For me, being without clothing is all about freedom. Freedom from restrictions, freedom from judgment and freedom from harassment. Freedom from the everyday, and from expectation. Freedom to be whole and at peace.
My nudity is not about other people. I don’t secretly enjoy being looked at, or seek a thrill by surprising or upsetting people. I don’t care what people are thinking or fretting about, as long as they keep it to themselves. I need no controversy, and no drama. I’m nude for me.
I understand that many people (in the U.S., at least) grew up in a setting where nudity was considered shameful or deviant, something to be hidden and not talked about. I’m sad about that. Teaching children to be ashamed of their own bodies—that being in their own skin could somehow be wrong is, to me, deeply disappointing. I think we’re failing them, as humans.
Our society is sick. Sick with body shame, and sick with judgment of others for what they look like. Who cares? Get over it. Take a deep breath and accept yourself and others for what you and they are and could be. We’re not all here in this place for a terribly long time, so let’s not spend it on shame and judgment. What a waste.
“Decency” is about being a decent person: offering respect, helping people, and following through with integrity in your life. It has nothing to do with your clothing. Small minds weaving big tales about morality want you to believe that your own body is a bad thing, and that other bodies are bad too, and that you should yell at people about it. Nonsense. That’s not decency—it’s insecurity.
Now of course not everyone needs to be nude. And the people who are should enjoy their clothes-free time away from people who don’t like it. That’s just basic respect and common sense. But keep your judgments to yourself, and especially your moralizing.
Because our society has become so sick, some of the first objections to nudity on most peoples’ minds are about sexual abuse, disgusting behavior and pedophilia of all things. I don’t know how to say this in another way, but: all of those terrible things will exist independent of whether good people can enjoy their own nudity. They are not related by cause-and-effect any more than public restrooms and fertilizer.
But, the children! Yes, do think of the children. Think about how to raise them with a positive body image, self-assurance and clear boundaries about who should be allowed to look at them, talk to them or touch them, in any way. Think about not creating little cesspools of shame and derangement that come from hiding and banning discussion of one of the most obvious parts of being alive: their bodies. Maybe then we could get closer to a future generation of men (let’s face it, it’s men) who know what it means to not be creepy, or transgressive or disrespectful of others, in any way.
So get all of that garbage out of your head and try being naked for a day in your own home, even if just for an hour! It may feel strange at first, but it will also build your confidence. Then find a partner or friend to hang out and do laundry, the dishes or play a board game without clothes. It’s still fun, and it will quickly feel normal. But also different, and freeing. Then maybe someday you’ll go on a nude vacation or find a local group or campground, if that suits you.
Either way, I suspect you’ll have fun, if you can ditch the body shame—your own and the judgment of others—and just relax. It’s pretty great.
And don’t come at me with “But what do you do in the cold?! Ha ha.” Wear clothes in the cold. Obviously. Are you twelve?