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Are you proud of who you are? Are you proud of what you do? Are you doing good around you? Are you spreading joy? Are you pushing yourself and others to do and to be a little bit more? Those questions are circling my mind almost daily, in my personal and professional lives.
We, human beings, are complex animals. Although I’ve a big tendency to simplify my life by embracing minimalism, I put joy, pride and respect in every dimension of my life. Nudism is one of those dimensions. I consider myself a proud and respectful nudist, two human traits that I highly value.
In this last part of Being a nudist, I deep into those two traits. They feel essential to nudism, as to many other aspects of life, though. However, as nudism can be highly misunderstood and lead to controversy, I feel it’s important that we spend some time on those traits, so we all become proud and respectful nudists to spread nudism in proud and respectful ways.
What is pride? The Merriam-Webster dictionary tells us that pride is “a feeling that you respect yourself and deserve to be respected by other people” and “a feeling of happiness that you get when you or someone you know does something good, difficult, etc. ».
However, it also defines another side of pride as “a feeling that you’re more important or better than other people”. As a nudist, I don’t feel more important or better than other people. I don’t feel nudism is better or more important than other lifestyles. I feel nudism is good and important for me. If it’s not for other people, so be it, as long as they accept it’s good and important for me and all nudists who share the same feelings.
I felt intrigued by those two sides, because my conception of pride was of the first kind and felt healthy. However, in Psychology Today, Dr. Seltzer defines both sides, as “two distinct kinds of pride”, and gives eight features to “healthy, true, authentic and genuine” pride:
- Self-confidence reflecting a can-do attitude.
- Self-worth, based on historical effort that led to success.
- Quiet and assertive fashion, conveyed implicitly.
- Not comparing oneself advantageously.
- Authenticity. Accurate and realistic estimates of one’s abilities.
- Acting prosocially.
- Motivate and inspire others to take lead and join them.
- Not egocentric.
The article of Psychology Today describes in detail those eight features. When you read them, you realize that they all fit very well in what nudism is about. Of course, you can be a positively proud nudist without having a can-do attitude or acting prosaically, particularly if you’re introvert. On the same vein, you may not want to shout around that you’re a nudist, and may want to keep it quiet. This shouldn’t stop you from becoming a proud nudist. Here are questions to ask you to have the right attitude towards nudism, so you embrace it fully, confidently and proudly!
- Being a self-confident nudist means nudism is a part of who you truly are. Are you confident enough to share with others that you are a nudist? If not why? For many people, it’s very hard to share with others that they are nudists. Go back to previous chapters and note down the three or four benefits of nudism that you feel deeply about. Have them ready when talking about nudism, and be willing to discuss them openly, even if the opposite party disagrees.
- Being a self-worth nudist means that you know the intrinsic values of nudism and you’re experiencing them. Can you explain in simple terms what nudism is and why it’s good? We all need to be preachers of our lifestyle in simple and positive terms.
- Being a quiet and assertive nudist means that you know the benefits of nudism and are ready to share them with textiles. Are you sharing the benefits of nudism with friends and families when you can share that you are a nudist?
- Not comparing yourself advantageously is core to nudism. Nudists don’t judge people on the way they look, but on the way they behave and are. Have you experienced social nudism and felt this non-judgmental experience? If not, do it! Pick a resort and go spend some time there.
- Being an authentic nudist means to be who you are. By going naked with others, you tear apart the vail that clothes provide to “act”. This can be achieved only by going socially with other nudists. Have you spent a day, a weekend or a week in a social nudist setting? If not, just do it!
- Being a social nudist means that you feel good with other nudists. Points 4 and 5 relate to this one. Just go and spend some time with other nudists in a nudist environment.
- Being a motivational and inspirational nudist means that you’re helping others to become nudists. Are you proposing friends and family to join you on your next nudist trip or experience?
- Being an altruistic, not egocentric, nudist means that you care about others, nudists and textiles. Are you listening to other concerns about nudism and help them to disrobe in the security perimeter of a nudist setting?
