Debunking all the myths and perceptions surrounding nudity can take an age and can create many an argument about what its called and how it should be practiced. After watching David Attenborough’s “Trials of Life” last Saturday morning, it occurred to me, that how we see ourselves is fundamentally different to how we see other mammals, birds and all other animals. In the final episode of the series Attenborough explained (and we were shown) the mating rituals of various species. It then occurred to me how upside down our human world really is. Society condemns nudity as being disgusting and the human act of making love as virtually pornography, but on these type of programmes we see animals love making as being educational.
So where do we or where should we draw the line ? For me I’d draw a line where it becomes less educational and moves closer to being more titillation. So why is it people are obsessed with sex ? That’s either looking at it or in stopping people looking at it, isn’t the act itself just as natural too ? I’m not that interested in watching any of it, but I’m sure people don’t rush home from work to see a tortoise or an elephant making love on a natural history programme, however they probably would or do press the record button to watch us humans doing it.
Once we were all happy to walk around naked, now we’re not. Why are we so ashamed of being seen naked ? Is there something deep in human nature that finds naked skin abhorrent ? Some prudishness inherited from our Victorian ancestors? I’ve started to think the media obsession with sex has started to pervert nearly every aspect of human nudity. Breastfeeding photos get banned or pixelated on social media and purposely placed plants get strategically placed to cover up people’s modesty on TV shows where nudity is shown.
This leads me on to the greatest occasion is anyone’s life….your birth !
Its seems a lot of the problems with people’s perception of nakedness comes from seeing the wonder of birth and the subsequent covering up of mother and baby.Other’s see the marvel of childbirth as squeamish and a horrible thing to see, when really its nothing more than natural. Once it’s over everyone’s happy, is covered up and the happy friends and grandparents head of to the shops to buy something in blue or something in pink.At the end the human form or the covering up of it, it seems, is just another part of the commercialisation of the people, a tool to make money. Take away clothing (apart from when it’s cold) and you remove the need for washing machines, washing powder and all that goes with it, this seems to me to lead back to man’s greatest evil…the love of money.
The naked human body evokes powerful and often contradictory feelings and ideas: it can thrill or revolt us; it can signal innocence or sexual availability, honesty or madness, oneness with nature or separation from society. The human body in all these ways should be marvelled at and it should be seen, but until the problems (like I’ve mentioned here) are addressed in peoples thoughts and perceptions, I very much doubt that it will.