End the nude taboo
By Jessica Berget, Opinions Editor
Nudity is the most natural thing in the world. We were all born naked. So why are people so against being naked in public?
It’s because society often associates nudity with sexuality, and that the naked human body is automatically a sexual object and that it is something to be embarrassed about.
This is especially true when it comes to women’s bodies. It is an incredibly unhealthy way of thinking about not only other people’s bodies but your own body as well. Being naked is natural, and not something people should be ashamed or embarrassed about. I am not saying we should all be walking around naked all the time, but you shouldn’t feel uncomfortable being nude in scenarios where it is appropriate, such as being naked in your own home or changing your swimsuit on the beach.
Just last week I was at the beach with my friend. We were just about to go change into our swimsuits when we realized how long the trek was to the change rooms. We debated as to whether we should leave our things behind for a few minutes to change or suck up our fear of public scrutiny and change right there on the beach. I did the walk of shame across the beach to the change room while my friend subtly changed on the beach by covering himself with a shirt. As I walked back to the beach I couldn’t help but think how much easier and harmless it would be to just change into my swimsuit in public and how insane it is that public nudity is not more accepted. You see everyone in their swimsuits on the beach anyway, so I don’t see how it is any different to see them naked for a brief moment.
Being nude comes with mental health benefits. According to an article from the Daily Mail, researchers from the University of London looked at participants’ satisfaction with their bodies and their lives in general with nudist activities and found that being naked has been shown to significantly improve body image, self-esteem and even life satisfaction.
It is arguably much harder for nudity to be accepted when you are a woman. Women are hypersexualized to the point that even when they are in public breastfeeding their children—the most natural thing in the world—they are told it is inappropriate and to do it in private. If people are so offended by the mere skin of a woman’s breasts, just imagine what they would do if a woman got changed into a swimsuit on the beach. Because women’s nudity is so sexualized, if women were to go topless on a hot summer day they would either be publicly shamed or met with numerous inappropriate and sexual remarks. Changing on the beach or walking around with no top on a hot day for both men and women of all shapes and sizes should not be subject to persecution. If anyone should be allowed to be topless in the summer, it should be women. We literally have two sacks of fat sitting on our chest, don’t you think we might enjoy taking off our shirts to cool down once in a while?
Nudity is not inherently sexual, therefore there is no reason to be embarrassed by it. It even has several mental health benefit,s so as long as it is done in the appropriate context, nudity should not be publicly shamed.