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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

    A nudist manifesto

    There is nothing remotely indecent about the human body. Our bodies are not merely “decent,” but magnificent, beautifully-designed images that ought to be normally displayed in public places. Our legs have the ability to travel vast distances and scale mountains. Our arms have the ability to embrace and show love and our chests return warmth to those who embrace us. Our hands have the ability to create art and technology, our “privates” the ability to create life. And yet, despite the fact that every essence of our body is remarkable, our society censures its image. We shouldn’t repress ourselves. 

    It seems ironic that society can simultaneously condemn and fetishize the human body, but this should be expected to an extent. The body is a remarkable design, and remarkable designs often receive simultaneous positive and negative attention. The internet, cars and television are all praised and criticized. But, as remarkable as human bodies are, we all have one. Our bodies accompany us for our entire lives, literally 24/7, and we should be able to feel comfortable enough with them to expose them to the public.

      Take a moment to imagine someone boarding a plane for the first time. There may be mixed emotions involved, as flight is both fascinating and terrifying, both liberatory and confining. Over time, however, we grow accustomed to flight. We acknowledge its magnificence, but we aren’t as affected by the intense emotions that we experienced during our first travels. So, why is it that we never grow accustomed to the bodies that we perpetually live with? Why is it that our fascination never dies down? Why is it that our insecurities are never assuaged? The answer is simple — clothing.

     Let’s consider the plane analogy with a slight adjustment. Picture a scenario in which, overcome by fear and excitement, a new flier chooses to blindfold themself and wear headphones throughout the entirety of their flight. They shut out any intensity from the trip — the spectacular views and the blaring sound of the engine — deciding instead to neglect their emotions. This may be effective for their first flight, but it prevents them from maturing. Their routine will continue to bother them and their anxieties will never truly disappear. Had they faced their fears, flying would have grown less burdensome with time.

    Returning to reality, we must recognize that the clothing we wear acts as our limiting blindfold. Overwhelmed by the image of an “ideal” physique, by the fear of ugliness and by the desire to express artificially created personalities, we cover our bodies. If we cover our bodies forever, as the insecure flier covers their eyes and ears, then we will never truly live to grow comfortable with ourselves. We will never learn what it means to be whole and free.

    A friend of mine recently told me that my clothing is boring. They noted that I wear the same bland outfit everyday and that my choices leave little opportunity to express my personality. This notion is absurd, elementary, inconsiderate and generated by a commodified sense of identity that was sold to us by commercial industries. Our personalities are not defined by the clothing we’re sold but by the thoughts we have. Silk, cloth and polyester can’t compare in beauty to the bodies they conceal. No elaborate design can compare in beauty to the thoughts that create them. Beauty is inherent in our existence — it’s not an object we achieve by conforming to institutionalized standards of normality. We can minimize the complexity or amount of what we wear by wearing bland or revealing clothing, respectively. But if we can reduce what we wear, why not remove it entirely? Why constrain ourselves to a lesser degree when you could free ourselves completely? Our path toward free thought, self love and a secure, peaceful mindset begins with the ability to express ourselves in our truest form — the nude. 

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