Let’s Do Away With These 5 Body Shaming Comments
(This body shaming blog was updated on 5/13/2016)
Inspired by body positive activist Virgie Tovar and this recent article on Mic, “5 Body Shaming Comments That Everyone Should Quit Saying This Summer” I decided to write my own list of body shaming comments that naturists are tired of hearing. This list is all about how people shame the naked body, especially the female body. It’s also about how naturists are shamed for daring to be naked and accept themselves as they are.
1. “Why are people at the nude beach never the people you want to see naked?”
I brought up this comment in our 10 common myths about naturism, but here it is again, as it has everything to do with body shaming.
Naturism is not about looking “pretty” for anyone. Nobody (unless they are exhibitionists) goes to the nude beach to be your eye candy. If you go to a nude beach or nudist resort just to look at bodies you find attractive, then your creepy behavior is called voyeurism.
For a long time, marketers have been using the idea of the “beach body” or “bikini body” to promote certain beauty standards and sell products. Those products are somehow supposed to make that specific body type seem attainable to consumers.
The female “beach body” is slim, toned and tanned with perky breasts and a curvy, firm butt. The male beach body equivalent is slim, tan and muscular.
The notion that people have to pursue and attain a certain body to visit and enjoy the beach is total bullshit.
While the “beach body” is all about looking attractive in a swimsuit, the media and advertising are just as effective at telling people what they need to look like to be naked in public. Whether it’s implied nudity or full-frontal, it’s usually a female model with the “perfect body” and flawless skin trying to sell us something or capture the male gaze.
Sexualized nudity is used to sell. But in advertising there’s only one version of “sexy” and once again, it’s nobody’s job or responsibility to fit someone else’s or society’s idea of sexy!
We all just want to enjoy the fucking beach.
2. “Nudists are overweight and thus promoting an unhealthy lifestyle.”
In a recent blog post, I explained how health concerns about strangers are really just another form of fat-shaming.
A person’s weight does not define health. Being fat does not suddenly require someone to disclose their health issues to anyone. Most naturists recognize and respect others’ right to privacy in regards to health as well as the right to do what you want with your own body.
Being fat or unhealthy is not a failure. Weight or size does not determine a person’s worth or whether they deserve to be accepted or loved as a human being.
3. “Pubic hair / armpit hair / body hair is gross or dirty” or any form of telling someone else what to do with body hair.
At some point, female beauty standards started dictating that women must be hairless. While men’s hair can be a sign of manliness or masculinity, female body hair is considered gross, dirty and unfeminine.
In the last few years there’s definitely been an increase in body-positive / feminist activism encouraging women to grow their hair out (IF they want to) and to not feel ashamed about it.
Still, some people feel the need to impose their own preferences or shame others for having hair.
This is the YNA naturist philosophy on body hair: Everyone has the right to do whatever the fuck they want with their body hair, whether it’s on their armpits, genitals, legs, arms, whatever.
Got a personal opinion on body hair? Great, keep it yourself and do what you want with your own body hair.
4. “Naked people? Genitals? Ew, I don’t want to see that.”
Body shame is still a big issue when it comes to certain body parts and their natural functions. We still have those old puritan religious values that declared the human body to be obscene.
This issue is also tied up with sexual shame. People are taught to hide their sex organs. In schools, most are still taught to ignore their sexual urges with abstinence-only sex education. Students learn about their sexual parts in school via anatomical drawings. They are left to guess what real naked bodies look like. Or they get a completely unrealistic idea from Internet porn.
And so, the disgust. The disgust people feel about their own bodies is projected onto others.
The “Ew, I don’t want to see that” comments often come up around public events like the World Naked Bike Ride when hundreds of cyclists flood the streets to protest against oil dependency.
There’s a simple solution for those who don’t want to see: Just. Don’t. Look.
5. “Women’s breasts are sexual, so women shouldn’t be walking around topless.”
Women’s breasts are not sex organs. Their primary function is to feed babies.
Do some people derive sexual pleasure from their breasts? Totally. A lot of people also derive sexual pleasure from their feet. And yet we have not banned feet from being seen in public.
Women’s breasts are continually sexualized and objectified for profit. Yet society shames the woman who dares to breastfeed her child in a public place. Cops arrest and shame women for trying to enjoy a park while topfree the same way men do. People sexualize and shame the bodies of little girls by making them cover up from a young age.
The real reason women can’t walk around topfree like men, in most places, is pure sexism.
The Free the Nipple movement has drawn a massive amount of attention to this equality issue. However the law still lags behind, and attitudes still need to shift.
Here’s an insightful quote from Laura Dodsworth, author of Bare Reality, about the female body getting censored and shamed: “It’s not what we want to reveal of our bodies, but who gets to decide what may be revealed, in what way and where, that is ultimately revealing of women’s place in the world.”
So that’s my short list! Naturist or not, what body-shaming comment(s) are you tired of hearing? Please share in the comments.
this blog post titled: “5 Body Shaming Comments Naturists Are Tired Of Hearing” was published by – Young Naturists & Nudists America