Nudity Today

 

 

Perfection.

The single word that seems to plague Western societies as images of ‘perfection’ are continually force fed to us on a daily basis. How this affects our perception of nudity is profound. It is becoming increasingly difficult to be content with our bodies and feel safe in our skin when ideas of beauty and perfection are shown as one-dimensional concepts.

They are both fallacies. It is entirely subjective as to whether someone is considered beautiful – there is no one prescribed way to be. And yet, our attitude to nudity is becoming increasingly closed off as body confidence plummets due to the objectification of the naked body. In 2012 studies found that 80.7% of men and 75% of women talk in a manner that demonstrates an acute awareness of supposed flaws and inadequacies (Guardian: Denis Campbell). Another study conducted by the ‘Girlguiding Girls’ Attitudes Survey’ reported that 40% of the 1500 young girls surveyed feel that they are not pretty enough.  25% also felt the need to be ‘perfect’ (Guardian: Laura Bates).

Body image needs to be redefined as an inclusive concept, one that represents the kaleidoscope of body shapes we see everyday. It is ridiculous to expect our bodies to reflect manipulated images of male and female models- part of being human is imperfection. No shame should be attached to any body type and nudity shouldn’t be used as a method of exhibitionism but as a point of celebration that stimulates body confidence. Once we move away from the idea of ‘one body one beauty’ we can begin to break down the need for conformity which will inevitably result in a more accepting society.

When I asked people how they felt about nudity, they described it in such a way that showed how body confidence and nudity are interconnected. There was a very clear awareness that most of their supposed ‘flaws’ were perceived in terms of weight, skin condition and physicality. An enlightening comment said by a close friend, however, truly sums up the message of this article: ‘I used to hate my body but I’ve started to adopt an attitude that it doesn’t matter what I look like. I’ve trained myself not to care. I still compare myself to others but I think that’s a universal experience’. Certainly, comparing ourselves to others is unavoidable, but developing a healthy mind-set to counteract this is not.

We need to build an awareness of the issues surrounding nudity and celebrate body confidence in order to break down the walls of ‘perfection’. Be bold because you are enough.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.