Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Is Nudism the New Feminism?

During a performance piece called "Trilogy" at the Edinburgh Fringe, dozens of women have volunteered to dance naked every night on stage, an event described as a "venture into modern feminism."

Two of the volunteers Rachel Amey and Becki Gerrard said they were "invigorated" and "energised" by taking part and encouraged other women to give a it try.

Rachel, 39, who lives in Edinburgh, said: "I came along for a chat and a cup of tea, then I really liked the women who were organising it.

"That was just a week ago and I've just been on stage dancing naked. It was brilliant."

Becki, 24, from Glasgow, said she had been looking for a women's movement which recreated the thrill of earlier times.

"It feels exciting to have something that is alive in my lifetime." she said.

Women have been bound, girdled, uplifted, and airbrushed by society to the point where no female can ever live up to the unrealistic body image which has been created. What better way to declare an end to the processing and sexualization of the female body than by baring it all and confronting the true reality of the flesh?

Yes, it can be a bit frightening even thinking about being naked in front of many people, but that's only a false fear, one based upon a culture of modesty and shame which is so deeply ingrained within us that even the sight of a taboo body part, such as a female nipple, sends people into a panic.

In order to accept one's own body, one has to offer it up to be accepted by others. In our society, this happens primarily in sexual situations, or in the marketing of controlled images in the media. It is only by being nude in mixed social situations that we can truly see the wonder of the true human form, and feel the freedom of our own body acceptance.

These women on stage in Edinburgh are experiencing true physical liberation. This goes beyond the bra burning of the sixties. This is not stripping, not Playboy magazine, and not exploitation of the female form - it is the freeing of women's bodies from the centuries flesh-forming fashion and false imagery that is not based upon reality, but rather upon some male fantasy ideal.

So maybe you're not going to dance naked on stage, but you can take off your clothes right now and begin feeling comfortable in your own skin. As the women in Edinburg said, being nude is "brilliant", invigorating and energizing. Their courage in shedding the trappings of society should be an inspiration for both men and women everywhere to begin reclaiming their own bodies.

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