Behind Closed Doors: Being naked and feeling free

4
2049

Being naked is great. I love taking naps naked. I love brushing my teeth naked. I love cuddling naked. In fact, there is not a lot I wouldn’t love to do naked. 10/10 would recommend being naked at all times.
I love being naked so much that I have always been intrigued by the idea of nudist colonies. A place where people can just be naked always? Sign me right up. I always give some pause, however, because I don’t want to live in isolation.
Why can’t we have a nudist colony that exists everywhere at all times? In other words, why can’t we just feel free to be naked all the time?
Okay, before we move on, I realize that my concept of a “nudist society” is all kinds of problematic. I am not actually advocating for everyone to be naked anywhere they want at any time. Nevertheless, I think my question raises a valid issue: Most people do not feel the freedom to be naked.
I have never felt any shame in baring my naked body in front of others. I tend to attribute this to my background in musical theatre and dance. When you’re in a show, and you have to make a costume change in under a minute, you generally do not hesitate to strip the second you get off stage, regardless of who is around you. Specifically, at my high school, there were essentially no boundaries, even when your costume change did not have to occur at an absurdly fast speed. Dressing room doors were generally left open, and guys would stroll into the girls dressing room whenever the spirit moved them (or when they needed help putting on make up), and vice versa.
In that environment, you get pretty used to people of all genders seeing your naked body, and, let me tell you, it is pretty remarkable how freeing that is.
My comfort around being openly naked may have originated with my theatre experience, but my lack of understanding about feeling ashamed about nakedness existed well before that. I remember being in middle school, and all of the other people in the girls’ locker room would change their bras by pulling their sports bra over their underwire bra and then pulling the underwire bra out from underneath the sports bra because they so feared their breasts being exposed. I did it too—but only because I watched everyone else do it. If I had been left to my own devices, I would have just taken off one bra and put on the other, and I probably would have been on time to gym class more often.
Even now, in college, people may not go to such elaborate measures as the bra layering technique, but people definitely are self-conscious about revealing their naked bodies, even in their own living environments. Please do not misunderstand; I am not demanding that people be less self-conscious. I simply detest that some things make people feel ashamed about being naked.
That is what stops people from feeling comfortable in their nakedness: shame. There is nothing inherently bad about nakedness. After all, we were all born naked. Yet, our conversations, our media and our culture in general perpetuate this widespread belief that our naked body is something to be ashamed of.
I have found a lot of freedom in resisting this shame, and I would love to see more people embrace their naked bodies.
There is an undeniable culture of shame around nakedness, and, frankly, I think its stupid. Bodies are awesome. Naked bodies are awesome. Every body is beautiful, and there should be no reason to feel ashamed about being comfortable in your own nakedness.
Katelyn Reimer is a Behind Closed Doors columnist who is saving up for that post-grad vacation to a nude beach.