Getting Naked From the Heart…Out

| October 4, 2013 | 34 Comments

Are Women Preventing Each Other From Getting Naked and Practicing Self-Love?

Guest Blog by: Patricia Anderson-Peters

Getting Naked and Practicing Self Love:

I’m not a nudist. We’ll start there. Not for lack of desire to be actually, I’d LOVE to be so free and uninhibited, but I’ve not arrived there yet. Sad part is—I’m 45 years old. I’m not young either.

So as a reader you might be wondering why I’m writing an article for the Young Naturists America website. It’s really because of the condition that I am.

An article written by Felicity Jones titled “Why Women Should See Other Women’s Naked Bodies” reminded me of the first time that I got naked around other women.

It was a spiritual initiation weekend in Florida and I had worked myself into a dither for days knowing that I was going to be naked around other people. Every fear I had carried around for over thirty years was taunting me and my two-kid-later, gravity challenged breasts just wanted to forget all about it.

When the time came and the other women stripped out of their clothing, I very slowly joined them. I was so sure that every eye in the place was surveying my my naked body, my stretch marks, my fat rolls and my “not so pink and perkies.”

In the end, I couldn’t have been more wrong. In that circle, we were all the pretty much the same. We were all just a bunch of incredibly spiritual women who had overcome huge challenges to get where we were. We body painted one another with colors and symbols that reflected our journeys.

If anyone was eyeballing my areolas, well…they were so clandestine about it that I just never knew it.

getting naked women body image acceptance young naturists america

Getting Naked From the Heart — Out by Patricia Anderson

Where did this fear of getting naked begin? This body loathing?

It seems to me that it can’t be natural to be fearful of your lovers seeing you naked. A lot of women will say that their body issues stem from the media and from the irrational desires that men have for the perfect female form. But looking back, I don’t think that is an altogether true assessment.

Self-image issues and body hatred didn’t begin with how the men around me saw me—it really began with how the women in my life saw me. It started with the powder room politics of puberty. Girls can be the most catty creatures on the planet in their teen years. We judged one another from the way our hair was combed, to the heels we wore.

We snickered at the size of one another’s breasts and butts, and we whispered behind hands if we couldn’t see the light of day between another girl’s thighs. Let’s be honest, ladies. It wasn’t the guys that did this to us. We did this to each other. We slammed each other. We saved our money and bought Vogue and we starved ourselves to wear a size 1 pair of Guess jeans. Sadder still, we did it all to try to gain the acceptance of one another, not the sexual appreciation of the males around us. Men don’t buy the magazines — they date the women who do.

Perhaps if women saw one another naked more often, this farce that’s been pawned and passed from generation to generation would be put down like the rabid dog that it is. No two breasts are alike even on ONE body, even less so on more than one body!

There are perky breasts, saggy breasts, pink and brown nipples, large and small ones too. There are slim thighs, fat thighs, long and short legs. The anatomical parts and differences list is long and distinguished, but it is still only a list of parts. A woman is more than the sum of her parts. She is heart, she is soul, she is experience, she is fluidity and she is dynamic.

If we could learn to appreciate one another more than judging one another, the power that we have together is enough to break the negativity that has defined us for far too long. We need to return to that Red Tent, body-painting Soul-Woman appreciation of who we are when we stand together, rather than ripping each other apart just because we can.

More importantly, maybe it’s time to take responsibility for the fact that it’s not the men in our world and it’s not the media that is driving this poor appraisal system that has fostered a generation of eating disordered, emotionally violent women. We did this. We did this to our sisters and we did this to ourselves. Maybe we need to get naked ladies… from the hearts—out.

Getting Naked From the Heart was published by – Young Naturists and Nudists America

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Category: Feminism and Women's Issues, Body Image Blogs, Nudist Blogs

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Guest blogs written exclusively for Young Naturists America.
  • sherlywinters

    Hi, I am a nudist, and I’m here to find nudist friends. join us now. Get naked, get enjoyment. www. Nudistfriend. org enjoying being a nudist,go hiking, and go to beach to surfing, swimming, to enjoy the sunshine with nudist friends, go camping with nudist lover, barbecue in the yard of your nudist friend. Nudistfriend. org is more than just dating, it’s a place for friends who chat and do outdoor activities together. A place where you can feel at home. A place for dating where things are simple. Meet new friends and nudist singles for dating and friendship. JOIN US!!

