Our Bare Bodies: What's the Big Deal?

• Bare bodies = Big deal ... or not?
• A.k.a. no clothes on - a.k.a. the naked human body 'in natura' ...
• Soren, the Personal Development Guy, shares his view.
• Plus an anecdote, questions that make you think & good quotes.

• This page is an entry in "Soren's Blog: Inspirational Thoughts" - a blog aimed at your personal development & spiritual growth. This blog incorporates inspirational motivational quotes, empowerment theory, random funny facts, motivational phrases, short funny jokes, funny questions that make you think and more! 

Our Bare Bodies: What's the Big Deal?

Bare bodies man standing
Now, that's a really good question! I don't have a definitive answer for it, though, because I guess that there are all sorts of things involved: Culture, religion, other beliefs, habits, self esteem, lack of experience and just plain ignorance. And probably several other things, too.

In this blog entry you'll get my take our bare bodies (or one of my 'takes', at least). Depending on where you're coming from, you may either find that what I have to say seems liberating, or exotic, or like common sense, or provocative.

If you're easily provoked by stuff to do with our bare bodies, please skip this blog entry.

Full nakedness! All my joys are due to thee, as souls unbodied, bodies unclothed must be, to taste whole joys.
~ John Donne ~

But not everyone feels the same as the poet and priest, John Donne. Let me tell you a little anecdote from my own life.





Bare Bodies on the Bus

Some years ago I went on a rather long bus trip to go skiing (in the winter Denmark sometimes has lots of snow, but Denmark doesn't have any real mountains). This particular bus had a single television screen placed high up in the front, and the travel company showed some movies to pass the time.

We were nearing the end of the trip and had seen several movies. Then, at some point in the last movie of the trip, one of the female characters went to the beach where she took off her blouse and exposed her bare breasts to the camera.

This made one of the female bus passengers, a mother of two children, jump up and start yelling at the top of her voice. Much to the amazement of the rest of us - many of whom were dozing.

This woman was extremely agitated at the sight of the topless woman on the television screen and said words like 'disgusting', 'utter filth', 'corrupting my children' and the like. On the screen the brief scene was long gone, but the woman kept yelling.

I guess we were around 50 passengers on the bus. We all looked at this woman, of course, but nobody, and I mean nobody, reacted in any way what so ever to her indignant screaming. Eventually she fell quiet and just sat down again. There were no further incidents.

I guess, in a funny, slightly twisted way, everything was the just way it was supposed to be.

Skin does not equal sin.

~ Inspirational saying ~

Nudity is a state of fact; lewdity, to coin a phrase, is a state of mind.

~ Paul Outerbridge, Jr. ~

Some day people will grow up and realize that the only thing vile about human bodies is the small minds some people have developed within them.

~ Dick Hein ~

Seeing Bare Breasts or Not?

bare bodies woman artful pose

Men are allowed to go 'topless' or 'topfree' (i.e. show their naked torsos) in lots of places. Women ... not so much. This, obviously, is gender discrimination, and as such laws which ban such sexual discrimination have been passed in many states. In those states women have just as much right to go topfree as men.

Canadian based Topfree Equal Rights Association (TERA) helps women who encounter difficulty going without tops in public places in Canada and the USA, and informs the public on the issue. On one of their pages I found this quote by Allison Roberts:

"Even at the age of 27, I have probably seen only 10 or 15 pairs of real breasts. Most of my knowledge about breasts comes from movies and magazines. But actresses use body doubles to give the illusion of a more "perfect" body, and photographs of models have been airbrushed to remove any "unsightly" bumps or discoloration. These women, whom we consider ideal, represent a mere 1% of society.

When girls as young as 12 talk about getting breast implants based on this standard, I say we have a serious problem. Three 14-year-old girls have told me separately that they need breast enlargement surgery, with nothing to base their body hatred on but a stolen copy of Playboy. How can a girl who has little to no idea what real breasts look like be expected to accept her own body as normal and natural? How can we teach our children that our bodies belong to us and are perfect as they are, if we are also teaching them that their breasts are merely dangerous sexual objects to be hidden?

How can we say that to view a woman's breasts will damage children, when it is so clear what not seeing them is doing"

~ Allison Roberts ~


It's an interesting point of view, don't you think? Hiding something that's real and natural (like bare breasts or bare bodies) causes more problems than it solves.

How We Relate to Bare Bodies Is a 'Tell'

One point I would like to make is that the way we relate to our bare bodies is a 'tell' as to how we relate to the rest of life. Are you judgemental about your body - believing that you are too fat, too skinny, that certain body parts are too big or too small, etc.?

Then you're most likely relating to the rest of life, including other people, in much the same way - judging them and finding them wanting. This is not a good way to live. Not only do other people dislike being judged, but YOU get an unpleasant feeling inside when you judge.

The same is true of your body, by the way. It does not respond well to being judged. It responds wonderfully to being accepted. But that's a story for another day.

An equally important lesson is this: Learning to relate naturally to our bare bodies helps us learn to relate naturally to everything else in life.

Bare Bodies are Natural, Right?

As is obvious from the above story about the bus, some people will freak out at nudity. Sometimes the mere mention of the word 'naked' or 'bare' is enough.

The funny thing is, though, that each and every one of us was born that way: Naked, bare, 'au naturel'. With our tiny genitals, asses and tits totally exposed for the world to see.

