Montaigne – Nudity and Openness

Here is part of the introduction to 'Essays' published by Michel Eyquem, Seigneur de Montaigne in 1580.
"You have here a book of good faith, reader. It tells you at the outset that I have here proposed to myself no other aim but a domestic and private one….
I want to be seen here in my simple, natural and ordinary manner without exertion or artifice: for it is myself I paint. My defects are there to be read to the life, and my natural form, so far as public decency permits me. If I had been placed among those nations which they say still live under the sweet liberty of the laws of nature, I assure you I would most willingly have painted myself entirely and fully naked."
Montaigne is talking about his character rather than his body, but it reminds me that being naked is the most honest state of dress, and I prize honesty very highly.
Are nudists more honest than textiles?

4 thoughts on “Montaigne – Nudity and Openness”

  1. As soon as I started reading I thought, how are we any different, just as you say Richard, we are all, at heart, human beings. Some are good, some are bad, some are honest some are deceitful. However, we all make mistakes whether clothed or nude.

  2. It's very tempting to nod, and to agree that nudists are more honest than textiles. Almost by definition, (and ignoring issues of overlap). However, to be honest :), I don't think it's a reasonable premise per se, because humans are dishonest, and nudists are human, just as textiles are human.

    I think I understand the sentiment, and I would *like* to concur.

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