I was perusing through my old Facebook statuses in search of throwback fodder for this week’s bloggage when I stumbled upon this post from a few years ago.
“I feel like there’s something inherently wrong with our society’s narcissistic obsession with physical beauty when we can claim that someone is “not attractive enough to be naked”. What ever happened to just looking away? I’m not a fan of gazing at sagging buttcheeks or excessive body hair, but I can’t say I’d feel right about assuming the authority to tell people they can’t show their less-than-what-I’d-find-appealing bodies in my presence. Quite frankly, I give major kudos to everyone confident enough to bear to be bare, with or without social approval.”
With the aid of my superior forensic skills (just kidding), I remembered that the post had been my passive aggressive response aimed at an acquaintance who had whined via social media about one of her neighbors having the audacity to walk out on his apartment balcony buck naked. Apparently, she was offended not by his lack of clothing, but that he had the nerve to show his unappealing body in daylight.
Newsflash: He wasn’t there for her entertainment.
Since when is being naked solely about another person’s viewing pleasure? I resent this incident for the same reason I hate the phrase “bikini body” — the implication and arbitrary obligation that a person’s body is supposed to look a certain way, that they should put in effort to make it look that way, and the shame that the rest of us are supposed to impose on them for their failure to meet this standard.
In retrospect, I’m not surprised by the large number of people who flocked to my acquaintance’s profile page to commend her for her aesthetic bigotry. If you turn on a television in the company of enough people and wait, one of them will eventually start criticizing the images of someone’s body splayed on the screen.
I dream of a day when body shaming isn’t a sport. Until then, I aim to spend more time naked with awesome people who don’t care how any of us look. Yay nudism!