As caring people, we would like to accommodate your feelings on nudity. However, your expectation that we must always accommodate you, and you to never accommodate us, assumes a premise that your beliefs are honorable and correct and our beliefs are not.
Most of my friends and family intuitively understand this. When entering their home they say “make yourself comfortable … get naked”. If I were dressed when they come to visit they would think something was wrong. When viewing family or vacation pictures they expect that they may encounter nudity and would not expect me to filter them. Often we have groups of people over to enjoy the pool etc. and often the group is mixed between clothed and unclothed. They are all respectful of each other and their respective beliefs. There have been a few family and friends that do not get it. They expect us to always make the accommodation.
For the purpose of exercising the openness of our minds please consider the following facts. There is a large number of people who believe that it is correct for any woman to be covered from head to toe and to be accompanied by a male family member at all times in public, otherwise she would be considered guilty for the resulting victimization that she endures at the behest of a gang of men. There are also a large number of people who believe that clothing should be worn at all times when around others. That not doing so is akin to pornography. There are a large number of people who believe that the human body is inherently decent and good and that arbitrarily covering it with clothing is unnecessary and unnatural, and the practice has negative and dangerous social and moral results. In practice there are gradients of beliefs between these depictions and beyond, but for the purpose of this comparison bare with me (pun intended).
Consider the following depiction …
Now open your mind to that fact that you might be in belief system 2 and you are being judged by belief system 1 to be wrong and immoral. You are expected to cover completely at all times to accommodate the beliefs of system 1. This [of course] includes beaches where you are expected to remain covered. Your belief system tells you that this is wrong and that it is immoral for those people to expect you to accommodate their beliefs, but alas you must because they believe you should.
Despite your indignation telling you differently, there is practically no difference between that comparison and the same comparison applying belief system 2 and belief system 3. Let’s face it, you would not relinquish your rights in this way based only on the beliefs of other’s– nor should you.
Now that our mind is a little more open, let’s begin from the assumption of equality of beliefs and negotiate our position from there…
I will wear clothes when visiting your home if you will remove yours when visiting mine. Or conversely, I will wear clothes when you visit my home if you accommodate me with nudity when I visit your home. When out in a public place (Maintained for or used by the people or community) we each can wear as much or as little fabric as we respectively believe to be correct. I will not presume that you should remove your clothes to be allowed in a public place, providing you do not presume I should cover myself to be allowed to take advantage of the places we share.
Consider this comparison carefully as life has a way of changing. Your indignation and arrogance at being in belief system 2 at the moment may be less realistic if you suddenly find yourself to be the one who is fighting for your beliefs to be understood and accepted.
–< R J Natural >–
If you think a lady breastfeeding in public is a sexual or exhibitionist event then you are the pervert. Breasts are primarily for feeding our young, not for sexual gratification (yours or anybody’s).
Leave mothers alone. Let them feed their young in piece without banishing them to a dirty bathroom or making them feel like they are doing something wrong.
Correct your mind not the mother feeding her child.
–< R J Natural >–
Do others have the right to expect us to be attractive to them? We have become a society so accustomed to being fed visually attractive experience that some seem to believe they have that right. We routinely judge the value of an individual based on their looks while paying little attention to their character, actions, spirit or intention. We even extend the same judgments to ourselves and devalue our contribution based only on our own perception of our looks.
Some people are lucky enough (with some effort) to be found visually attractive to a majority of the population. However, we must remember that we are diverse beings and so are our preferences. Someone might be attractive to one and found to be unattractive to others; and vice versa.
We can and should respect one another without expecting them to meet our criteria for being attractive. We can appreciate each other’s diversity and unique [yet amazing] human form while resisting the need to judge them against our expectations of perfect.
As Naturists, our experience has taught us that this is a truth. We accept each body as perfect for the person with whom it was blessed. Each person’s scars are a reflection of their experience and character to overcome. Sure, each of us personally might find some specifically attractive; that is how we form relationships. It is important that we do not develop an expectation of anyone that they must meet our criteria for attractive to be considered valuable. Judge others not by their looks but by their actions and character. Look into their eyes to discover their spirit instead of judging body parts.
Remember, we are born naked, that is the natural state of humanity. We are free and more sensitive to our surroundings when naked. We are more honest and vulnerable to discovery when not wearing clothes. Nudity is not pornographic and not at all wrong despite the assertions of some that misunderstand or are driven by fear. Being nude is not a signal of availability or of diminished modesty. Any judgment to the contrary is the fault of the person judging rather than the human being nude.
–< R JNatural >–
Naturists believe in the innocence and decency of the human body. To us, the application of sexual context to simple nudity is evidence of diminished moral health.
Some view our innocent nudity through the prism of prurience and perceive pornography and deviance. These are not realities just perceptions derived from their point of view. However, [they] make laws forcing us to cover our natural state to “protect” them and their children from considering our reality.
