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Offline Danee

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We all come into this world the same way: bursting from the womb, gasping for air with little baby breaths – and gloriously naked.

Yet just as doctors immediately swaddle us tightly in a blanket, society swaddles us throughout our lives, insisting that being naked and basking in our own skin is wrong and indecent.

When we characterize nudity as weird, perverted and shameful, we criticize ourselves and others. Why are we so clothes-minded? Why keep ourselves cocooned when we could frolic free as bare butterflies?

We can't say that our government restrains us from being naked – in a good number of states it's legal to be nude so long as you're not doing anything explicitly offensive. Since 1992 it has been legal for women to be topless in New York state, but if any of my female peers or I were to take full advantage of our state-granted rights and walk around the town of Geneseo topless, we'd be considered social pariahs.

Because nudity is connoted with perversion and debauchery rather than naturalism and confidence, anyone who chooses to be naked in public is deemed slutty or depraved. We judge and look down upon one another with distaste in order to fulfill a social norm that deprives us of our natural state.

I'm not saying it would make sense for everyone throughout the world to be constantly naked; I'm not calling for a massive revolution in which we tear down apparel establishments and burn our clothes in blackened-street bonfires – after all, the earliest people clothed themselves in furs in order to survive harsh environments. I wouldn't expect anyone to adapt a wholly nudist philosophy in the dead of a Geneseo winter.

But think about it: considering we were all born naked and that our skin itself is a living, breathing organ, isn't it strange that a majority of people are only naked for about an hour a day?

A majority of people are naked when they shower, naked when they change clothing and perhaps naked during sexual activity, but that amounts to a small fraction of time when compared to the grand scheme of our clothed lives.

What about the health implications of keeping an organ like your skin confined by clothing? Going shoeless is now recognized as an anti-Alzheimer's, brain-boosting activity because the sole sensation entices your brain into growing extra-efficient neuron connections. Neurologists attest that our brain function will decline if we "limit the sensory feedback from our feet." And what about the rest of our bodies? Do you think your body temperature is distributed evenly when only your face and hands are left uncovered? Is it immoral to let your skin breathe?

Step outside your textile tomb and objectively ask yourself: What is so wrong with nakedness? See if you can conjure up anything more compelling than "it's just weird."
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Offline Bobbert

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Re: Why so clothes-minded? (An article from the U of New York Newspaper)
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2011, 05:09:00 pm »
Great article!  I like the challenge at the end.  :2345