Is Nudism “Normal”?

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sexy woman squatting beside green plants
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I haven’t counted how many times people have asked me if nudism was normal. I stopped counting as well the number of articles that went over the normality of nudism, whether you should expose your kids to nudity or whether nudists were “normal” people, meaning not suffering from mental health disorder. My answer to this simple question is Yes, nudism is normal. It’s not only normal, it’s natural, it’s healthy and should be “the norm”. Let’s go through rational and less rational reasons why nudism is normal.

What It Means To Be Normal

The site ReviseSociology tells us that “‘Normal’ can be defined as any behaviour or condition which is usual, expected, typical, or conforms to a pre-existing standard”, and that “‘Normal behaviour’ may be defined as any behaviour which conforms to social norms, which are the expected or typical patterns of human behaviour in any given society”.

The second definition is interested because it requires to define what social norms are. The above article shows multiple ways to define social and societal norms and ends in a dead-end where although it’s possible to define “norms” using various methods, it’s almost impossible to precisely define the concept of normality.

What is normal here, cannot be there, and vice versa. For example, while it’s “normal” for men to wear djellabas in Morocco, it may be seen “weird” in Sweden. The opposite being true with many behaviours and habits in any given country. What was normal then, cannot be now and vice versa. With globalisation, though, wearing a djellaba in Sweden may not be totally weird any more.

It used to be “normal” for people to get married. Nowadays in most societies, it’s “normal” to live as a couple without being married. In some countries you may even be a legal couple without being married. Although, in more and more countries you can be married with a person of the same sex. To the opposite, homosexuality is considered a crime in some countries. What is normal here, is not there. As you can see from those few simple examples, defining what is normal is difficult.

Look at another fact that becomes pervasive across the world is the notion of diversity and inclusion. Our world is diverse and needs representation of this incredible diversity. This blurs even more the concept of normality. Maybe the best form of definition of normality is the one provided by Maya Angelou:

“If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be.”

So this first incursion in the world of “normality” tells us there’s really no such a thing as being normal while ignoring the context of what normal means. It’s an important aspect though because it indicates that setting the right context is a prerequisite to defining what normal is, in that context.

Natural Is Normal

If normal appears to be blurry, we can argue that some aspects of our life are necessary for harmony, balance and happiness. Our current climate change and loss of wildlife crisis show how dependent of nature we are. We need plants to grow food. We need clean water to drink. We need forests to capture carbon and soothe our soul.

We can therefore claim that nature is normal and being natural is normal. Of course, this does not imply that artificial elements are not normal, they can be. For instance, tools, computers, and cars have become normal in our lives. But I’m not opposing them, I’m just focusing on the nature side of things. All nature-related elements are normal. If humans did not exist, nature would still be there. It may be different, but we’re certain that nature was existing before humans were. It’s actually natural processes that made us who we are, not artificial ones.

beautiful view of moraine lake
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As a living species, we need nature, because we are nature. We’ve been transforming nature to our needs and likings, for instance with agriculture or cattle breeding. However, we cannot deny that if we need nature, nature does not need us. My claim is therefore that we cannot ignore that nature is totally normal and behaving in a natural way, that is with nature, is normal.

This is one of the links I’m making between nature and our own naked body. Our naked body is natural. Outside of any moral or cultural context, we cannot deny that our natural way of being is nudity. If nature is normal, our naked body is, hence, nudity is normal. What makes nudity seen abnormal is social, cultural and moral projections. This is where human being reasoning comes into play and should always start with curiosity and respect.

Respect Is Normal

Respect is the attitude accepting other’s differences. As the website Exploring your mind reminds us, we “need respect in order to coexist with others without conflict”. Respect is about not judging and setting aside our differences. The same site says that “respect is the best way to show others that we accept them in all of their individuality, the way they are and not otherwise”.

crop faceless men shaking hands in studio
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I believe respect should be a normal way of behaving. It recognises other individuals as fully capable and intelligent human beings. Respect is expressed through empathy. Hence, it’s not about being right and imposing our views to others, it’s about being open to other points of view, while accepting to have our own. Exploring your mind provides four key ideas to show respect:

  • We need to consider our approach is one of many and not the only valid one.
  • We need to express our point of view as just that and not an indisputable truth.
  • We need to accept that our perceptions are “entirely subjective to our own interpretation of things, which is based in previous experiences, current mood, and preordained beliefs”.
  • We need to show empathy when addressing others, by listening and observing others’ approach and showing our acceptance of their right to be as they chose to be.

