Some people say that nudism has no positive impact. They assume that nudism is about a bunch of people getting naked and freaky (it's not). Below I present various realms of society where nudism (social nudity) is capable of having a positive impact, and where lack of social nudity has created harm.
Babies. Innocence. Nowhere should there be expected more awwws and ooos than with events surrounding babies. Yet when it comes to feeding time, out come the evil glares, the "nice tits" stares, and a bunch of uncomfortable people shifting around. Many times new mothers feel so uncomfortable feeding their infants in public that they end up covering the child with a hot, smothering blanket, end up going into a public restroom, or choose to use a bottle instead of feeding their child the natural way. Some mothers may even wait to feed their children until they get home, or may choose to never breastfeed in the first place. None of these things should have to happen. Yet why do they? They happen because people aren't used to being around breasts, and because we have allowed breasts to become sex objects.
How does nudism help this? Nudism helps this by making the sight of breasts no big deal again. If everyone is used to seeing breasts around (pornography is not the same thing), they won't think twice if a baby happens to get hooked up to one.
While breastfeeding is technically protected in 49 out of the 50 U.S. states (Idaho absent), breastfeeding certainly isn't embraced in all 50 states. All it takes is a mother whipping out her breast in public to pick up on how people actually feel about the practice. There is still a lot of work to do.
How can people help? People can:
- Be welcoming and supporting of breastfeeding mothers.
- Contact breastfeeding-related organizations (like Breastfeeding USA) and ask what the organization's specific needs are.
- Women can go topless in the home more so children learn that breasts are no big deal.
- Women can choose to not cover up when breastfeeding in public (check to see what your state law on this is).
- People can participate in the GoTopless movement (gotopless.org), which supports equal rights for women to be able to go topless anywhere a man can (note: I don't support GoTopless' leader's spiritual/religious views).
Articles that might be worth a read:
A nip here, a tuck there, a little more digital scalpel and yet another photo has been cheaply made into every man or woman's dream. We see these fake images everywhere we go- on billboards, in our magazines, on our smartphones while surfing the web. Many people assume that toned, flawless bodies are the obtainable standard of beauty for all mankind (well, for most of first world mankind). People regularly get their teeth bleached, pay for skin damage (tanning), try fad diets, and buy pounds of powdered protein in hopes of becoming of one of those studs or babes on the screens they see. Yet even after all this work, many people still don't match up to the models they've been comparing themselves to.
Not matching up, and especially not even coming close, can cause severe pain for some people. Eating disorders, depression, and suicide can result from someone feeling hopelessly unacceptable to those around them (Dove, Rader, NCBI). By allowing our media and culture to push young people to fit into thinner and unhealthier definitions of "beautiful," we actually push young people's potential romantic partners into expecting that very definition of beauty in their mates. This makes it harder for young people to obtain mates, increasing their risk of depression, and makes young people more dissatisfied with their current or potential mate's physical appearance.
How can social nudity help with this? Social nudity helps to restore healthy perspectives on body image by showing people the wide range of bodies that actually constitute normal and healthy. Clothes can hide bellies, breasts that aren't evenly shaped or sized, genital shape and size, wrinkles, and scars. By seeing what is normal, people can stop comparing themselves to photographs as much. Social nudity isn't the only key to restoring healthy body image in society, but it helps.
If you would like to help restore healthy body images in society, you can:
- Not buy products that use ads that shame people into thinking they are ugly (even buying one less product helps).
- Don't watch tv shows that are geared toward being superficial, where the characters/people think that being beautiful is super important.
- If you are an artist, consider making artwork with people who don't fit the stereotypical model mold.
- Consider starting an after-school program, Sunday school program, or community discussion group geared toward getting information to pre-teens about how the media is trying to influence them, and what they might be able to do about it.
- Consider supporting Project Girl, an arts-based media literacy program that helps girls realize how the media is impacting them.
Videos that might be worth watching: