In What Does Being Naked Mean to Me? on Nude, Renewed, Mark gives his answer to the questions “What does being naked mean to you? What does it feel like emotionally for you to be naked?”
His answer echoes many of my own ideas on what it means and how it feels to be nude. I’m sure many other nudists and naturists feel the same.
When I’m nude, I feel a sense of liberation from arbitrary and arcane notions of modesty and morality, cultural rules for which no one really knows the purpose, and from pressure by society and the popular media to conform to some unobtainable ideals of perfection. I find being nude to be comfortable and relaxing; it feels natural and it feels right. I am never completely comfortable or relaxed while wearing clothes.
I’m the same person whether I’m nude or clothed. Living in a textile world, I do have to wear certain clothing in certain situations. At work, I need to present a “professional” image. My clothes have nothing to do with how well I do my job but I live in a world where my colleagues, my customers and others around me have certain expectations based upon both my competency and on my appearance. I’m fully aware of this and I play along because I have to earn a living. Is it a compromise? Yes, it most certainly is.
Am I hiding anything? I don’t believe I am. I am who I am no matter how what I’m wearing. Covered by clothing, people don’t see my love handles, my man-boobs, my scars or hairy (or hairless) areas but I’m not hiding anything. Many people do wear clothing as a disguise. For me, clothing is much more utilitarian. I don’t care one iota about fashion. I wear what’s comfortable and when possible it’s nothing at all. To wear or not wear clothes is a conscious choice; nudity is my preference so clothing is nearly always a compromise. Clothing does have it uses such as providing warmth and protection and, in the textile world, clothes are sometimes worn simply for the comfort of others.