Naked and Unashamed:
Investigations and Applications of the Effects of Naturist Activities on Body Image, Self-Esteem, and Life Satisfaction
Body image dissatisfaction is a serious, global problem that negatively affects life satisfaction. Several claims have been made about the possible psychological benefits of naturist activities, but very little empirical research has investigated these benefits or any plausible explanations for them. In three studies—one large-scale, cross-sectional study (n = 849), and 2 prospective studies (n = 24, n = 100) this research developed and applied knowledge about the possible benefits of naturist activities. It was found that more participation in naturist activities predicted greater life satisfaction—a relationship that was mediated by more positive body image, and higher self-esteem (Study 1). Applying these findings, it was found that participation in actual naturist activities led to an increase in life satisfaction, an effect that was also mediated by improvements in body image and self-esteem (Studies 2 and 3). The potential benefits of naturism are discussed, as well as possible future research, and implications for the use of naturist activities.
Dissatisfaction with one’s body is a serious, international problem (Al Sabbah et al. 2009). Large-scale surveys in countries as diverse the United States (Liechty 2010), Brazil (Pelegrini and Petroski 2010) and Finland (Ålgars et al. 2011) find high rates of unhappiness with one’s body, weight control behaviours, and symptoms of body image distortion, even among non-overweight participants. In naturist activities, one is communally naked in the company of non-intimate others who typically have non-idealised bodies (Green 2001). These activities may reduce dissatisfaction with one’s body through exposure to non-idealised bodies (Re et al. 2011), or positive (or even neutral) feedback about one’s own body …Read full original article…
20 August, 2017, 5:20 pm