  • ibc72113

    Women prevent Women from achieving any kind of real freedom of the senses. There seems to be some kind of personal competition and plain jealousy among them. If it was up to Men, all the Women of the world would be running around naked and giggling by now!

  • jochanaan

    PatriciaAndersonPeters I do these things already–even, up to a point, the asking.  I’ll even give up a bus seat to a woman, especially an older one.  It always surprises and pleases them. :) And I understand the power of a non-erotic, affirming touch, eye contact, and a gentle voice.  (I’m a musician who sings, so I get the power of the human voice both to harm and heal.)

  • PatriciaAndersonPeters

    jochanaan What a lovely, lovely way to show care and love for us! This is just beautiful!
    In my experience, a man can best help the women in their lives and around them in the world, by allowing every woman to feel beautiful just as you find her. Smile at her, and engage her eyes with your own, validating her as a person. Don’t be afraid to do things like hold the door for her and let her pass through it first. I have always found, the most tender gestures like a kiss placed on the wrist to be incredibly validating. Listen to the words she says and hold eye contact with her during a conversation. 
    But by far and away–if it is a woman in your life the best way to know is to ASK HER what makes her feel beautiful. Listen to her answers. Let them guide you. 
    Also, know that as women–we’d also like to know how to please you as well! Let us know what makes you feel special and appreciated and loved. :)
    This woman–thanks you most kindly for such a wonderful gesture. :)
    Namaste and Great Love!

  • StephanieJBeatty

    PatriciaAndersonPeters StephanieJBeatty 
    Yes, sweet sister. Clarification of thought was received. Thanks for sharing more of your insights and experience. I do agree with you that we have to start refusing to participate. Historically and present, the problem has been getting all women on board. Some are quite comfortable with the privilege bestowed on them for playing the game. With that said, we now have worldwide connection and even on FB I am seeing women connecting and supporting one another. Change is in progress!!  Tough love, carry on! : )

  • PatriciaAndersonPeters

    StephanieJBeatty PatriciaAndersonPeters Hi Stephanie–I would just hug the daylights out of you right now! I do agree with you that there is a cycle of things that perpetuate this image of the “perfect” female form. I wonder.. does it even exist in nature? *LOL*
    I most certainly don’t mean to be dismissive of the cultural matters that are opressive or perpetuating those things that are harmful towards women. As I’ve lived in this life, body image issues and eating disorders have been the hallmark OF my life. It seems like I lost years to it. 
    I guess that what I wonder about the most.. is if women ceased to buy into the images, the diet fads, just.. ALL OF IT.. if that was simply a thing of the past–would it not, even for the men, become a thing of the past? I’m talking about a zeitgeist. An overhaul that begins with us!
    As I’ve shown in other comments–the very magazines that we purchase that are creating the images that are distorting our mirrors, are run by women! These aren’t men that putting it out there for us. These are other women that are perpetuating the sizes, the clothes, the make up, the ALL OF IT. And we buy into it–hook, line and sinker.  
    Socioeconomic status of women is very concerning. This has always been the case and is the remnant of times in which women have been dependents of men. However, it is my opinion that the longer that we (as women) continue to see one another as competition (in any arena) rather than sisters- we will continue to be of the status we are. Our greatest power is and has always been in our ability to enjoy sisterhood. The Red Tent, if you will. When we cease to backbite, rip apart, segregate from one another–we have the ability to elevate and celebrate one another. To be naked at soul levels and then at skin levels as well. 
    I hope that I’ve clarified my thoughts better. I by NO means ever want for any other sister to feel that I don’t respect her scars or the journey she’s had to walk. I will always stand shoulder to shoulder with her. But I do believe, that its time that we tough love one another and get bare with one another. That we say to one another “Oiannau! I SEE YOU! And you are Beautiful JUST AS YOU ARE!”