Often these people assert religious principals when making these judgments of us, which forces us to wonder why their perception is so sex-charged when they experience the [work of art] manifest in our natural state. This serves to further alienate us from their position as it seems unreasonable. In any case it would seem that their judgments of our beliefs and practices are based on missing or distorted facts.
We [Naturists] have a responsibility to be open about our beliefs, else we fall prey to the persecutions caused by the misunderstandings held by others. Let the integrity of our beliefs speak for us. Hiding only contributes to the perception that we are hiding something nefarious. When we are open about our beliefs, we are in a better position to explain our reasons and even to offer others opportunities to understand experientially. We will not be able to invite a friend to experience Naturism if we are hiding the truth from them. People need to be informed that Naturism is wholesome safe and natural for all.
It is true that more people (especially younger people) are finding nudity acceptable. However, it may be for the wrong reasons. With the constant media bombardment of sex; from sex acts performed on prime time television (while obscuring the horrible nudity) to airbrushed pictorial ads using sex to sell product, it is possible that the complacency is due to people being desensitized to sex rather than the understanding that nudity and sex are not the same thing. That nudity is not pornographic. That nudity IS the natural state of humanity. That when nude you are more free and experience life more fully. That, to truly understand equality you need to see others in their diversity and allow yourself to be exposed to them free of your textile mask.
Body acceptance is a solution not a plaque.
Hide it under a bushel, no; I’m going to let it shine…
–< R JNatural >–
Many questions entered my mind… Would they show everything? Would they sexualize the nudity factor (like most of our society)? What would be the reaction of the general public?
The series has run its season and the questions are answered. The genitals are blurred along with women’s breasts (why I will never understand). All other body parts seem to be fair game. I noticed no sexualization of the nudity which I view as earning huge kudos for Discovery channel.
Judging by Facebook comments from friends of friends who are non Naturists and Naturists alike, the intrigue seems to be shared by many others. There is a “million mom” action that chastises Discovery for showing pornographic (but cheeks) video on television for all innocent children to see. Apparently children don’t have but cheeks and should therefore never see a pair and should also only know shame for the wonderful creation that is represented in our human body …
In general I see the series as favorable for the Naturist/Nudist community. The average person never gets to experience simple nudity (in a non sexual way). This series seems to facilitate the understanding in others that once the initial “we are naked” is over with… and over with quickly I might add … people tend to get on with the task at hand. They meet, acknowledge their mutual nudity, realize they have a lot of work ahead of them to survive and get on with it. Some survivalists seem to waste time early in their adventure fashioning rudimentary clothing.
I say waste time because the clothing they fashion seems to be to cover their breasts and genitals [seen already] and not for more obvious survival requirements like warmth when it is cold at night or to reduce sunburn damage, or sandals to prevent damage to the feet.
Naturists/Nudists understand quite well that simple nudity is not a threat to morality, modesty or social function. This series offers a small glimpse into those facts without actually stating them.
–< R JNatural >–
You often hear claims that Naturists have high standards of personal conduct and principals that would seem to be intended to justify their social nudity to others who may not otherwise understand or accept the concept. The claims are usually embedded in articles and essays but rarely listed definitively. This article is an attempt to clearly list those principals with minimal fluff or attempt at justification. No group of people (including Naturists) will agree on everything. Some may argue with individual points or wording but in general the following list is applicable.
- We believe the natural human body is inherently decent and good and not shameful.
- There is nothing harmful for anyone to view another uncovered.
- We do not suffer from the unnatural fear of nudity presented by the majority.
- Nudity is not inherently sexual.
- Those that sexualize nudity seem (by our standards) deviant and prurient.
- We do not feel the need to habitually hide ourselves in fabric unless needed for practical reasons.
- We realize and respect the vast differences in human form.
- We accept the bodies of others as they are without judgment or expectation.
- We believe nudity is healthy and natural for all ages and fear of nudity leads to harmful prurience.
- We marvel in awe at the amazing machine which we all posses.
- Sexual behavior in a social nudity context is demeaning and unacceptable and should be kept private.
- Nudity has physical and mental health benefits.
- Naturism does not require the practice of social nudity per se, however it is common.
- We believe there are no bad parts – breasts, genitalia and elbows are all natural and equal.
- Nudity is not antithetical to modesty.
- Oh. We sit on towels and should be asked before photos are taken.
The act of being nude in nature, especially with like minded individuals is indescribably empowering and liberating. It takes little time to shed the generations of expectations of concealment and realize the easy natural connection to your environment that has been missing all along. With that void filled, you readily accept the natural and diverse form of others as an extension of the environment and find that you also accept everything about yourself. The confidence and equivalent humility changes your perception forever. When you no longer view the status of others by clothes or looks, you begin to really view the character and humanity of the individual. This understanding leads to a trust and connection to virtual strangers not attainable in the superficial world of fabric.
–< R JNatural >–