Social Question

Derrick545's avatar

Should nudity really be considered taboo and shameful?

Asked by Derrick545 (73points) May 12th, 2014

I am a nudist while I am home by myself. I do not understand why society has this huge stigma attached to nudity. I guess its probably because we are conditioned from basically birth to see nudity as a negative and even shameful thing. Why is it that we are the only animals that feel the need to not show certain parts of our bodies? Its especially confuses me that you can actually serve prison time for being nude in certain circumstances. I see nudity as the most beautiful and natural thing there is.

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22 Answers

SavoirFaire's avatar

I’m with you on this. I don’t see anything wrong or shameful about nudity. As sexually liberated as Western societies like to pretend to be, however, they are in fact incredibly prudish. They’ll display a nearly naked body on a public billboard, but freak out over one second of nipple on television. And this is because it’s the nipple they’ve sexualized. The rest is just skin now.

Moreover, there isn’t really an argument for the taboo in the end. Is it about children? But they have their own bodies, see themselves in the nude, and often see their parents in the nude from time to time. The only thing we could possibly be protecting them from is the negative conception of nudity that we ourselves have created by hiding it in the first place.

Imadethisupwithnoforethought's avatar

Why do you identify as a nudist? When did it become a part of you?
When I am nude at home by myself I just feel lazy. It is not an identity.

Cruiser's avatar

I agree up to a point. The Spandex crowd shopping at Walmat is more than enough evidence that nudity is not something that should be a free will choice. If you want to be naked….do so at home with the drapes closed or at the nearest nudist camp with 10’ tall fences.

Coloma's avatar

I lived on a secluded property for years and was always naked outside at night, on my deck, in my hot tub, but really…I have zero desire to look at 99% of people walking around naked. Babies, toddlers, and in the privacy of ones home is fine, and while I am far from a prude and did my fair share of topless/nude sunbathing as a young woman, at 54.5 now, I don’t want to “expose” my fading body parts to anyone, nor do I want to be exposed to the Walmart crowd as @Cruiser so eloquently states. lol

There is a time and a place and being prudish has nothing to do with not wanting to see some old geezer with gray pubes and a beer belly in my face, literally. Uh, no thanks…keep it covered dude. Now, gimme a precious naked little baby butt and I could gaze at that all day.

marinelife's avatar

Basically, I agree with you, but society as a whole does not. Therefore, if you go nude at home, please make sure your window coverings are complete and in place. Otherwise, you could face charges.

CWOTUS's avatar

To pick apart a little bit about what @SavoirFaire has said – and pretty well, as usual – it’s not that the nipple is “sexualized”, it’s different from that. Bodies in general have been sexualized, and we’re more or less okay with that: all kinds of female breast exposure sans nipple is okay in certain contexts, but the nipples have become fetishized. That is, they are viewed by many as hyper-sexual aspects of a woman’s body, in the same way that genitalia also have been.

This is a great improvement (depending on who you’re discussing the topic with!) over the way we were 100 years ago and less, when women’s swimming suits were measured at public beaches to be certain that no leg was shown higher than 6” above the knee, for example, or before that when “a glimpse of stocking was something shocking”.

And we’re not the only culture to do this. If you look at images and stories of Chinese female foot binding, which also died out only within the past hundred years, women’s feet were highly eroticized in Chinese culture. A woman whose feet had not been bound since infancy – a grotesque and painful process that led to crippling injury and a hobbled gait for life (do not look at images of the practices if you can’t handle looking at horrible deformities!) – could not expect to marry well, or maybe even “at all”. And mothers inflicted this indignity on their own daughters out of a kind of tough love.

In addition to all of the foregoing, not everyone who goes nude or partially nude in public is as innocent as you claim to be.

elbanditoroso's avatar

@marinelife has it right. It doesn’t matter what society should think, it matters how they do think. And that means that unless/until society makes a 180 degree adjustment, nudity is not going to be socially acceptable.

(any you can blame organized religion and the concept of “sin” for a lot of society’s attitudes on this)

ibstubro's avatar

Humans have somehow overcome the traditional reproductive cycle. We can get horny anytime, rather that in synch with the women’s menstrual cycle.

For this reason, in my opinion, we regard nudity as a private thing. I mean, a guy’s wood is good, but only for the potential precipitant? Who else wants to see it?

johnpowell's avatar

I was pretty shocked when I was in Koln, Germany and one of the ads at the bus stop had a topless woman smoking a cigarette. Despite the temptation, I make it out of Germany without raping anyone.

@ibstubro :: Go to a nude beach. It isn’t a bunch of crazy dudes chasing women around with boners. When I went it was limp dicks everywhere despite all the naked ladies. It was similar to a doctors office.

canidmajor's avatar

Unfortunately, the attitude (as expressed by @Cruiser and @Coloma) that people shouldn’t have to look at people that they find unattractive helps to promote the idea of personal shame in one’s body. The idea that only the people to whom one is attracted should be exposed really feeds into the sexualizing of the population.