  • StephanieJBeatty

    PatriciaAndersonPeters StephanieJBeatty 
    Hi Patricia, Thanks for the response! I do not dismiss what you are saying and agree. It sounds as if you have been fortunate enough to have real men in your life. Many studies have shown, men who stay tuned in to social media and watch a significant amount of porn do have unrealistic expectations of women’s bodies. Some of this is a question of class, since it is found predominantly in the blue collar and working poor class. I was married to a machinist for 15 years, grew up in poverty and was exposed to masochistic men who indeed tore women down for their bodies. The way men discussed women was disgusting. My husband had to deal with banter on a regular basis because I was overweight at every job he was at.  I have met many women who have experienced this as well.  There are men of all status who do indeed avoid women who are not a size close to the ideal. Then women are bombarded with messages everyday, of what they need to buy to be desirable.  So, yes men and media are perpetuating it as well. To say it is only women, is being dismissive of thousands or women’s experience and averting attention from larger societal issues and systems. I absolutely agree women need to start loving themselves and each other to stop this insanity, but it is not all the women’s doing. Also, we have come a long way in women’s rights, but women are predominantly the poorest citizens, leaving them vulnerable to needing a partner to survive. So, the origination of this competitiveness is still very much alive and men do prey upon this. A woman’s beauty is still used as a status symbol for men.  All men? No, of course not! I now have a partner who worships me, and he will also agree in his life experience of 60 years and many encounters with all different men, men do help perpetuate it. It is a societal issue. Promoting women needing to love themselves and be comfortable with their nakedness and each other is a highly valuable cause, so thank you for what you do !Blessings

  • PatriciaAndersonPeters

    targetwriting PatriciaAndersonPeters <3 Thank you for that, Kris! :) hugs and love right back atcha! :-*

  • PatriciaAndersonPeters Love this line: 
    “all bodies, are really nothing more than meat suits that cover these fantastic souls that we are born into this world to share with one another.”
    That’s exactly how I see it!
    Kris

  • PatriciaAndersonPeters

    StephanieJBeatty Hi Stephanie! :) I do think that the initial competitions over women’s appearances probably did begin back when we were nothing more than cattle and commodity perhaps. Something to be traded in the acquisition of power, land, wealth. But somewhere along the way–we (as women) began to do this to each other. To compete for the attention and to backbite one another. We began to tear each other down in order to build ourselves up. We are the prisoner, and we are the jailers too! I think its time that we let the men off the hook. I do not believe they are the ones doing this to us anymore. 
    I am blessed to have two of the most amazing men in my life. Neither one of them have EVER torn me down in any way, shape or form. They LOVE my body just as it is. The part they do not love so much is the way that *I* tear myself down. That aspect, I did not learn from men. No, not at all. *shaking head* 
    I also have raised a son and a daughter. My son (to my knowledge) never ONCE told his sister that she was ugly, fat, awkward.. she was too busy doing that for herself. Or believing what other girls told her. It wasn’t the boys in her life that made her feel “less than” No, not at all. *shaking head*
    My question is: when are we going to be willing to face the music, ladies? No matter how it all began…. it is WE WHO ARE PERPETUATING IT. NOT THE MEN. As we become healthier in our spirits and our emotional make-up, we also become more healthy in our lifestyles. It crosses through to everything we do and we may just find that we can strike the balance and become healthy and happy in every way. I think that needs to be the goal. 
    Namaste, my sister. May your journey in life be sweet!

  • StephanieJBeatty

    I love this and yes agree women play a part in doing this to each other. However, it originated with patriarchy and the oppression of women and them becoming assets based on their looks. This competition started for our survival because men held all the resources and power. Also, if women were happy with their bodies rich male ceo’s would be out billions of dollars. Not to mention women would feel more empowered and focused on creating solutions that would threaten a globalized capitalist system deeply entrenched in masculine power and war. Women refusing to play the competitive game is definitely a piece of it, but not the origin nor the whole of it. I will say being naked with other women is very empowering and good for body image!

  • jochanaan

    There’s more than enough blame to go around.  Let’s stop trying to assign it all, unless we assign it to ourselves–and only then when we can turn around and start swimming against the tide.
    Question for our sisters: How can we men best help the women in our lives to say “I am beautiful, just as I am”?

  • PatriciaAndersonPeters

    Paul_RapoportHi Paul! Thank you for your well-thought comment. I fear, that we must disagree however.  You stated that most of those magazines that girls see are owned by men and that they serve white, middle class, middle aged, heterosexual males.  Actually–that is quite wrong.
     
