The Naked Thing
Naked- “a part of the body without clothes”.
Naked changes meaning in different cultures and times. The bible considers hair not covered, naked. It used to be considered naked for a man to go swimming without a tank covering his chest. Some consider short skirts or shorts to be naked regardless of gender. Others would not consider any of this naked at all.
What does naked mean in 2022. The beach is filled with thong bathing suits- two butt cheeks out- not naked. Men’s bathing suits keep going lower and lower- not naked. Breasts exposed from all angles – not naked. Suit jackets without shirts- hot couture, if you can carry it off- not naked.
So, what’s naked? Should it even exist in our lexicon? Is modesty a thing of the past that is a by-gone’s era of body shaming? That’s certainly one way to look at it. On the other hand, mystery goes a long way to stoke the imagination. Modesty practiced in measure by men and women alike is a far cry from body shaming. And the reality is that body shame has nothing to do with how covered we are. If shame is going to happen- it will happen anyway.
Clothing can be empowering. How and what we wear is powerful communication. Coverage allows us to tell an every changing story of who we are, giving us the ability to be camelians in every setting.
Nakedness, gives only one message. And what will the fashion industry do when all we don our string, thong bikinis and minimal fabric for coverage? Blings on our things? That’s a look. Maybe that’s one reason tattoos are all the vogue with everyone – self expression and coverage in one. Blings and tattoos, barely covered- certainly not a new look in our human history. Maybe it’s freeing or maybe there’s reason most left it behind.