How long would it take for nudity to be accepted?

Yes, isn’t that a fun question?

The bias against nudity removed

During a walk a while ago I suddenly wondered about that. Suppose that one day (and may it happen soon), there would be no more bias against the nude body, and we were all free to go naked wherever we want.

How long would it take before the majority of people would be fine with that? After how much time would people stop pulling out their phones to take pictures of yet another naked person walking by?

Here are my uneducated guesses

I think the first days would be bad. There would be outrage by the overly pious and ‘faint of heart’. Tonnes of images and miles of video footage would go online and I am sure we’d be mocked and called names too.

But after those first few days I think that more and more people would feel the urge to at least try this. Mostly after the first wave of pictures and video has come to an end.

Why just a first few days?

I base this guess on how quickly people get used to being naked when they try naturism themselves. Usually, it’s only a matter of an hour and often even less. When you see more nude people, the fact that they’re nude vanishes. I think the same thing will happen in the streets. It’s like the Carnaval in Rio: when 1 person dresses up and goes into the street, everyone will notice that person.

Carnaval, Rio de Janeiro

But if more than 20% of the population does it, there is some kind of critical mass that gets passed and then the dressed-up folks get not that much attention anymore. Now I am probably way off with the 20% for Rio but it’s not Rio I am talking about here. This post is about the number of people who want to go nude when the weather’s okay for it – and it’s okay for going nude much faster than the dressed community would agree. Simply because we know and they don’t.

And then, after a few weeks…

I think that after a few weeks the big acceptance will happen. When people notice that nude people are just like dressed ones. We won’t go around having sex all over the place, like they don’t.

I am convinced that there will be people who are going to do that though. And then it would be our responsibility to step in and stop that behaviour. It will have much more impact when a nude person stops other nude people from such behaviour than when we wait for the (dressed) police to come and do that. Showing the textile world that we, the nude, are against that, makes the most powerful sign.

Naked discrimination should stop

Nude, bodypainted girl being arrested

I think we all agree with this. It is my experience that most normal people (the ones in the street, not the politicians, religious zealots and other ‘influencers’) don’t have a big issue with nudity. It’s the media that make it a ‘big deal’, and then there’s the ‘lucky few’ who take it as an opportunity to put themselves in the spotlight, but if it’s not nudity, they would find something else for their own purpose.

That’s what irks me the most. During nude walks in England, I’ve met people, also older people, who didn’t give a damn about me being naked. They liked me being polite, wishing them a nice day. The normal things.

Also here in the Netherlands people don’t really care. I do notice there is a trend in the wrong direction going on, which has to do with the influences of the many restrictive cultures and religions that are coming in. And then there is Germany, where clothes-free recreation, FKK, was ‘invented’. They’re really okay with it.

Public nudity in Britain, and nobody runs for the hills.

Public nudity in Britain.

There’s naked yoga, naked dating, naked dining. But is it OK to take your clothes off in public? There’s only one way to find out…

This is the headline of a very interesting article in the Guardian that was brought to my attention a few weeks back.

‘Nobody runs for the hills’: is Britain ready for everyday nudity?

Charlie Gilmour public nudity
Charlie Gilmour: ‘Being naked is profoundly liberating.’ Photograph: Sarah Lee for the Guardian.

It’s like a dream. I’m at the pub with a pint of stout and a packet of nuts, wearing no clothes. Families tuck into their Sunday roasts, darts players carry on unperturbed. No one gives me so much as a second glance. I could get used to this.

How things have changed. In 1974, when Sally Cooper stripped naked and attempted to run across Richmond Bridge in west London, she caused a national sensation. Caught momentarily in the jaws of a police dog and eternally by the lens of a tabloid photographer, she was one of Britain’s first streakers. At the time, public nudity was virtually unheard of. Naturists, or “sunbathers” as they often euphemistically called themselves, kept to the shadows.

Today, naked people are everywhere. No longer happy to be hidden in naturist clubs and on nudist beaches, the bare body has jiggled its way into areas previously reserved for the clothed, round the dinner table and on primetime TV. London had a pop-up naked restaurant, the Bunyadi, with a waiting list 46,000 strong, Last year saw the launch of Naked Attraction, Channel 4’s full-frontal dating show. We have naked yoga, a naked nightclub and, of course, naked Justin Bieber. Does this mean Britain has come to terms with collective undress?

I’m no naturist, but there have been moments over the years when it has felt appropriate to publicly disrobe. A mass skinny-dip after a friend’s seaside wedding was liberating, a slosh into the Serpentine on a sweltering summer evening was thrilling, and there was one time, perhaps slightly unwise, at a party where the drinks were flowing freely and the heating was on far too high and… nudity may have occurred.

Being naked is profoundly liberating. It’s not just the physical feeling of the air, sun or sea over your entire body: there’s a psychological release, too. When you shed your clothes, many social pressures also somehow fall away. A 2015 survey by British Naturism, the national society for social nudity, found that practising naturists had higher self-esteem and body confidence.

Yet, from personal experience, I’ve found reactions can be unappreciative, ranging from mothers screaming and covering their children’s eyes to hostile attention from security personnel. So which Britain are we: a nation of nudes or prudes? I decided to find out.
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You can read the entire article here, at the Guardian.

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