As you can see, being a proud nudist isn’t being arrogant. It’s not about feeling more important because we pity those who don’t understand what nudism is really about. It’s not about feeling superior because we have moved to a more advanced understanding of human beings and nature.
Being a proud nudist is being a woman or a man that stands for whom she or he is. Being a proud nudist is being a woman or a man that values simple and plain nudity what it brings to her or him. Being a proud nudist is respecting all points of view as long as his or her is respected.
I respect differences as long as I’m respected as a nudist. It’s a difficult position to keep sometime as nudism can be misunderstood and nudity seen as a perversion. I believe in the power of education. Educating is empowering. This is the reason authoritarian regimes despise keep people in the dark. An important aspect of education is also respect and understanding.
As we’ve seen in the previous chapter, when a textile becomes a nudist, she or he has to “deconstruct” the position that was unconsciously taught about nudity, to replace it with simple and plain nudity. This deconstruction is necessary to get rid of the negative emotions that are associated with the naked body (shame and lust). Being naked should neither be shameful nor lustful, at least in social settings.
However, many textiles don’t understand nudism. They still see it as a perversion. Every nudist has two important tasks towards those people: show respect and explain what nudism is. Respect is crucial. If we want to be respected in our desire to enjoy nudism, we need to respect antagonist points of view.
This requires some pedagogy, a lot of patience and pride. However, from various experiences across the planet, it’s the best long-term way to have nudism accepted and increase the numbers of places we can enjoy nudism without any risk of repercussion.
Respect is a difficult stance, though, as many people aren’t respectful of others. Disrespect is a byproduct of fear. Fear of the other, fear of difference, fear of the unknown. However, as nudists, we need to be mindful and respectful of others feeling. This is the reason we shall not fall in the fear trap, keep calm and explain that nudism isn’t harmful to others and society at large, quite the opposite.
My position as a nudist is very simple: I respect your point of view if you respect mine. I respect your aversion to nudity if you respect my love of plain and simple nudity. I know that I won’t change the mind of hostile textiles brainwashed by culture, society and religion. I know that I’ll have to abide by the law and live with my clothes on in some situations. This won’t stop me from advocating nudism whenever I can, respectfully, one step at a time.
One Step at a Time
Converting the world to nudism is a journey of faith. Like a pilgrimage, walking thousands of miles starts with one step. Converting people to nudism, or to the least, have them accepting nudism, happens one stop at a time.
If you’ve read 12 Ways to Become Comfortable with Nudity (free if you become a VIP reader of Nude and Happy or affordable on Amazon), you have between your hands 12 simple steps to enter your nudist journey. It starts with getting naked in various situations and enjoying the comfort and the freedom.
A lot has been said and written about the promotion of naturism and nudism. It’s a matter that is in the hand of every nudist and naturist, as well as federations, naturist and nudist groups, influencers, etc. The site NTRSM published a post on the promotion of naturism, describing some of its difficulties.
This book and my blog, like many other books, blogs and magazines are steps in the “promotion” of naturism. I’m a firm believer in the power of education. As nudists, one of our duties is to educate others. I know many, including readers of this book, don’t want to or can’t educate others about nudism.
However, if we want people to respect us and our lifestyle, we need to talk about nudism. We need to explain what nudism is. We need to take people by the hand not for them to become nudists, but for them to accept that nudism exists and isn’t what they think it is (sexual), but a simple, natural and healthy lifestyle.
Nudism is for everybody and every body, but not everybody will accept to become nudist. Once we accept this reality, we can ask people to respect our choice to be nudist. The world needs to accept nudism and simple nudity for what it is, and accept to change perception. It won’t happen overnight, it will one step at a time, by each of us, living our nudism with confidence and sharing it, as we will now see in the next chapter.
Next part – Chapter 8 – Sharing Nudism – Joy as the Compost
Strip Nude, Stay Nude, Live Nude and Share the Nude Love!