Body acceptance is also referred to as being body positive and could be considered the motto for social nudism. It means a complete acceptance of the human body, male or female, with no need to hide it. Regardless of race, age, or proportions, those who practice body acceptance are proud of their bodies and do not mind if the whole world sees them. There is no sense of embarrassment or impropriety. It is the foundation for a way of life in which participants have a total freedom with the body that is truly liberating. There is no need to hide the body itself or the practice of Naturism. Those who engage in body acceptance feel free to gather together in public or in private. They may participate in any activity without a need for clothing.
Picture how it feels when in the shower, the bath, or the jacuzzi, free from the prying eyes of others, without any kind of restriction of the body. Imagine how it feels in the privacy of the bedroom, when the temperature and climate is perfect for sleeping in the nude. Take it a step further to a late night skinny-dip in the pool, lake or ocean, when no one else is watching and the water kisses the skin with pleasant coolness. Now, consider being part of a community that welcomes such experiences at all times with no need to be secluded or isolated. The world at large would have much better self-esteem if people practiced body acceptance.
Social nudists meet together in public places where nudity is legal, at resorts that are intended for Nudism, or at each other's homes. The only reason there is ever a need for clothing is if climate conditions dictate its necessity, or if someone simply feels like it on a whim. Generally, their complete body acceptance means shedding everything down to the skin that we were all born with and stripping ourselves of our inhibitions as well. Naturists are not trying to put on a public display or cause a sexual scandal with their appearance. They have total acceptance of themselves and others to the point of not even paying attention to the bodies of others. In the same way that most are completely at home in clothing, nudists feel just as comfortable without.
Body acceptance is the foundation for a way of life. It is practiced by singles, couples, and families. Many children are raised from infancy in homes where Naturism is practiced. While they may be required to wear clothing when they attend school, they have no problems with nakedness at home. The same can be said of adults who practice and live in areas where public nudity is not legal. They may have to engage in Naturism only in the privacy of the home. Body acceptance allows them a free-spirited way of life in which they are not weighed down by all of the body image problems that cause so much strain on the general public. If more people were to understand body acceptance, it might be a happier world with fewer eating disorders and discontent with one's body.
A Positive Body Image
It was back in 1935 that a neurologist and psychoanalyst first used the term "body image" in his book to refer to the way a person feels about his or her own appearance and sexual attractiveness. So many years later, it seems that instead of people as a society evolving into a more positive view of body image, the paradigm seems to be continually spinning downward into the negative and harmful realm. Has society learned nothing about the effects of a negative body image on a person's psyche and overall emotional health? It seems that they do and yet perhaps they have more to gain from encouraging people to feel worse about their body image than freeing them to view their bodies as perfect just the way they are.
An individual's body image is a very personal reaction to a variety of external and internal stimuli. Society plays an enormous role in how a person's body image is constructed. Magazines are filled with body types that society flaunts as "beautiful," leaving others to self-loath and depreciate because they do not meet that social standard. In today's society it seems to be "the thinner the better" and this is causing both men and women with a fuller build to doubt their own physical attractiveness and sexual appeal. At the same time, while magazines and other media will flaunt these thin models nude, there are very few magazines who publish pictures of larger men and women without clothing. This obviously leads people to believe that the only body types that are acceptable to be seen in the nude are those who meet society's burdensome standards.
Men and women alike who struggle with a negative body image have a difficult time being comfortable without coverings. They are often uncomfortable with the way their bodies look, and have been taught to cover up what they've been told are imperfections. They are chained by shame and guilt, and they struggle to be free enough to shed the clothing that has been their mask for so long.
When one becomes comfortable enough with his or her body to go naked, it is a freeing experience, and it has been found to positively affect a person's own body image. Not only does he or she feel better about their own body, but they are in community with others who are not constrained by the body image stigmas of society. They begin to see that all they have been taught about body image has been bogus, and that each person's natural body is perfect in its own way. There is no shame and no need for guilt. There is no longer any need to cover up in embarrassment or to hide behind the layers and layers. One can fully embrace his or her own appearance and find satisfaction in a positive body acceptance.
While society continues to cause people to doubt their own beauty, people become more and more ashamed of how they look and doubt whether or not they are sexually attractive. This causes them to invest in diet books, diet pills, diet meal plans and eventual therapy. Do not be fooled. Corporations are making money from people who have a negative body image. That's why it is so important for naturists who have freed themselves from the chains of society to share their body acceptance message of hope to the world.
You can find some amazing stories of women (and men) who overcame their personal struggles with body image: http://nudistnaturistamerica.org/category/body-image-blogs-home/
Lots of love from Young Naturists America
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