On Nudism

 Posted by on 21 June 2009 at 11:01 pm  Culture
Jun 212009

Katie Granju on the fundamental problem with nudism:

I used to know a man who did restaurant health inspections for the state, and one of the food service establishments on his regular route happened to be the cafeteria at some “naturalist” colony in Middle [Tennessee]. I’ll never forget his story about how odd and vulnerable and unattractive all the nudists seemed when he would encounter them pressed up against the protective glass on the salad bar line, or queued up for a second helping of banana pudding. Really, nobody, and I mean nobody can pull off looking good au naturel when illuminated by flourescent bulbs and clutching a plastic cafeteria tray topped with a sloppy joe.


I’m not stuffy about my own nudity, in the sense that I don’t much care if other people see me naked. However, I presume that other people don’t wish to see me naked, hopefully just as much as I really don’t want to see them naked. Even if a person is not repulsive, I’m just not interested in observing them in all their glory. Rolls of fat, saggy breasts, and/or a shriveled frank and beans don’t augment a person’s appeal to the eye. So outside a sexual context, I’d much, much rather admire even the most attractive person in flattering clothing than naked. They’ll surely look better. Conversely, if someone other than Paul did want to see me naked, that would be creepy. It would indicate a most unwelcome kind of interest in me.

In any case, the point about all that is to say that (1) I’m not prudish about nudity but (2) nudism completely baffles me. Why do some people — mostly men, it seems — feel a need to put their usually less-than-attractive bodies on display? I just don’t get it.

(Just to be clear, I have no objections whatsoever to women breastfeeding in public. The objections to that practice strike me as prudish, precisely because the practice of breastfeeding is good and proper.)

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