    Vogue- (and its little sisters Teen Vogue and Vogue Girl) are all maintained and run by a nearly complete All-Female Cast and have been in both the US and United Kingdom since their inceptions in 1892 and 1916, respectively.  
    Cosmopolitan Magazine- Editor in Chief Joanna Coles, Senior VP Donna Lagani; 
    Elle- Roberta Myers VP/Editor in Chief/Brand Content,
     
    Marie Claire-Anne Fulenwider Editor in Chief, Nancy Berger Cardone VP/Publisher/Chief Revenue Officer,
     
    The Oprah Magazine-Lucy Kaylin Editor in Chief, Jill Seelig VP/Publisher/Chief Revenue Officer,
     
    Redbook Jill Herzig Editor in Chief, Jayne Jamison VP/Publisher Direcgtor,
     
    Seventeen- Ann Shoket Editor in Chief, Jayne Jamison, VP, Publishing Director,
     
    Woman’s Day- Susan Spencer Editor in Chief, Patricia Haegele, Publishing Director/ Kassie Means, Publisher CRO.
    While it is true that women have in many respects remained beneath the heel of men in economic status (and Hour for $ still are particularly here in the US according to recent statistics) many of the reasons why our socioeconomic conditions remain are due largely to the choices that we make early in life and those choices are still informed by the information we have to work with… or choose to work with. There are numerous colors of the canvas that you’ve painted, my good sir. I feel that those colors set the depth and the span of the portrait if we are to be brutally honest–to tough love enough. I also think, that perhaps only women can tough love one another in such a manner that change can happen. Here’s why:
    For too long- as feminists (and believe me, I actually am one of a very different sort!) we have swung the pendulum far to the right and have disempowered the men in our world in order that we might climb over them to get to where we are going. This, was never necessary. Any woman that says that it was, is *not* telling the truth. Worse still, not only is she not telling the truth, she is justifying the carnage of a once very proud-society that did in fact raise gentleman (I’ll come back to that).
    So, as women, we step over the carnage to get to where we wish to be and then we look back and we whine at all the things that we have also lost. Why don’t men open the doors for us anymore? Why don’t they tell us that we look beautiful anymore? Why don’t they kiss our wrists anymore? Well… in a nutshell Susie–they don’t because they don’t want to be lambasted in the lobby of the Grand Hotel or served suit for workplace discrimination and they most certainly do NOT want to get punched in the throat by a woman/man they do NOT know for doing something that might/might not be untoward in the interest of perhaps yes/no making you feel good/bad/indifferent by doing something that may/may not make your day/evening good/bad/better/best. (I think you get my drift here).
    We’ve garbled the lines.
    Girls and women are not the ONLY ones that are insecure, fearful and under mental attack. It’s everyone across the board. We have an entire planet full of men and women that are completely clueless as to how they should act around one another because there are no hard and fast rules of propriety anymore.
    As a woman, who was once a young girl… I think I might have a bit of wiggle room to say just how it was growing up as a girl. A bit of insider information, if you will. Believe me when I say: “Women are catty.” We tear each other up, beat each other down–just. because. we. can.
    I stick behind my original statement. Men are not the ones that are setting the appraisal system really.
    They are not the ones buying the magazines.
    They are dating the women who do.
     
    As long as women will buy the images that are being sold to them BY OTHER WOMEN and then use those images to lambast one another and declare one girl a “keeper” and another girl “useless”- then women will never be comfortable in their own skins and they will continue to seek the latest diet fads, the latest torture devices to slim, trim, shape and separate. And they’ll do it, Paul…. not for the men— but to find some sense of comfort in the world of the “beautiful women” around them. 
    Out here? It’s still bitches. It’s dog eat dog.
    Now don’t get me wrong. *LOL*
    We bitches stick together.
    We love each other and we generally will always love each other.
    But a man can’t say what I’ve said here, to the women around him.
    If he tried, we’d turn on him like the bitches we are– in a pack.
    There are just some things that have to be said sometimes. They’re not pretty to say, they’re not pretty to read. They’re even less pretty when they have to be backed up with facts and figures. Women *DO* have issues in society that need to be addressed and dealt with. But blaming them all on the men, is not going to help. Not all of our problems are based in “centuries old male dominance”. Some of them? Well… some of them are just based on the fact that we can be bitches to each other.
    So as Stephen King wrote so aptly, we need to “tell the truth and shame the devil.”
    Namaste my friend!

  • PatriciaAndersonPeters

    MaureenEustaceVanBuuren Hi Maureen! LOVED your comment and thank you so much for it! I found myself smiling and nodding along and feeling like I just found a sister! :)
    Namaste! We should find matching sarongs for when we DO have to wear something, yes?

  • PatriciaAndersonPeters So sorry for your loss Patricia. Sending you love and strength.

