Would it be wrong to coerce freedom loving Americans to wave
flags in support of a totalitarian dictatorship, to require people to wear
a "Union Yes", button, even if they are opposed to a union, or to coerce
school children to wear arm bands in support of a war they believe is wrong?
Would it be wrong to deny Christians the right to wear symbols of their
faith, or to force non Christians to wear symbols of Christian faith?
Would it be wrong to coerce a person that finds homosexuality to be abhorrent
to wear a ribbon symbolizing gay pride, or conversely coercing someone
who is gay to publicly wear something that symbolizes homosexuality is
abhorrent? Is it wrong (as happens in some countries and ethnic communities)
to force women struggling for freedom and equality, to wear face vials
and volumes of clothing? Was it wrong to force Germans who opposed
Hitler and the war to wear the swastika?
For many, wearing any clothing when there are moral, practical and comfort
reasons not to, communicates the idea that there is something shameful,
wrong or indecent with certain parts of the human body. Or conversely that
the body is a sexual object to be exploited. (For example: drawing
attention to the genitals, buttocks, and breasts is a clear and will understood
purpose of most modern swimsuits.) These ideas are morally offensive to
such people, and are why they object to themselves or their families having
to wear clothing at a beach, park, gym, or swimming pool, etc., even in
their own house or yard! If people are coerced to act contrary to
their conscience, by having to wear clothing they find offensive and objectionable,
is this not just as wrong as the examples above?
Nudity has been common for many activities such as swimming, sports,
and much physical work through most of human history. The reason
it has became unacceptable is people in power forcing their will on others.
As an example consider the swimming suit, it was invented by Augustus Brozzi
in the 1830's for one purpose only, to cover nudity that he and others
considered to be indecent. The only reasons most people started wearing
swimming suits were the laws passed by those in power who also considered
nudity indecent and because everyone else (especially the "elite") were
doing it (i.e. keeping up appearances). The reason clothing such
as swimsuits are worn, by most people, today is simply because everyone
else is wearing them. However, for many the only reason they wear
swimming suits (and other clothing), is that they are being coerced against
their conscience to wear them! How? Because they risk arrest,
even imprisonment, if they don't wear them! (An Eskimo will buy ice in
winter, if arrest and/or prison is the alternative to not buying it!)
Our bodies are inherent, basic, and fundamental to us all. When
parts of the human body are labeled as indecent or obscene it is an attack
on human identity, acceptance, and worth. The result are people with
feelings of insecurity, disconnectedness, and shame instead of security,
confidence, and acceptance. Is it right that people are forced to
pass negative, destructive, offensive attitudes and feelings onto their
children, because some outspoken people consider certain parts of the body
(rather than thoughts or actions) to be indecent? Is it not a violation
of free speech and fundamental rights to force people to wear clothing
that goes against their beliefs? Would you want to be forced to wear a
costume like those of many Muslim women, because people in power considered
ALL of the body, including the face, to be indecent?
Existing sociological and psychological evidence indicates that the
acceptance of non-sexual nudity (resulting in the demystification of the
body and sexuality) is beneficial. Cultures with greater acceptance
of nudity show lower incidence's of sexual deviancy and crime including
rape and child molestation, as well as people with remarkable emotional
health. In 43BC Publis Syrus said: "To feel shame is a sort of slavery"
Today, many people feel enslaved to shame because of laws that call mere
nudity, rather then behavior, "indecent." Vicki Underland-Rosow,
Ph.D. says: "Shame does not make a person a better member of society but,
rather, promotes dysfunction individually and systematically." How
can someone take a stand against body shame when they are forced to wear
clothes that represent body shame or risk being arrested? It's past
time for people to stop being coerced, by law, to wear clothing that symbolizes
ideas that are morally offensive to them.
Whether you personally agree or not, for many people a preference for
nudity is an expression of their belief that the whole body is decent and
should not be covered in shame. If you want the right to express
your conscience or beliefs free from coercion, it is important that you
support the rights of all to express their conscience and beliefs free
from coercion. It is not morally right to for anyone to expect others
to limit the free expression of their conscience because some find their
view objectionable. This happens on many different issues from religion,
to human rights, to economics and more, around the world. Sadly,
as this case in point testifies to, it happens in the U.S. (land of the
free?) as well, could it happen to you? What if those in power decide
to control and limit your expression of free speech and/or conscience because
they find something you believe objectionable?
Support the rights of all by speaking up for freedom, by voting, both
on issues and for candidates that have a record of supporting individuals
freedom, and by supporting organizations that promote the rights of all
to be able to freely express their conscience. We, the ClothesFree International (CFI), the Naturist Society, and The American Association
for Nude Recreation (AANR) are all organizations, promoting body acceptance
and/or speaking out for your freedom to live free from shame. Please
support some or all in their work.
ClothesFree International, Inc.
PO Box 1096
Oakhurst, CA 93644 USA
The Naturist Society
Oshkosh, WI 54903
1703 North Main St.
Kissimmee, FL 34744-9988
*Battle for Reef Beach and Samurai Beach
Carnival photos courtesy of The Free Beach Association of NSW which is
working to promote naturism in Australia. For more information on
the Battle for Reef Beach click