• 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
• 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?
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
~ 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.
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
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
I guess, in a funny, slightly twisted way,
everything was the just way it was supposed to be.
does not equal sin.
~ Inspirational saying
is a state of fact; lewdity, to coin a phrase, is a state of
~ 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
~ Dick Hein
Seeing Bare Breasts or Not?
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.
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?
we say that to view a woman's breasts will damage children,
when it is so clear what not seeing them is doing"
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.?
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
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
Whether having them is a good idea is quite
Body shame, like prejudice, is not
natural. It is learned from others and benefits no one.
~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
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
It's not what we've got; it's how we
relate to what we've got.
~ Soren Lauritzen
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.
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
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!
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,
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.
Here a few questions that make you think:
- Is an Afro body more or less beautiful than an Asian
- 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
- 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
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.
In 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.
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
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
~ Soren Lauritzen
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?
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