  • Paul_Rapoport

    In the end, that is an inspiring article, with a basis for real hope. Nonetheless, we must look at where much of the problem really does come from. Those magazines that girls see: who owns them? Not women, for the most part; and if any do, they’ve still bought into a society run by men, serving white, middle-class, middle-aged, heterosexual males.
    If that seems too much, consider whether girls and women would have such body issues of it weren’t true, if the society were run mostly by diverse women. The imbalance of power that is constructed to work against women (coming from centuries of a narrow class of men owning and manipulating them) results in economic subservience, serious barriers to employment, harmful medicalization of birth, demonizing women’s bodies, rape culture, and much more, including raping Mother Earth, if you want to examine the largest issue. If girls and women can be kept insecure and fearful, constantly under mental attack (even if subtle) for physicality they cannot change, they won’t be much of a threat to centuries-old male dominance, will they?
    How much easier it is for men to get women to harm each other in the ways you describe than for men to always do it themselves. So “it’s not the men in our world and it’s not the media that are driving this poor appraisal system”? Indeed it is.
    The solution is to set up systems where women build their confidence and that of other women, where women challenge established orders that work against them, where they may take charge if they wish and are encouraged at every point to succeed on their own terms — which would be a lot more diverse than what we see now.
    How bodies, relationships, and sexualities figure in all this is obviously a large topic, but it seems that the immediacy of physical bodies in a mainly visual culture must play a major role, including the twin highlights of freedom and vulnerability that the naked body represents.
    This post is already well past its best-size limit. Thank you again for yours.

  • MaureenEustaceVanBuuren

    I have been a naturist for 8 years now.  I weigh double what I should and it took me a couple of years to realise that naturists do not look at the body.  Sure you’ll get some arseholes who have nasty comments… you get that all over, but, generally, everyone is accepted for who and what they are and not what they look like.  I have no issue in discarding my clothes nowl

  • PatriciaAndersonPeters

    @Hermann Brenner Hello, Hermann! I totally agree with you! Couldn’t agree more, in fact! We don’t question what we see every day.. it is our “really real”. In societies where nudity is a way of life, the children are not raised to be fearful of how their bodies look, or how they are different. In fact, they adorn the body and celebrate the changes that come along with life! This puritanical (and often prudish) way that we view things in this 21st century world is ironic, given that we are so advanced on other levels. It sometimes boggles the mind, doesn’t it?
    How can we move 100 steps forward on one front.. and yet move 200 back on another? *ponder, ponder, ponder*
    Given my own upbringing and the world I was raised in (and my own particular love for rockabilly style and desire to have a skirt or two of that ilk– LOL) I don’t know that I could ever eschew my penchant for clothing. I don’t know that I’d care to live in a society too far flung from where I now live. BUT.. I would LOVE to be free of the mind-walls that will often times make it difficult to even be free enough to be naked with my own self, pity sake!!

  • PatriciaAndersonPeters

    ginnym Hello and big snuggle to you from me! :) I just loved the honesty of your reply, Ginny. We are all perfectly perfect and beautifully, perfectly imperfect too! I’m 45 and still feel so naive most of the time. My loves smile most of the time at the things that go STRAIGHT *beeeee-line* over my head. LOL. 
    Loving ourselves… what if that really is the  challenge of this life? Loving ourselves, loving others even as we are imperfect? Maybe we aren’t supposed to only love those crystal glasses on the shelves, but the cracked cups and faded melmac versions of who we are (you know the ones–the ones we hide under the cupboards and love the stretchy sweatpants and hot chocolate weather?) I know that for myself… knowing that mine weren’t the only gravity challenged boobs on the Earth was a VERY nice thing to find out. It’s also been nice to find that my lovers don’t mind my softened skin even if there is a mark or two of or twenty that shows my journey through the years. 
    Society has become obsessed on the edifice and sometimes it seems that what is the quality beneath it has little meaning. But the thing we have to remember is that WE are society. Our hope remains the possibility that we can CHANGE. I surely hope that we are still capable of that!
    I raise my glass to you. :) Let’s celebrate who we are and how far we have come, yes?
    Namaste!