Respect is necessary for peaceful and harmonious relationships. Now, if I’m naked, lying on a towel on a beach or walking on a hiking trail, and someone sees me. If that person respects who I am as I’m respecting who that person is, my nudity may question her but should not trigger any violent attitude, as my nudity is just an expression of my natural being.

Respect toward nudity, nudism and naturism should be grounded on the four ideas previously listed. This leads to accept and respect diversity and inclusion.

Diversity And Inclusion Are Normal

The website Global diversity practice explains that diversity and inclusion are “about empowering people by respecting and appreciating what makes them different, in terms of age, gender, ethnicity, religion, disability, sexual orientation, education, and national origin”. In simple terms diversity is the mix and inclusion is getting the mix to work and live well together.

I believe diversity and inclusion are normal, as an integral part of respect, as we’ve seen before. Diversity shows how rich humans are with their differences. Travel and globalisation have played an enormous role to accept differences and diverse points of view. The more diverse and including a society is, the richer it becomes. Inclusion is about appreciating the differences and contributes to cultivate a culture of respect.

diverse women holding hands together and showing unity
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In businesses, inclusion “leads to enhanced innovation, creativity, productivity, reputation, engagement and results”. In everyday life, inclusion leads to acceptance, respect and peace. However, inclusion may require that we get rid of our own biases, our own ingrained preconceived ideas of how things are and should be, and our own projections of the world. Inclusion requires a mind open to what it can bring to us and society as a whole.

Including nudists in textile groups is an incredible way to accept diversity of points of view and expressions of freedom of choice. This contributes to changing the perception of textiles toward nudity, question their biases, and make them think about what nudism is really about. At the end of the day, we have to consider that in most contexts and situations, nudism is normal.

Nudity Should Be Normal

We were born naked. For hundreds of thousands of years, our ancestors have lived entirely naked. Humans are the only animal species that covers itself with clothes. The origin of clothing is not entirely known but scientists estimate early humans created clothes for protection and display of social status. Whatever the reason, it’s important to understand that clothes were not meant to hide our body to others, but to protect against external elements (like cold or water) or to demonstrate visually who we are in society.

beach love people woman
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Nudity is our natural norm. Nudity was the norm in communal showers and public swimming pools in many countries. Before the invention of the swimming suit, it was “obvious and normal” to bath naked, without shame. For Adam and eve, nude was normal until the Church floated the idea of shame. Although it has been misinterpreted and it’s not about the shame of being naked, but the shame of losing their righteousness before God, as I explained in the third chapter of Becoming a Nudist.

Of course, some people feel inherent shame and have been raised in the shame of nudity. The main reason is the link that many people establish between nudity and sexuality, and that parents, culture, society and religion reinforce. When we establish the difference between nudity and sexuality, shame vanished and nudity is reinstated as being a normal and natural way of being. To the contrary, if you explain to young kids that nudity is normal, at puberty you explain that body transformation is normal and teenagers are free to choose to be clothed or stay naked with other nudists, and also explain that nudity and sexuality are two different things, you don’t allow shame of nudity to set it.

Being naked should be seen as normal as it should not carry any subliminal message or meaning. Being naked is just being naked, hence totally normal.

Nudism Is Normal, Nudity Is Normal, Being A Nudist Is Being Normal

As we have seen previously, if we take for granted normality is a blurry concept, that nature, respect, diversity and inclusion all matters to a “normal” life, then I claim that nudity, nudism and being a nudist are normal. What is not normal is destroying nature, being disrespectful, not accepting diversity and inclusion, bullying, making other miserable, just to name a few things that make life harder than it should be.

