Kiev Commonwealth of Naturists

Dispute Club

"OPINIONS   CROSSROAD"

 

 

   
A  FEW  THOUGHTS  ABOUT   NUDITY
(Part 1)

                                                              By  Vadim   Mzhavanadze

 It might be considered a banality  to write about nudity  in a naturist magazine, rather like singing  at the Opera House, absolutely nothing new. All the same, while reading a lot of articles  and letters from concerned readers (see, for example, the November 2001 issue of “H&E”) there is a niggling thought  that the main point of  in all these conflicts, complaints and court hearings – simple nudity – merits further discussion.

 So, the first question we should ask ourselves  is why nudity is so much  at the heart of all discord ?  A quick glance around the globe is enough to see that only we, humans, among all living creatures, have invented clothes  to cover our natural nudity. The first primitive people went naked, as indeed the last “primitive” groups intact still today, when missionaries  haven’t corrupted them with their “ nudity is a sin “ doctrines. And so we can see  during the historical development of mankind  that clothing appeared  gradually, and for different purposes.  The first obvious purpose  was to protect the body from climatic changes, using  animal skins for heat. The second was to show  different  positions in society, to “stand out” from  the common man, i.e. chiefs and kings, etc. And, finally, clothes were invented to hide our nudity, once the idea was born, mostly from religious founders, that man is superior to the “naked” animals surrounding him.

 It is obvious that natural nudity was not accepted by all societies  during the development of mankind. Many European civilizations accepted it, while other did not. Looking at the perfect forms of  ancient Greek statues, we can see the pride , the dignity, and the spiritual liberty that prevailed  in this almost perfect  civilization. The naked body was not considered  a source of shame in those times. And we should remember that the first Olympic Games  were carried out by totally nude athletes in front of huge crowds who would not have batted an eyelid at such a natural manifestation. The nude body, especially in athletes and young people, was a positive symbol of society and adulated as such.

 A negative attitude  towards the human body, and to natural nudity, came about  a little later  with the appearance  of the Fathers of Church and their doctrines, such as St Augustine and his acolytes. Nudity  was equated with the sexual act, and so the principle  that  “nudity is a sin” was born and proclaimed throughout Europe. This attitude led to the situation where public nudity was outlawed and forbidden, giving rise to the sexual angles that have prevailed up to the present day, along with a double morality and all kinds of taboos connected with nudity, both public and private.

 Needless to say, certain sectors of our “clothed” society have been fit to profit from this situation, building and preserving power in defined spheres of business and profit, while making  huge fortunes at the same time. The modern sex industry is not the subject  of this article, but its evident prosperity  will say a great deal to those  who wish  to listen  and understand.

 So, nudity became a “sin” because it was associated with sex. And the vast majority  of people were forced  to accept this point of view all over the world as religious influence spread. But still the question “Why ?” immediately springs to my mind. The most obvious answer is that sex is a subject we do not know enough about, and therefore we cannot control it satisfactorily. On the contrary, we are all too often controlled by it, becoming its victims, so to speak. So, if we really wish to live in harmony with what is, after all, a very powerful element of nature and  a very powerful element of our psyche, and ourselves, we should, perhaps, study the subject more thoroughly and educate our children in a way that corresponds to our studies.

 Most naturist families do this already, of course, but we, naturists, remain a minority in a world that is becoming more and more obsessed with sex and nudity, and where advertising  and entertainment have become the new “religions” of a spiritually starved humanity. 

It could be argued that we have been “programmed” in our reactions to nudity: when a man sees a beautiful naked woman, for example, he automatically thinks about sex. Ivan Yefremov, a distinguished Russian scientist and author wrote:” If you look at a naked beauty and see only the “indecent” features of her body, then you are not yet human in this !”  The idea is the best reply to those  who are willing to explain their mental laziness or ignorance as some kind of “programming”. On the other hand, if this “programming” did take place, it could be also argued that the “Programmer” has definitely told us that natural nudity is positive, and that sex, such as it is, the most natural and human manifestation of our human nature. To understand this, we can look at  the Bible and its teachings.

 The present – day conflict about nudity, which exists even in the most  developed countries around the world, shows clearly that natural and social nudity is an outer manifestation of our inner liberty. And liberty has always been one of the greatest values for which we have fought, both as naturists and as human beings. In other words, by discussing the problem of nudity, we also discuss the question of our inner liberty.

 In this article I have merely touched upon a few aspects of a vast topic, which, I believe, merits further discussion by naturists and non-naturists alike, and so I invite all those who are not indifferent to these problems to join this discussion and express their own views on the subject that really involves all of us naturists : NUDITY. 

