoeless is now recognized as an anti-Alzheimer’s, brain-boosting activity because the sole sensation entices your brain into growing extra, efficient neuron connections.”
It seems arbitrary, but walking around barefoot increases brain flexibility. It doesn’t just make you feel young again, it makes your brain feel young again.
Lauren Martin is a Senior Lifestyle Writer at Elite Daily. After graduating from PSU, she moved to NYC to write fart jokes at Smosh Magazine. Making her way to ED, she now writes riveting commentary on nude pics, condoms and first dates.
Originally published on Elite Daily
Photo: Flickr/Brooke Raymond