Being a nudist is belonging to a minority who considers that nudity is normal. Being a nudist is suffering the prejudice of many thinking that nudism is deviance. Being a nudist is understanding that respect is necessary to accept bare differences. Of course, not all nudists are respectful and welcome diversity and inclusion. However, I’ve met more respectful nudists than respectful textiles, because of the minority, prejudice and differences I’ve mentioned.

Choosing to be a nudist is choosing a path seldomly walked. Choosing to be a nudist is choosing vulnerability. Choosing to be a nudist is choosing respect, love and understanding. This is what nudism means to me. This is why I love nudism, I am passionate about nudism and still continue to talk, write and share nudism around me, as the best lifestyle that is possible to live.

To close this post, let’s answer a resounding yes to the question asked at the beginning. Yes, nudism is normal. Embrace and share it with love and passion!

I would love to hear from you. Do you agree that nudism and being a nudist are normal? Share your experience and point of view. I thank you in advance.

Strip Naked, Stay Naked, Live Naked and Share the Naked Love!

7 COMMENTS

  1. Hi my name is David and this is my story about the first experience I had at a nudist Park, many years ago when I was 30 or 40 years old I can’t remember I saw an article on TV about a nudist Park, I thought that it would be very interesting to go check out, when I went out there it was a cool day and I sat and talked with the manager of the nudist Park while they were in the nude and I was not, there was one other person there besides me that was a nudist he was walking around and he came up and told us that we are not true nudest if we wernt enjoying the cool weather, anyway I went back several weeks later and checked in as a visitor the manager took me around and introduced me I was still in my close at that time after they got done introducing me they told me to go get comfortable and the minute I took off my close, I had a terrible headache before, but after I took off my clothes my headache went away it felt as though all the tension just left it was such a freedom to feel the breeze and the sun all over me,I made use of the hot tub and the swimming pool and then I laid out in the sun it was such a liberating feeling to be without close,I went back several times.

    several years later I had an operation where I had a catheter placement so that I could urinate well that was not a very good experience in the nudist camp with that catheter, they told me I could not use the pool anymore because they thought that my catheter would leak, my catheter never leaked I don’t know what all the fuss was about but they refunded my money for my membership and I left and never went back again I’m now a nudist at home only but I have heard some other nudist say that most nudest are not like that that they are very accepting of people that have differences, however I wonder if that is so if I tried to go to the nudist function now the way I am I don’t think I would be accepted, somebody with a tube hanging our of the belly? what would you think? I want to hear from some nudist about what they would think—- personally I would feel funny now going to a nudist function with this paraphernalia hanging out of me I did’nt feel funny about it until I was made to feel funny by a nudest Park they wouldn’t let me swim in the swimming pool because they were afraid it would leak it doesn’t leak and now I feel funny about going out in nudest public with this.

  2. To me being naked is normal. Living in the UK I’m a indoor nudist in the winter ( never been abroad on holiday ). Then in the summer I’m on the beach. I live on the coast, only two miles from a nudist beach, and other remote beaches where I can be naked. Yes to me being naked is very normal.

  3. An interesting article Marc…well thought out and expressed. I will be sharing it with my fellow members of the Australian Naturist Federation, as we have been discussing and encouraging the ‘normalization’ of nudity this year. Thanks for your passion and inspiration.

  4. Am I unusual? Am I a freak? Any unconventional ways that I have behaved, I have regarded as true glory. Ralf Waldo Emerson got me going on that tack many years ago.

    Normal? Oh phooey! I’m good.
    Thank-you for putting this so well.

  5. Again a very nice article, Marc. Being a nudist is a wonderful state. It relieves us from all the ailments. Practicing nudism can heal our body, mind & the soul. It generates the true happiness within us which is unparalleled.
    Yes & is absolutely correct that being naked without any sexual intention is very normal & most important is that it is Natural, though society & laws of the land may differ. Nudism has to be embraced with passion.
    Actually we all nudists should take more efforts to dig out the thoughts of the grand personalities from history & from across the globe in support of the naturism/nudism which will compel present society & law makers to consider & review the existing laws against nudism. We also have to gather the evidence from earlier civilizations all over the world which reveals the acceptance of nudism & to put forth it in front of the current law makers for consideration.
    Marc, applauds for your devotion towards nudism. Awaiting your next one.

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