Posts Tagged ‘International Women’s Day’

Natural Nudity on Womens’ Day!

March 9, 2011

"The Three Graces" by Peter Paul Rubens


Celebrate Nudity

Today I write you from a beautiful retreat center on the Northern California coast, a place founded in the 60’s by experimental hippies and psychologists. It’s now one of the most revered centers for the sacred arts and a gorgeous place to be on vacation. One of the main attractions here are the sulfur hot springs, natural hot springs sitting on the edge of a breathtaking view of the pacific ocean. Although many things here have changed since the hippie days, nude bathing and beaches have not. People come here from all over the world to experience this place, many of which have had little exposure to public nudity. Last week, there was a group of CEO’s from a variety of companies, including Trader Joe’s, Starbucks and Google. I watched as many of them, who appeared overly conservative on the outside leave the bathing area with peaceful smiles. I was wondering how their experience with public nudity struck them. I asked a few women (and men too.) They all said that it was weird for a few minutes and then they loved it. They really enjoyed the freedom of not having to cover up who they really are. Beneath the big salaries and suits, they all enjoyed their humanness and didn’t feel objectified exposing their bodies.

On International Womens’ Day

I had a similar experience when I first undressed in public. I was self conscious about my body, but it slipped away within seconds. As a woman, I have an ingrained nervousness about being ‘seen,’ especially without clothes. Although, surprisingly here I don’t feel that way at all. What I find is that while being obviously nude, people are more respectful of each others’ space then while wearing clothes out in the world. Extra attention is paid to not stare and to just be. I recently read some studies about how children exposed to nudity (as confirmed in an earlier post by Dr. Jaelline Jaffe, are actually more comfortable in their bodies and have a healthier body self image than their piers. Nudity in itself is not a big deal. It’s just what we’ve made of it in this country that places so much shame and expectations on ourselves to have a ‘perfect body’ according to the modern media. It seems these expectations are exaggerated for women.

It’s quite comical when you look at it as all bodies really are different. Many years ago, a softer, more voluptuous body was ‘in style.’ Perhaps, we’ll move back to that as time goes on.

So today on International Womens’ Day, consider some things you can do to honor that body you’ve got, however it looks. If being naked for a while inspires how, how about trying it at home? Arrange a naked day for cooking, reading or working at home. Maybe set up a naked photo shoot to highlight and embrace your body. You could even spend some time in front of a mirror seeing yourself, honoring the “imperfections.” If I have learned anything from being here about naked people, it’s that there are a bajillion ways a body can look. And I’ve rarely seen anyone match a magazine or a billboard.

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