I am not a total prude, but I’ve always possessed a degree of awkwardness about nudity. I can change into swimmers in a communal changing room, but I’ll do it as fast as I can with my eyes fixed to the floor.
So when I read that naturists have higher self-esteem than those who keep their clothes on, I decided to spend a week in the nude in the privacy of my own home to see what I could learn. I hoped that my naked experiment would make me more comfortable with my body and its imperfections.
I worked, slept, cooked, cleaned, and got on with family life minus my clothes. Although I was a little apprehensive about my nudity project, on the whole I really enjoyed it.
There were low points. On one of Sydney’s excruciatingly hot days, sweat pooled under my unsupported breasts and my thighs stuck to my synthetic office chair. I was extremely uncomfortable and desperate to cover up. On other days, though, my nudity was liberating and fun. There were even a few moments where I felt profoundly present in my body.
Then, one rainy afternoon, I ran into the backyard to rescue some laundry on the washing line. I’d forgotten I was nude, but the feeling of big bulbous raindrops on my skin was heavenly. It was something I hadn’t experienced since childhood, and so joyful that I even sashayed around doing a bit of a dance before dashing back into the house with the laundry basket.
Apart from one accidental FaceTime incident (sorry, Jo!), the only people who saw me naked were my husband, who was amused but had no complaints, and my young daughters, who enjoyed poking my “squishy” tummy. By the end of the week, my nudity seemed to be business as usual.
Did it make me more comfortable with my body? Perhaps.
But what I absolutely gained was a sense of “knowing” about my body, as if I had rekindled a childhood friendship, or come home after a long and arduous journey.
There are legitimate reasons why nudity is good for you. As mentioned, University of London researchers discovered that naturists who took part in an online survey have higher self-esteem than their fully clothed peers. They also had better body image and were happier in general. Although the vast majority of survey participants were men, the positive body image effects extended for women, too.
Source: Sydney Morning Herald
Original publication 30 March, 2021
Posted on NatCorn 2 weeks ago
Reference to an article does not infer endorsement of any views expressed.