This is a response to my friend from Philosophia. Read his post On Wearing Less here.
I think there is something in the idea that nudity is treated as something to be ashamed of. As if the human form is some embarrassment to bare. By covering up and hiding bare skin from innocent eyes, a culture of shame is formed convincing people that there is something wrong with their bodies; something wrong with the bodies of other people. It is as though people shouldn't be comfortable in their own skin, that they need to hide behind their protective wall.
The idea of a carpet of shame and embarrassment around the human form isn't universal. This means it can't be something inbuilt in human beings but rather something created by our culture. If you look at tribal type communities, inhabitants wear minimal clothing. Women have their breasts out and nobody bats an eyelid.
Where has this come from? Why has society created taboo's around the subject. I'm not saying people should all walk around naked or anything, simply that nudity has certain connotations. It's seedy and dark, holding a negative banner over head, drawing in negativity. The only nudity we are offered is in a perverted form; think of boys mags for example. This perverted idea surrounding nudity forces people to think of it only as perverse rather than the simple state of nature that it is. We are animals. Like animals, we shouldn't be ashamed of ourselves and feel the need to hide. We shouldn't look upon the bodies of others and judge them.
I can't imagine a dog walking round in a pair of trousers looking down on the dog going commando...
By only being given an airbrushed picture of perfect naked bodies we are convinced that we ourselves are flawed. That our imperfections make us ugly and we should hide our bodies away unless we can match such beauty. We are regulated by taboo and made to feel bad about ourselves and look down on others. In America everything is even more regulated than it is over here, but it's all the same thing. It has reached the point where something as natural as breastfeeding is condemned as a private activity that should be hidden behind closed doors.
I'm not calling for a revolution. This isn't me saying, let's all walk around starkers. This is me saying we don't need to be embarrassed of being human. We all have skin. We do all look different, but only to a degree. By trying to prevent prudence and hide from shame, a culture of shame was born.
Gok has something good going with How To Look Good Naked showing people they can be comfortable in themselves.
This may be not so much a response to William than inspired by his post. A branch from the same tree so to speak. Let me know what you guys think on the topic and also go check out William's blog =]