  • PatriciaAndersonPeters

    DerrickOutDiving Hi Derrick! Totally agree with you on needing to be comfortable with yourself. 
    I found myself (on the one hand) very happy to read that women may find themselves welcomed into a the nude world easily yet (on the other hand) rather saddened that so many women may never EVER take that chance due to their inhibitions that are in place either because of prior woundedness or because of their own sense of shame or fear that they have allowed to take root by their own creation. It is rather like being one’s own jailer, isn’t it?
    It seems to be a terribly tragic thing that men are not as easily welcomed or must face so many stereotypes and negative situations because of society’s distortions and views of what it is to be a man and to be free and at home in your own skin and amongst your own peers. Odd really, when considering that once upon a time in the classical world, men had no such shame and placed no such barriers upon each other. 
    And for what its worth… I don’t know that any of us *really* WANT everyone around us to look like bodybuilders and supermodels. I don’t think that these are bodies that should be loathed anymore than say.. *cough* bodies like my own–all bodies, are really nothing more than meat suits that cover these fantastic souls that we are born into this world to share with one another. THAT is my greatest hope in this lifetime… is to both share and experience the shining of souls. I am a composite of a lifetime of experience. (As are you, and the person you will meet tomorrow, and I will meet a week from now!). Our bodies show the wear and tear of age, of sorrow and joy, ecstasy and failure alike. If we could only learn to see THESE first and love these FIRST in one another! Then the nature.. the NaturISTs, of who we truly are–only makes the world around us more beautiful. This is my hope… and it sounds like it is yours too! :)
    Much love to you on your journey! Feel free to find me on FB or Twitter! :)

  • PatriciaAndersonPeters

    frebeach Hi Dave :) Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom and experiences here with readers, they’ve been so inspiring to read! I completely agree with you that we do have that over-mind that seeks to protect us from things that our rational mind sees as “unfamiliar and dangerous” Isn’t it odd that the very things that we see as dangerous might be the very things that are the most exhilarating and set our souls the most free? 
    For myself, the spiritual journey readied me for tackling the wounds within that I carried around as a woman for many years. But it wasn’t until the world came crashing down a few years ago, upon the death of my teenaged son, that I found myself trying to find ways to stay alive. To FEEL alive. Does that make sense? So in that search…my soul is having to hit the override button on that over-mind. The wall of fear is not completely down, but block by block-and with the wisdom of loving souls like yourself, I think it just might tumble down after all. :)
    Many blessings to you my friend! Feel welcome to find me on FB or on Twitter as well PSAnderson1.
    Namaste!

  • Patricia, I totally agree! Wishing you progress on your path!
    Would love for you to visit RealWomensBodies.com – Would love your feedback. Maybe you’d like to share a photo (anonymously) or guest article?
    Thanks! Kris

  • PatriciaAndersonPeters

    targetwriting Hi Kris! Thank you so much for your positive feedback and invitation! Would love to come and visit and to share with your readers! :) 
    I’ll be hopping right on over to visit you!
    Love <3

  • frebeach

    The desire has to do with joining the naturist community and believing that most naturists follow the “body acceptance” without judgement concept, and I want to be influenced by people with that mindset. It’s a mind set that is based on trying to respect those around us, no matter what they look like. If those people have medical issues, that’s their problem and that does not influence my friendship to them. Also, it’s not about looking at others, it’s about personal body freedom and looking for and creating events where like-minded people come together. It’s about looking for how much heart a person has.

  • PatriciaAndersonPeters

    COHome Thank you, COHome!

  • PatriciaAndersonPeters

    jochanaan Thank You!

  • frebeach

    There is another experience that some first-timers have, at least I did, as a mid aged man, back then. It took me three attempts to drive into the local camping resort, during the week, when it was quiet, before I could push myself to go in and walk into the clubhouse. I wondered later, why I felt these emotions. I think I figured it out. It seems we have two minds. One is the protective mind. It’s job is to keep us alive, so any activity that seems unfamiliar or dangerous, that mind puts up a wall of fear with a door, to stop us. Now the other mind, is the exploring mind. It wants to go out in the world and check everything out. But for it to do it’s job, we need to build up the desire to try something new. The desire is important since we have to build up our courage to do it. You need desire and courage, but we are adults, so it can be done. A funny thing happens after trying something new. The wall of fear disappears. Look behind you. It’s not there anymore, you are fine, you survived and are still living. haha. The anxiety is gone. Why did that happen? It seems the protective mind just needed to know that the new activity was safe and now it does not have to put up that wall of fear again. You just need a second experience to reinforce that comfort feeling. Good luck to you all, It’s all good with good people. Dave in Toronto.