So the indisputable fact is that being naked is one hundred percent natural.

This tells us that whatever negative feelings, thoughts, opinions and beliefs we have about nudity and our bare bodies are not natural, but acquired. It's something we have been taught.

Whether having them is a good idea is quite another matter.

Body shame, like prejudice, is not natural. It is learned from others and benefits no one.

~ Inspirational saying ~

The main hangup in the world today is hypocrisy and insecurity. If people can't face up to the fact of other people being naked or smoking pot, or whatever they want to do, then we're never going to get anywhere. People have got to become aware that it's none of their business and that being nude is not obscene. Being ourselves is what's important. If everyone practiced being themselves instead of pretending to be what they aren't, there would be peace.
~ John Lennon ~

Accepting Absolute Reality - or Not

The thing is: any area of life where we do not accept absolute reality (that-which-is) is going to cause us pain.

We have bodies. Our bare bodies exist and they are the way they are.

Some people are tall, others not so much.

Some male bodies have large penises, others not so much, just like some female bodies have big breasts, and others not so much.

Some people's bare bodies show red hair, others show brown or black hair and still others show blonde or grey hair.

The color of the eyes and skin varies, too, just like the physical age and countless other things.

In the end it doesn't matter one way or the other. You can just as easily be a young, tall, blonde man with a big penis and be deeply unhappy, as you can be a short, old, redheaded man with a small penis and be extremely happy.

It's not what we've got; it's how we relate to what we've got.

~ Soren Lauritzen ~ thePersonalDevelopmentGuy.com

An Unhappy Camper

The screaming woman in bus I mentioned earlier did not react similarly to the topless men in the movie. Only the sight of the topfree woman caused her to react. I am willing to bet anything that the screaming woman did NOT relate to her own body in a natural, pleasant and healthy manner.

In fact I'm pretty sure she was full of self loathing and felt ashamed of, and alienated from, her own body. She was not a happy camper.

Her shame, alienation and self loathing were a source of pain for her. Of course it was - imagine living with someone or something you detest 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Not funny!

That's what this woman was most likely going through, and perhaps that's why nobody in the bus felt particularly provoked by her extreme behaviour. Because we sensed the toxic shame and an awful lot of pain beneath the anger.

Also, I'm pretty sure this woman's children were in danger of getting a screwed up, alienated relationship to their own bare bodies. Not because they saw an image of a woman's bare breasts on the television, but because their mother reacted the way she did: With fear, loathing, shame and anger.

Being natural and matter-of-fact about nudity prevents your children from developing an attitude of shame or disgust about the human body. If parents are very secretive about their bodies and go to great lengths to prevent their children from ever seeing a buttock or breast, children will wonder what is so unusual, and even alarming, about human nudity.

~ Dr. Lee Salk, psychiatrist ~

What about you? Are you an unhappy, shameful, alienated camper, too? Are you going to make your children unhappy, shameful, alienated little campers?

Of course you aren't! If you were brought up by parents who were alienated by their own bare bodies, I'm sure you are going to be the one who breaks the vicious circle!

That's personal development at its best.

Beautiful Bodies

Here a few questions that make you think:

- Is an Afro body more or less beautiful than an Asian body?
- Is a body more beautiful at the age of 7 than at the age of 107?
- Will someone who believes that our fully clothed bodies are more acceptable than our bare bodies also believe that wearing 10 layers of clothes make a body 10 times more acceptable?
- When you look at your naked body in the mirror - are you filled with love?
- Is a tall body more beautiful than a slender body?

These questions are rhetorical, of course. And there are almost as many answers to questions like that as there are people. In other words:

Looks are in the eye of the beholder.

~ Soren Lauritzen ~ thePersonalDevelopmentGuy.com

Looks are relative - as in the opposite of absolute: In the matter of our bare bodies THERE IS NO OBJECTIVE TRUTH. There is only opinion. Beliefs. Habits.

bare bodies naked woman strange colorsIn my opinion our bare bodies are beautiful. The curves, the texture, the colors, the proportions of the naked human body. The smells, the tastes, the funny and beautiful sounds the body can emit. Be that body male or female.
But most important and most beautiful to me are those things we don't usually see and can't really measure (yet): The love, the spirit, the soul. No matter the gender, color, size or age. (Yes, I find the naked human body beautiful when it's old, too!).

To see you naked is to recall the Earth.

~ Federico Garcia Lorca ~

The human body: Legalize it!

~ Inspirational saying ~

What's Really Important

One thing is for sure, though: There is a difference in our experience, depending on how open and accepting we are:

The less open and accepting we are, the more discomfort and pain we will experience. The more open and accepting we are, the more pleasure and joy we will experience.
~ Soren Lauritzen ~ thePersonalDevelopmentGuy.com

This is true whether we're talking about our bare bodies or about anything else that's part of the human experience.

And since that is so, why not choose the open, accepting attitude?

Tags/keywords for this blog entry include: bare bodies, naked human body, no clothes on, nakedness, topfree, naked human body, no clothes on, topless men, questions that make you think, Denmark, alienation, toxic shame, shame, self loathing, pain, discomfort, acceptance, love, joy, pleasure, acceptance, feelings, thoughts, beliefs, soul, looks, age, race, gender, genitals, motivational phrases, breasts, tits, inspirational thoughts, penis, topless, topfree, inspirational quotations, inspirational sayings, and the Personal Development Guy.

 



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