22 August 2008

On nudity.

We were discussing what constitutes 'nudity' the other day. People in nudism chat rooms have said that even if you're wearing shoes that's not really 'nude', that to be 'nude' means to be completely unadorned and to be at risk of stepping on something. And I rather agree with that-- nudity has to include a certain level of being vulnerable, even to the elements one is trying to be a part of. Jessy and I have gone out back with hats on or ties in our hair and we've thought that didn't make us not nude. If we were to go for a hike somewhere and wear a belt or something to carry a water bottle with, would that make us less than nude? Would wearing a backpack make us less nude? Is a stripper who keeps on her gloves and high-heeled shoes still 'nude'?

We agreed that 'nudity' is really the baring of body parts which are normally kept covered in 'polite society'-- meaning at work, or at school or church, or on a public street, or at someone else's party. You wouldn't go to the Prom in a dress that bared your breasts, for example. Then Jessy suggested that some swimsuits, for example, are extremely revealing, whether a low-cut top or very brief bottoms, and we've seen some pretty alarming ones before. So we asked why a thong or a g-string is considered appropriate for a swimsuit on the beach. Some are pretty extreme, but any proper g-string or thong covers the crutch, at least in front, but appears to bare the whole bottom in back. That's not very much clothing to wear for 'polite society'. And we hoped that it covers where it should between the legs, of course.

And so from that we established a functional definition of what clothing is supposed to be-- that for women, it covers the nipples completely, and for both sexes it covers the external genitalia and the anal opening so that there is no likelihood that these areas might become exposed in the reasonable wearing of the piece of clothing. If this rule is not met, then you're baring intimate parts of your body, and it's basically nudity.


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