I was reading this article about a yoga studio in NYC that offers nude, co-ed classes in an effort to help people overcome body insecurity. Naturally, I’m in total support of this. And then I read the comments. It was like a swift kick in the gut. People were actually using words like “yuck” and “ewww” and “disgusting” to describe their feelings about the class. I am 99% sure my face screwed up something serious while reading these. And so the question became not where is this class and how can I take it, but rather, why is everyone so afraid/nervous/freaked out/grossed out/intimidated by being naked?
I realize that we are so conditioned to believe that nakedness is only appropriate in our homes, specifically our bedrooms, and only with our significant other(s). But why is that? Why is nakedness some sort of “gift” only given to those we hope to receive an orgasm from? Why does nudity almost always equal sex in our society? How many of you primarily get naked when it is time to have sex (or shower)? I’m going to go out on a limb and say that very few people have actually been naked with someone that they were not intimate with.
Now, I know some of you are going to tell me about the pressure from the media to be body-perfect with rock hard abs (which actually freak me out; I’m so cool with a subtle one-pack), have flawless skin, Nicki Minaj type booty (y’all stop getting them injections please, you can die from stuff like that), long hair, and so on and so forth. But the vast majority of folks know the media is playing the hell out of us so why do we care?!
When I was in Barçelona last summer I went to a beach and it was NOTHING for everyone to be topless – from children to grandparents. I mean nobody cared. It was all the Americans who were staring and snickering and judging. Do I think a naked yoga class is the answer to loving our bodies again? Not exclusively. Do I think we need to take a critical look at how we view nakedness? Absolutely. Do I think that nakedness is going to be the most liberating experience for every person on earth? No. But I do think it’s pretty toxic to use words like “yuck” and “ewww” to describe the bodies we live in, and then expect those same naked bodies to give us unspeakable pleasure.
You + nakedness = _____. Court is now in session.