UP

 


A  FEW  THOUGHTS  ABOUT   NUDITY
(Part 2)

                                                       By  Vadim   Mzhavanadze

 In my first article devoted to nudity and our attitude to it I outlined the circle of questions which are worthy to be discussed to make position of naturists clearer and firmer.

 I would like to present to the readers of “H&E” some thoughts that might be interesting to all naturists and draw their attention to the existing problems.

 In November 1998 a special event took place on the Ukrainian TV: Michael Veresen, a talented journalist and presenter of a programmer  “Taboo”, invited the President of the Kiev Community of Naturists (www.naturism.kiev.ua), Andrew Litovchenko, to take part in the evening devoted to discussion of the question of social nudity.

Probably for the first time the Ukrainian TV viewers had an opportunity to be introduced to the world of naturism about which they definitely knew next to nothing. At the same time the naturists got an exclusive opportunity to tell the broad audience about their principles and ideas.

To me it was not just an ordinary clash between people of different mentality and way of life. It was not the show for the sake of a show , on the contrary : the discussion between naturists and non-naturists showed that “sharp” questions are waiting for their answers and nobody can brush them aside.

 What are the reasons to wear clothes when we obviously do not need them ?

Does our naked body “demand” some protection in the form of swimming suit?

And “why”, if “yes” ?

 If you ask people about this, you will hear the widest spectrum of opinions : “Being nude, I feel vulnerable”, “Nudity makes me think I am doing something wrong”, “We used to wear clothes”, “I am embarrassed when I see somebody in the nude”.

So clothes seem like a protection, but protection against what or who?

The only answer that comes to mind : Clothes protect against negative reaction to nudity. Though there is nudity and nudity: nobody complains if men and women have only thin strips of clothes on their bodies when they are on the beach, problems arise when these strips are removed. Thus, partial nudity is accepted, while total isn’t, as if it is much more dangerous for an innocent viewer.

 And it seems it is, if this “innocent viewer” is innocent in psychology of men and women and their respective natural reactions to nudity. These reactions are quite well known and I am not going to repeat them here. And our “innocent viewer” is asked to read available materials to reduce the degree of “danger”, existing in his imagination, to the level as low as possible. Far more important  is how to find and establish a stable balance and harmony between men’s and women’s attitude to nudity and is it possible at all.

 It is not a secret that bringing up plays here the most important role. Listening to all arguments for naturism and against it, I can’t help being surprised that all of them miss one important thing, namely, we have no positive sexual education for children.  The education that would help people grow  with positive attitude to their nudity and, therefore, could help them to find harmony in personal relations. Until children have had appropriate education, people will not get rid of their negative emotions evoked by nudity.

 Bringing up children who are sure that their nude bodies are not symbols of shame but symbols of pride and self-respect is ever-present task for naturists.

On the other hand, bringing up is a bilateral process and not seldom I saw on a naturist beach as naked children  gave good lessons of pure naturist behavior to their parents.

 Feeling that you do something positive is the best weapon for naturists against all attacks of those who can not and does not wish to respect another way of thinking and living.  Naturism should be presented everywhere as a healthy way of life that forms quite new relations between the sexes, where there is no place for feelings of shame that you are as nature created you, and no place for sexual abuse. This is the greatest challenge to all the naturists who are proud of their way of life and are ready to show the best examples of human relations.                    

 It was time here when taking photos at a naturist beach was out of the question: people were ashamed of their nudity, though they called themselves “naturists”.  The situation has changed  since then. New generation of naturists have fewer complexes in comparison with their parents. They are not ashamed to stand in front of a camera because their present-day views on the nudity  and understanding of the positive influence of these views on their whole inner development as personalities give them self-respect.

 Existing conflict between naturists and those who condemn social nudity has its deep roots in the ideologies of the past. We, naturists, should have our own system of views that would help us to find all answers to all direct and indirect questions of non-naturists. If they see we have what to say, we know how to act, we are not mere “spoilt children”, but adults who know how to defend themselves and their ideas, the whole situation will change.

 Naturism as the movement which brings positive ideals and noble aspirations, which stimulates people to develop all their physical and mental abilities, which awakens feelings of belonging to Mother-nature and understanding it must be protected, should present its ideas to as many people as possible.

The world is predominantly non-naturist and we, naturists, should remember  the big challenge that we still have.

After reading this article, please, think what you can do to win.

UP

 

We would love it if you would present your view of the topic and/or send your materials for
publication to this Dispute club we are keeping!

 

To main page

To page of web-designer The page of web-designer

 

English version

 

 

Russian version
   
Copyright © 1999-2000  by Kiev Commonwealth of Naturists (KCN). E-mail: kcn@i.kiev.ua  PO Box 74, Kiev-213, Ukraine. Web-design.  

All rights reserved. Images are copyrighted by the
indicated individuals and may not be used or copied without permission