While I was reading "Naked Hiking", the chapter written by Howard Anderson, titled Free Range Naturist, made me realize the three reasons why naturism is not embraced and accepted by more people. In this chapter, the author goes into the details of the memes, those cultural elements transmitted from people to people by non-genetic means. This chapter brought back memories of conversations I had with my spouse or friends about naturism. When thinking about them, they revolve around three elements "transmitted" by the family and society against naturism and nudity:
You can't do that . You cannot be naked in public, nudity is private or nudity is for animals. All those sentences are preconceived, without rational objective reasons. This is my parents, my reverend, or my education that taught me that nudity was a private matter. Full stop! What happens if I feel good naked and am confronted with the "You can't do that" that I was taught? Well, you may end up with a shrink to solve your own internal battles or accept this well-being and decide to live the naturist lifestyle, a healthy and positive one. Because in fact, yes, you can do that! There millions of naturists in the whole world. Naturism is legal in a vast majority of countries, including, in some, outside of naturists structures that define naturism boundaries.
I am not beautiful enough . I'm too fat, too thin, have too many scars, etc. Society has applied so much its ideal body distorting mirror that body shame got into our minds slowly. When you go to a nudist beach or a nudist resort, you immediately realize there are very few, if any, perfect bodies. All naturists are men and women who accept their own body as it is. They can practice sports, eat healthy and take care of themselves, but they do not hide their body flaws being a clothing armor. The joy of nudity kills any body shame.
It's not hygienic . It's true that sitting bare bottom on a chair is not hygienic, no need for a deep explanation. It's the reason why every naturist always goes around with her/his towel, so she/he can sit on it. It's certainly the number one rule of any naturist respectful behavior. It's generally one that is on display in places like cafés and restaurants.
Those three reasons are memes, transmitted and replicated par our parents and society. The same goes with associating nudity and sexuality. Every naturist knows that by dissociating nudity and sexuality, le human body can be naked with it being seen as the precondition to a sexual act. Naturists are not having sex all day long. It's not that naturists do not have sex, but this is a private matter like for a vast majority of people, naturists and non-naturists alike.
The challenge with those memes is the stronger they are, the more difficult they are to change or to prevent from replicating, even by using rational reasons. Asking a religious fundamentalist to become naturist is near to impossible since his/her anti-nudity meme is so strong. As such, have more people accepting naturism et being able to be naked in a greater number of places is a never ending battle. However, by realizing the anti-naturist memes revolve around the above three reasons, every naturist can explain rationally and emotionally what naturism brings in joy, simplicity and well-being.
We cannot convert everybody to this wonderful lifestyle, but with patience and by living our naturist life, naked and happy, we contribute to a better world, where nudity will eventually become one of the available clothing options.
Get Naked, Stay Naked, Live Naked and Share the Naked