On being naked

Photograph capturing Contemporary Dance: Benjamin Asriel, left, and Burr Johnson in choreographer John Jasperse’s “Fort Blossom revisited.” Andrea Mohin / The New York Times

What’s indecent about walking naked down the streets?

Apparently such thing is considered inappropriate, as it has the potential to harm the public in some way or another. But what is harmful about seeing someone else’s naked anatomy?

It’s not inappropriate when a kid runs to have a swim at the local pool wearing only his underwear, so why would it be considered inappropriate  and even an offense to the law if an older woman did such a thing?

Earlier on, during a brief debate, I was hit by the realization that most of my life I have spent clothed.

The average human being only gets naked when showering, maybe when sleeping (depending) and during more intimate times.

The average human being is born naked, but will probably be buried well-dressed, inside a coffin.

It seems to me that the perception of nudity has changed throughout the times.

If we take a biblical approach, Adam and Eve are described as happy, naked and free beings. As soon as they got access to the tree of knowledge, they realized that they were naked and thus decided to cover themselves.

However, is nudity something to be ashamed of? Why should we, if we all share the same basic anatomy?

There should be nothing extremely extraordinary about my neighbor’s anatomy, so why would it be a shock if he came and sat next to me rocking a natural?

Today, nudity carries strong sexual connotations, and media doesn’t help, as its mission it to propagate this same conception. It makes me wonder, did the artists long ago who sculpted David thought of the human body as a tool for mere sexual contemplation?

Or did they see beauty in it? Or even perhaps the possibility of freedom?

Is it too naive to associate nakedness with freedom, the ultimate way in which we are able to fully liberate ourselves? If we accept this argument to be valid, then clothing ourselves everyday is slowly yet painfully destroying our very own instinctive nature to express ourselves.

Perhaps in a parallel brave new world, all embellishments will be striped away and people will be left with nothing but their bare naked bodies – that would be an interesting world indeed.



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