I always say: To be well dressed you must be well naked. —Oscar de la Renta
For most of us, we get up in the morning, get dressed, perhaps dress children, down some coffee, maybe some food, and try to make it to work on time. After work, there’s some combination of dinner, child care, social events and obligations, and by the time it is all over we’re more likely to pass out fully clothed on the couch than spending any time in our bare form. Casually naked? Sorry, I just don’t have the time.
I would like to suggest, though, that the best friends, not just intimate relationships but the kind of always-reliable friends who would either bail you out or be in the jail cell with you, are those around whom one can be casually naked. Granted, those friendships are rare, especially if one is male. For some, male nudity is seen as being inherently aggressive, so finding someone with whom one can just “hang out,” so-to-speak, can be challenging. When those relationships happen they are priceless.
To the degree we’ve created a society where we fear being naked around each other, we’ve done both ourselves and our friends a disservice because we’re afraid to let our friends see us as we truly are. Yet, that is exactly what we’ve done. Being honest, letting our real selves show, is considered bad form, even taboo.
My wife was afraid of the dark… then she saw me naked and now she’s afraid of the light.
We worry so much about what other people think of our bodies that we tend to want to hide them rather than enjoying the natural state into which we were born. Fashion and popular culture doesn’t help, either. There’s a double standard between men and women that perpetuates old habits and stereotypes. Designer Christian Louboutin has said:
A naked woman in heels is a beautiful thing. A naked man in shoes looks like a fool.
What amazes me is that some people find being casually naked threatening, as though it might bring about the end of civilization as we know it. One of the most laughable objections I’ve heard is that to allow casual nudity in public would be to encourage an increase in crime. Think about that. You’re naked. Dude, you have no pockets and you’re barefoot. The only thing close to a crime one might commit while naked would be a random walk-by mooning.
Being casually naked is elusive, especially this morning. I hear children rustling around in their room. That means it’s time to put on pants. Perhaps we’ll find time to be naked later.