Sunday, March 29, 2009

Perpetuating Myths

It's frustrating to nudists and naturists when society perpetuates myths about the lifestyle.

Columnist Barry Lewis manages to invoke just about all of them.
International Nudist, a Web site "dedicated to nudists and naturists," says you haven't lived until you've hiked naked.

Looking down at my thumb and considering the possible hatchet job I could accidentally perform on other body parts, I'm not sure I'd still be alive if I hiked in the nude. At the very least, I'm sure I would be scarred for life, as would any of the hikers I'd pass on my journey.
The implication is that freehikers are stupid because they hike nude through thick brush and uncleared trails, and that the sight of a nude human body is a ghastly experience.

My wife and I freehiked the beautiful 5 miles of trails through the woods and fields of beautiful Cedar Trails in southern Ohio. No scratches, no discomfort, no sweaty clothes clinging to the skin, no bug bites, and not a care in the world.

Personal aside to Barry: Psst! Nobody gives a damn about your own body phobias. You might not like your belly, your legs, your chest, whatever, but the whole point of being nude is coming to terms with your own body. People are way too obsessed with their own body image, this is why teens are bulimic, plastic surgery is a booming business, and people live in abject fear about getting into their swimsuits every year. This is no way to go through life, Barry. Throw off the clothes for a day at a nudist venue and only then will you begin to understand.

Barry then tries to soften his stance by bringing up his own streaking experience 30 year ago.
It was spring. It was a fad. We were young. Stupid. And back then, I ran a lot faster. Especially without clothes.

So I'm not a complete prude.

Just a realistic one.

Nude sun bathing.

Nude swimming.

Nude volleyball — I get it. Although I'd be worried about someone spiking the ball.
Again, perpetuating the myth that nudity is "stupid". Yes, it can be stupid because there are laws against "indecent exposure", laws which are man-made and stem from a Puritanical background. And what exactly is a "realistic prude"? Is that like being "somewhat pregnant"?

And no matter what Barry says, he doesn't really "get it" when it comes to nude recreation. He might accept it, he might tolerate it, but until he takes the plunge himself, he cannot truly understand. Running around nude and drunk on a college campus 30 years ago might be a commendable resume item, but it does not qualify him as a nudist.
Hike nude in the woods, and there's a good chance you'll embarrass someone other than Mother Nature. Like some mother walking with her 6-year-old kid who now has to explain why a funny-looking grizzly bear had on a hat, boots and said, "Hi!" to them.
This is the mother of all myths: how do we explain to the children?

From the 205 Arguments and Observations in Support of Naturism,
15. Children are not born with any shame about nudity. They learn to be ashamed of their own nudity.
Barry needs to read all 205 arguments which show that nudism is a healthy practice for families, fostering better self-image and healthier sexual attitudes. Children are natural nudists, they throw off their clothes with pure abandon, and they could care less about the body phobias developed by adults.

Finally, Barry bares his true feelings.
I think there reaches a time when we have to admit that clothes — any clothes — can make the man a better-looking man. Same for the woman.

For even if you can survive the ticks and the bites and burns, you can't escape reality, age and gravity.
The "realistic" prude proves that he has an aversion to the human body, especially his own, when he professes that "any clothes" are an improvement over one's given skin. Again, read the 205 arguments, which point out very clearly that clothing only serves to accentuate body flaws, especially swimsuits, and that most people actually look better in the nude. Older people often look younger once all their skin is exposed. It really is true.

Ultimately, if what Barry says is true, that "you can't escape reality, age and gravity", then why stop fighting the unwinnable fight? Get naked, Barry, and get in touch with your true self.

Same advice for Kelly Kazek, who opens her column about nakations by stating, "If it weren’t for the extra pound or 30 I’m carrying around, I might just consider taking a nakation this year."

Kelly, nobody cares about your extra 30 pounds! Embrace your body, surround yourself with other nude people who all have normal human bodies just like yours. People are brainwashed with airbrushed images in magazines, and perfectly made-up faces in the movies and on TV, so when normal people look in the mirror, they are seeing something far different that what is portrayed in the media. Hell, even supermodels need makeup and airbrushing! Nobody can compete with that sort of artificial ideal.

Kelly then goes on to make snide comments about various nakation venues, showing her own immaturity.

Nudism is no joke, folks. In fact, it could be a big factor in combating pornography, developing healthier attitudes, building stronger bodies, fighting teen pregnancy (as argued by British Naturism), and generally relieving stress and strain from the pressures of modern society.

Setting aside all the myths, and getting past all the giggles, nudism and naturism are seriously good things for society, and more needs to be done to counterract the immature columnists who don't know Jack.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Like so many in the media Barry and Kelly spout truthiness form opinions based on their ignorance, and perpetuate the myths rather get the facts or experience nudism firsthand.

People just need to visit a nudist venue and give it a try. All they've got to lose is their shame and poor self-image. That's baggage they need to get rid of anyway.