Why are we so afraid of nudity?
As I get older I question more things. One of them is our issue with nudity. This came about because of a silly incident among some of my friends.
Me and a few guy friends were out and we were screwing around and messing with each other as guys do. At one point one friend pulled his pants down to get another guy to cringe at seeing his bits and pieces. He did not cringe, he just looked at his bits and commented on them.
This is similar to the tact I would have taken. I have come to realize that seeing another person’s bits and pieces is not that big of a deal but it was when I was younger. Why is that?
We have made nudity off limits so when it occurs it is a big deal. We have taken the human body and made it an object to be hidden. Consider this, ignoring the unsanitary part, some people are receiving sex offender charges for being caught peeing in public. This does not seem right to me.
When you make something taboo you make it powerful. Think about it, seeing a man’s nipples is not a problem but seeing a woman’s nipples is a big deal. When I was in France there was a large image of a topless woman in the front of a grocery store as an advertisement. The only people who cared about this was us Americans who never see this type of thing.
I do not believe this is natural.
I do not have answers to this but I have questions I am trying to figure out for myself
- Why is sex bad?
- Why is gay bad?
- why is nudity bad?
- what is innocence?
- why is there shame in nudity?
- Why is it important to hide our bodies?
- Why do we assume everybody has negative intentions when it comes to nudity?
- Why is it important to hide how babies are made?
- Why is it bad to want to do something that feels good that everybody wants to do which does not hurt anybody?
I think some of this stems from societal views. For instance, growing up it was not as accepted to be gay. When you were in the locker room you never wanted to have another dude looking at you because maybe they were gay. So we wanted to make sure to keep our clothes on. Also, I think another part of it comes from an underlying view that sexual urges are bad and that seeing someone naked automatically makes people think of sex. I am not sure if this is the case in a society where nudity is not a big deal.
In reading some blogs on the subject the only reason I could find as legitimate against it had to do with pedophiles. Interestingly many people were against it based on jealousy (they did not want to be compared to others), some thought that nudity only represented sex (where are their minds), and the other is based on parroting current societal views (like children won’t understand). For some reason nudity offends some but this does not make sense to me. Hidden beneath all of this it seems that people are worried about bad thoughts coming from seeing someone naked. I mean, do you have bad thoughts when seeing a naked person? What is your definition of bad thoughts?
Consider the absurdity of what is accepted as not naked. Women’s swimwear is acceptable but not underwear. I can wear cotton shorts out but if I wear boxers I can get in trouble. In both cases it is just a little bit of cloth that separates naked from not naked. Sometimes it is a very little bit of cloth.
I do not think we should start running around naked but I do think we should stop trying to prosecute people when they happen to be seen naked and stop making a big deal out of nudity.
Soon I will have my first child and it will be interesting to see how my views change on this. If my views stay the same I am going to need to figure out a way to teach them that it is not a big deal.