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
In Switzerland, Germany and adjoining countries the FKK movement of liberated body culture was gaining popularity in the early 20th century.
People joined for naturist camp sites, sports activities, open air leisure etc. always across generations.
In the former GDR nudism in nature e.g. at lakes was a common summer holiday practice until the reunification of Germany.
It is the best and most democratic feeling ever if different layers of society and ranks mix in he nude.
In Germany and Scandinavia everOne going to a Saunabath is obliged to be naked for obvious hygenic reasons.
Try it, it’s worth it!
But I like my clothes! And I do not want to invite energetic (invisible) sexual advances on my naked self. Of course that happens with clothes on, too. But that common practice isn’t cool by me. If you will please excuse my frankness, it is enough of a hassle getting my back side trailed, with my clothes ON. ?
To each his own, though, naked bods don’t bother me. It’s just not my thing. I really enjoy artistic expression in my (albeit humble) choice of everyday clothing. Self expression!! ?
Those of us who have experienced nudism find many benefits to it. Freedom to see and be seen, without shame or condemnation. Relaxation, because nothing is binding our bodies. Increased awareness through our bare skin. — It becomes our normal state of being, and when we have to get dressed again, it really feels as if we are putting on chains.
Animal dick’s are shown, so what is wrong with seeing a human dick? It’s not any different
A bit off topic, but your assertion about the Oscar snub of “Blue is the Warmest Color” is factually inaccurate. The reason it wasn’t nominated as Best Foreign Film is because of an arcane Academy rule about when a film is released in it’s “home” country vs. the deadline for submitting a film for consideration. Though the film had been screened at film festivals and had been released in the U.S., the producers failed to meet the deadline for releasing the film in France, causing the snub. Going to your broader point, Dr. Doidge never actually said/wrote the quote you… Read more »
But back to the point… Our American background of Puritan and Calvinistic suspicion of the human situation has cost us dearly. It even goes back to Martin Luther himself who saw humanity as hopelessly lost and basically evil. In need of Jesus grace. A more rational and, yes, humanistic, view of Christian thinking sees the goodness of all of God’s creation. This of course includes the bodies God gave us. Naked , male and female parts. This is my own view on the rationale for naturism.
The bodies God gave us was created “In God’s image and likeness” which by itself makes it decent and beautiful. It is mans broken thinking that caused us to answer “I was afraid because I was naked”. That answer speaks volumes of bad reasoning and thinking because God never said he created us “naked”, We were created in “God’s image and likeness” and God did not view us as “naked”. So the obvious question would be “Who told you that you were naked?” and before an answer was given, God asked the second and obvious question to someone who thought… Read more »
ok I am guilty … I thought every thing on the internet was true…..
While I can agree with facts that point out the ‘snub’ was perhaps nothing more than timing, the overall points being made are cause for discussion and I am lost as to why you think the article fails to make a truthful case, all because of one overlooked fact-checking moment that was missed. The other, the quote, we’re having to take your word over the author…you don’t present anything other than a negative.. hardly winning one over. I feel the article does indeed point out many aspects, agreed on or not, of why nudism is good in one’s life and… Read more »
Do you have a source/citation for the shoes/Alzheimer’s connection?
Yes. I would like to know this as well.