  • DerrickOutDiving

    Well, I feel you have to be comfortable with yourself first, and that is the hardest. Always thinking that everyone will be judging you, but that isn’t really true. I started off being in the nude around the house first and that was so great, that I decided maybe a lil further out in the world would help. And it does but only with your own kind that will accept you, so to the point of the subject, let me just say that it is easier for (at least where I go) a woman to be accepted into nudity then guys. women seem to accept it more than guys. Some guys want to push the gay term on guys that get naked or they seem to be disgusted by the sight of a guy naked. I have noticed it is getting better and again with the true naturalist it seems to be easier.  None of us are super models, are body builders but are naturalist, so hopefully We can all help each other be free with our selves first.

  • PatriciaAndersonPeters

    VasilikyKasidis  
    I definitely agree that we have become obsessed with notions of beauty that are irrational on the whole. But I do not think that blaming marketing industry or male influence is where the buck stops. 
    Really, our children don’t (at the ripe old age of 6) look at the catalogs and magazines and TV and say “I have to have to have those heels, that skirt… Mom!” They just don’t. We as mothers want our children to look good, of course, and there is nothing wrong with that either. BUT.. the clothing, the make up, the accessories that younger and younger girls are wearing are being purchased by the parent. It really does beg the question of if the parent is living vicariously through their child? Does the parent get a sense of pleasure or contentment or peace by having their child dressed in clothing that is $100 item (and the child will STILL outgrow it in 3 months)?
     Society, is nothing more than individuals linked together in geographic location or shared principals and values. Young girls and women, are the primary buyers of magazines such as Vogue, Seventeen, Cosmopolitan etc…The “standard” is set by what may be in these magazines perhaps, but the larger and more pervasive issue is the fact that your young girls and young women are turning to these as their “bible of beauty” let’s call it. 
    The solution is indeed a transformation of the way we see things and how we raise our children. But it will begin with understanding that the majority of problems that our young women are experiencing are coming from the women shaping their lives. The women allowing them to gauge themselves by these false standards, the girls engaging in powder-room politics and snarky thug like comments that cut at a young girls self-esteem at such early ages are what is primarily creating these image problems early on in the female life. 
     I rest my argument upon the notion that if we really want FEMININE SELF-IMAGE and FEMININE ACCEPTANCE of body and sexuality and beauty to happen—we must (as women) create a powerful, transformative pool of love and positive energy for our girls to grow up in. 
    Namaste!
    Patricia

  • ginnym

    Im 43 and I KNOW Im a prude.  I do LOVE the feel of commando in a cozy pair of hemp sweatpants and big baggy sweater.  I also LOVE sleeping in the buff.  I watch my kids catch crap at school for showing their bra straps and I wonder where all this went wrong?  The day I can walk, upright, head held high through a very public area with nothing on will probably be never and that is ok… I will still love myself because I know Im more than the skin Im in, more that the clothes I love and more than the doubt and blame they we as society thrive upon…  Wear clothes or don’t.  We are all perfectly perfect no matter who is making up the newest fad.. LOL

  • VasilikyKasidis

    Why do people keep blaming women?
    This is a consequence of our societies obsession with feminine beauty and notions of what constitutes feminine beauty. Women are constantly told by our society how important it is for us to look beautiful. The marketing industry continuously reinforces the beauty norm in their advertisements and the way they promote products and services. 
    Body loathing stems from being taught that how you look is an indicator of your value. We encourage little girls (more than little boys) to pay attention to their beauty. Little girls are then subjected to tens of millions of advertisements before they reach adulthood that tell them what is beautiful. If they don’t fit that stereotype (and its impossible to do so) they are then told what they need to buy to “fix themselves”. 
    Every beauty product works on the premise that our bodies are in fact “flawed” and we need to “buy their product or service” to fix it.  
    The solution to body issues is a complete transformation in the way we raise our children and the way we promote products and services.

  • jochanaan

    SomehowI never expected to read this!  And only a woman could have said it, or (probably) thought it.  Thank you, Ms. Anderson-Peters and YNA!

  • Larry Ford 11:37am Oct 6
    I have seen it many times at our B and B’s as well as social gathering of nude friends…women are so empowered when hey find out they are just like every other body there…showing the life’s travels that our bodies display in beautiful glory! We written article of her personal experience…we’ll done!!

  • Hermann Brenner

    Maybe that is the reason for young people who were brought up as nudists to be often pretty balanced about their own bodies and seeing each others, their mum’s and other women’s naked bodies without much of a judgement.