I think that nudity, anyone’s nudity, should not be considered taboo and shameful, but centuries of social mores will be out-voting me and all who share my views for probably a very long time.

elbanditoroso's avatar

@canidmajor – I agree with you.

Here’s the thing. When I go nude (my house or back yard, or the beach) it is for MY benefit and comfort, not for the enjoyment of anyone else. It is of absolutely no importance to me whether they like looking at thin women or fat men. It is I who enjoy the wind flowing across my body parts….

As with so many things, our individual actions are affected by what OTHERS are thinking, and not by our own needs and wants.

BeenThereSaidThat's avatar

I don’t care what you do in the privacy of your own home or even in your yard but I really don’t need to see you flopping around in front of me or my grand kids.

nudists should stick to assigned nude beaches or nude places. whenever the hell they go. show their short comings to each other not “dressed” people.

most people don’t look like fashion models you see in magazines or movies, especially nude.

Cruiser's avatar

@canidmajor I am not suggesting that people not have the right and privilege to be fat, lazy, depressed and have serious health issues or that there is anything taboo about it. Just please be naked in the privacy of their own home or approved nudist facility is all.

Coloma's avatar

@canidmajor Humans wear clothing for warmth and protection, first and foremost of all.
I agree with not body shaming, god knows as a woman I have had my fair share of feeling pressured to look good, keep a nice figure, as men feel pressured to be in good shape as well.
Not wanting to look at sagging body parts, does not make one a proponent of body shame.
There is also no shame in a modicum of modesty.

Also, I once dated a nudist and, quite frankly, I found his ideology to be severely flawed. He raised his kids to be weekend nudists at a local camp and at the time his daughter was only 14 years old. He was upset one day because an older man had been flirting with his young daughter during a game of nudist volley ball.
I was appalled at his surprise.

Really! You involve your pubescent daughter in YOUR adult activities at a nudist retreat and you are SURPRISED that some old pervey geezer was drooling over her, trying to lure her into his boat for a boat ride? Sorry, I thought the guy was an idiot!
While I take zero issue with a naturist lifestyle for ADULTS, I also KNOW that the whole nudism thing is also a perfect cover pun intened for plenty of sexual perverts/predators/pedophiles.

So, one bad apple, can certainly spoil the barrel IMO.

Coloma's avatar

Oh, and…heh..I forgot about another dude I knew, he was in his 50’s, a contractor buddy of mine that did work on my hoouse and he was really into going to the various hot springs and other nude romps in nature, no problem. However….another creepr climbs out of his jeans, and this guy actually was telling me once how he had invited his 20 something yr. old daughter for a weekend at a hot springs resort, clothing optional, and how cool he thought it would be if his daughter would be comfortable getting naked with him in the springs.

I told him flat out he was crossing a boundary and that I did not agree with his ” woo hoo, I’m SO open and enlightened” crap. There is NO good reason an adult man needs to see his daughter naked so they can better “bond.” Bullshit!
Sorry, but my take is that for every legitimate, healthy naturist, there is an equal number of creepers lurking under the guise of just loving to be naked and free in nature.

elbanditoroso's avatar

@Coloma – ok, I’ve read your stories,

What’s the conclusion? Do we outlaw nudity because some percentage of men (and possibly women) are creeps?

Coloma's avatar

@elbanditoroso Not at all, just sharing that there IS a less than savory component to many naturist lifestyles.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@Coloma Good point. I’ve never seen—or even heard of—a clothed older man flirting with a clothed younger woman. It must be the nudism that was behind it all. ~

Coloma's avatar

@SavoirFaire Really? Duh!
Oh come on you guys, of course clothing has nothing to do with creepiness.
However…if some guy is going to turn his naked little 14 yr. old daughter out into a pasture of nude men, well…don’t be surprised when one of the old fish wans to take a nibble at the little minnow.

CWOTUS's avatar

I sure wish I had known that on Take Your Daughter to Work Day…

@Coloma you keep insisting that “being naked” has anything to do with this. In point of fact, from what I’ve read of naturism / nudism, the people who attend such resorts and adopt this lifestyle actually have a far lower “creepiness factor” than the public at large.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@Coloma You’re using the same circular reasoning I mentioned at the very beginning of this discussion, and now you’ve even admitted that the nudity has nothing to do with it. So what, exactly, could your argument possibly be? If all you’re saying is that some old men are creepy, no one has said differently. But we’re talking about nudity here, and you decided to take the body-shaming side of the issue when you started complaining about the bodies of Walmart shoppers and suggesting that nudism is the cause of creepiness. Do you have a coherent argument, or is your entire contribution to the discussion a wrinkled nose and fake retching noise?

Coloma's avatar

@SavoirFaire I don’t have an argument, I am just saying that….A. I disagree with adults involving children in their nudism past times and B. it IS a handy cover for certain unsavory types. @CWOTUS Perversion “strips” the clothed vs. unclothed, of course, however, obviously, again, naturist communities are at high risk of attracting those with less than wholesome intentions.
I am also, simply sharing, that my 2 experiences with nudists lent themselves to the less than wholesome side.

My POV and sharings are not that hard to understand.

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