Privacy, nudity, practicality

March 4, 2007

My world conspires in coincidence to give me two apparently disconnected web pages that actually, at the core, have a lot to do with each other.

I discovered yesterday while reading a website on nudism, much to my surprise, that I am a nudist. When at home I feel no particular need to wear clothing either inside or in the garden. The walls are 6 ft so I am in no way likely to offend someone with differing sensibilities, which is my only concern,  unless they are 7ft tall. I do not always go nude but sometimes on a warm day it just feels completely comfortable.

I am no narcissist, I would need to be in far better shape to go that route, I simply like the feeling of sun and air on my skin. I apparently fall short of being a naturalist since I don’t take it public and go to nudist camps or anything. It is particularly satisfying, but the way, swimming naked.

Then i read that in the USA Phoenix airport has started using backscatter x-ray machines which look through your clothing making you essentially naked to the person watching through a television screen (ref#1). This has caused much furore and the A.C.L.U. has been fighting it tooth and nail.

It doesn’t surprise me. We are almost all brought up with a seriously self-conscious approach to our naked bodies. I was too and cannot give you a satisfactory explanation as to exactly where I lost it. It is possibly down the back of the sofa cushions where I found my mp3 player, remote control and a small tribe of pygmies in recent weeks. I must remember to check thoroughly.

But this is something that makes you saferand isn’t silly like refusing to let you take a cigarette lighter or bottled water on to a plane which is idiotic since all explosive chemicals are beyond pungent and easily identifiable as anything but dear old H2O. As long as the feed isn’t being recorded who really cares if some fat, sweaty neandrethal gets their rocks off looking at it. It’s hardly our problem.

This goes straight to our deepest, most idiotic insecurities. The ones craving acceptance. The ones we are born with through instinct and evolution and which are then exacerbated by societal norms and preyed upon that old chestnut: advertising.

Personally, I am all for a world where nudity is not generally frowned upon but also not foisted on people who do frown upon it. I do not always assume one group is correct- even if it has the same opinion as me. But this is not public nudity being foisted on anyone and as long as it doesn’t offend the person who has the job of looking at it I really do not see the problem.

Privacy, I have always believed, is an issue of the mind and of your life being probed into, not your naked body. Nudity is just something to get used to, as hollywood actors prove, but having the rest of your life probed (which is already done behind the scenes in most countries) is something they never get used to.

I imagine some sort of confidentiality contract would be needed to stop having celebrities having yet another area of their lives invaded but with that in place I see little to worry about.

But that’s just me.

ref#1: http://www.slate.com/id/2160977

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