Feelings about nudity complicate our lives
WHEN I read a Seventeen magazine
article titled "I'm a nudist" written by "Kim," an average girl describing her life as a nudist, it got me thinking about how people are raised.
Any child who was raised with a different point of view finds that it becomes a part of them. Kim was raised a nudist; therefore she understands it and is comfortable with it. The same goes for kids who are raised by prejudiced parents; they are more likely to be prejudiced themselves or at least tolerant of prejudiced attitudes.
I'M SURE there were some people who read Kim's story and didn't agree with her lifestyle. They were probably raised conservatively or taught that nudity is taboo. In my family, my mom, sisters and I are pretty comfortable around each other nude, but we would never go nude in public or around my brother or other people. I guess it's that way because my mom is somewhat liberal. It all depends on how a person is brought up.
To me, I thought it was odd, but cool that Kim was so open. I think it's pretty brave of her to tell her friends and her boyfriend something like that, knowing not everyone will accept and understand her lifestyle. I respect the fact that she doesn't let society influence her lifestyle. I don't think I could ever live like she does. I have been too influenced by society to change my mind.
AS MUCH as I'd like to be able to get my mind set out of that cycle, I don't think it is possible for me. I think society twists certain subjects just for no good reason. How and why did our thinking evolve from being comfortable with being born nude into the idea that wearing clothes is normal and not wearing clothes is considered indecent exposure?
Kim mentioned how there is no sexual tension between males and females at the nudist camp she attended. I find that hard to believe because I guess it is expected or the media has drilled it into me. Although I do believe her, I feel that those people are lucky to be so comfortable and honest about who they are.
Reina Neves, 17, attends Castle High School. She wrote this essay as an English writing assignment.
How and why did our thinking evolve from being comfortable with being born nude into the idea that wearing clothes is normal and not wearing clothes is considered indecent exposure?
It's funny how to Kim, nudity feels natural, comfortable and safe, while the media exploits nudity by advertising with sex, which subconsciously makes people feel vulnerable. Media have in so many ways twisted our minds, for example, with something as natural as being nude and made people ashamed of it.
A LONG TIME ago, people could look at nudity as beauty in an aesthetic way. I look at nudity in that way if it is presented in a tasteful, artistic manner. It really makes me upset when people look at a nude art piece and all they can think to say is things like, "Eww," or make vulgar comments. In school, I can't believe how many times I have seen body parts drawn onto the pictures of people in text books or old magazines.
PEOPLE are obsessed with nudity and can't look past it. It really shows how focused we are on the physical aspect of people. Many other countries besides America are more comfortable with nudity. They couldn't care less if a person shows a little skin. Some countries have nude beaches. In certain tribal cultures, the people still walk around naked.
It makes me wonder about how Kim feels when she's clothed. Does she dislike being clothed? If not, does she enjoy clothes shopping as much as other teenage girls? If she had the choice would she be nude at school or everywhere for that matter? I like clothes; I don't think I could give them up. At one point, Kim talked about how she had gone through a self-conscious time about her own body image. I guess that just goes to show that everyone has their insecurities about themselves, even people who are comfortable being nude.
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