Friday, February 26, 2010

Psychology and the Shock of Nudity

“The first step to effectively educating textiles about naturism is to understand how they think about it. . . This is how I believe the chain goes, when a textile (Alice) catches another textile (Bob) in the nude: (1) Alice sees a naked body, and is a bit surprised but realizes that naked bodies do exist and are generally harmless. (2) Bob is completely embarrassed: Body shame, bad luck of being naked at that moment, feeling vulnerable, whatever. Bob's life is changed forever, or so it seems. (3) Alice feels guilty for embarrassing Bob, conveys that she's very sorry. Both pretend that it never happened, and both feel bad about it in separate ways.

Naturists have a different attitude in the second step: You've seen me naked? Good! That means I don't have to get dressed next time you come over...if that's OK? Since the middle step is different, the final step should never happen. Why should Alice feel bad about seeing Bob naked, if Bob didn't care at all about it? Alice is not guilty of embarrassing Bob. . . A similar thing can be said about meeting a hunter while freehiking . . . Getting textiles to not feel guilty about seeing nudity would be a good step for general acceptance. . . Maybe we're wrong about how we notify others? The signs at Haulover warn "ATTENTION - BEYOND THIS POINT YOU MAY ENCOUNTER NUDE BATHERS" Perhaps the right approach is something like "There's friendly naked people beyond this sign, and we won't mind if you stop over and chat with us!” – The Academic Naturist

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