Public Nudity – Why Girls Like Taking Their Clothes Off
Public nudity comes naturally to girls. It’s only chilly days and public pressure that stops us taking our clothes off. As for Peeping Toms, we welcome their wolfish leers and hidden longings.
If a couple are strolling on the beach, she will walk in the sea holding her sandals, while he, in socks and shoes, sticks to the hard sand. She is in touch with her primeval genes, a flimsy dress and four square inches of cotton panties away from public nudity, while he wants to make sure he doesn’t get sand between his toes.
Women are connected to the earth’s pulse, the stars above our heads. When the sun reappears after its long winter in mourning, we want to feel the heat like a new lover kissing our bare skin. It is men who turn naked women into porn. Men don’t see public nudity as natural, a pleasure women enjoy in other women without it being sexual.
When Lady Godiva in the 11th century rode naked through the Coventry in protest over increased taxes on the tenants of her own husband, the townspeople agreed not to look. Only a full-bodied young lad named Tom peeped through his fingers, breaking the pact and society’s brainwashing.
Lady Godiva knew exactly what she was doing, her rebellion an extravagant display of public nudity revealing her slender young body while raised on a white horse – and all in a good cause. It’s enough to make any girl jealous.
Public Nudity & the Selfie
Nude-selfies have made public nudity more widespread and acceptable. Girls know when they send nude-selfies to their boyfriends they are going to share them. That’s what boys do. And that’s what girls want them to do.
Just as caterpillars become butterflies, girls go through a miraculous transformation that holds us spellbound before the looking glass. Exposed, we see more than our naked self in the process of change, we catch a glimpse of our very soul, our body an emerging work of art some instinct urges us to display. Represented continuously through the millennia in art, the nude is what we strive for, the artist’s aspiration to create a surface perfection the visual expression of our own desire to reach inner perfection.
Artists through history have been obsessed with the nude, drawing on classical and biblical imagery, as if gilded youth and physical ease with public nudity belonged always to the far away past, not the real and censorious present.
Victorian artists veiled their work in references from mythology and literature, selecting subjects conveying moral or religious undertones: Lady Godiva, of course; the fauns and fairies frolicking in the woods from Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream; or Diana, the Virgin Goddess of the Hunt, identified with the Virgin in Christian iconography.
A major boost to nude freedom came by Royal Appointment: Queen Victoria and Prince Albert not only admired the form, but the Queen made a point of giving her Consort a print of a nude for his birthday each year as a symbol of her love. British artists placed the nude out in the open, implying the benefits of fresh air, sun-bathing and exercise.
The development of photography created a new demand for the nude, easily made prints blurring the boundaries between the real and imagined body and offering a new immediacy not possible in painting. Where the nude had historically formed only one part of the artist’s composition, in photography, the representation of the model became an end in itself.
The debate over public nudity raged across the divide throughout the 20th century, and continues even in our more dress down times. At the 2004 Super Bowl finals, the ‘wardrobe malfunction’ that exposed Janet Jackson’s right breast inspired 200,000 complaints. That, of course, took no note of the 10 million viewers who may have approved of public nudity.
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