Trekking to the river and finding a nice little secluded spot. Looking around, feeling nervous and yet excited. I take off my shorts, top, shoes and socks…
Finally the underwear comes off! I laugh, I feel like this is the most daring, adventurous thing I have ever done, yet realistically its really not that much of a big deal.
Travelling around the world solo, having large tattoos permanently adorning your body, climbing a 65 foot tree without safety ropes. Yes, these things are daring and adventurous but being naked outside by yourself. Its really not a big deal at all. Certainly not in the physical sense and yet…yet I felt like it was a monumental moment. I felt like I had disobeyed some unwritten laws, I had gone back to adolescence and rebelled and it felt good.
Now I’m not saying I am ready to be naked in front of people, or that I want to keep repeating the experience, but it was a liberating moment and one I shall remember for ever. Realizing that I am capable of really letting go of societies restrictions and doing something new, something different. Experimenting with something which is often misunderstood and frowned upon. Especially after recent experiences it was a big step for me.
Now here is the irony!
After talking to people and sharing my journey so far, it seemed the natural course to share this moment too. So, I decided I would take a tasteful photo. No frontal nudity, just a natural non posed picture of me standing by the river, on the grass. It looked nice enough, nothing pervy or in your face, certainly not a sexy photo, just a natural shot of a natural moment in a natural environment.
And I posted it to my facebook, to share with my friends and family, to include them in my journey. I received many encouraging words, some said I was an inspiration with regards to fitness, some said I was so strong, courageous and outgoing and they were envious I was able to do this, some commented on how beautiful the picture was…and one….one reported the picture to facebook as offensive.
Yep, offensive. Now I attach the picture below so you may judge for yourself and in the end facebook judged it non offensive and well within the rules on nudity but it still bugged me.
Is it offensive to post this on my own wall for my friends to see? Am I, to some one else, the pervy German??
Or is this a case of someone just being spiteful for the sake of it? Or jealous or incredibly closed minded and prude. I felt outraged that I was now painted in the position of the inappropriate when I had been so careful to avoid being what I had hated most about my recent nudity experiences and a lot of people agreed with this, showing support and insisting it was a tasteful picture, I had every right to post it and they enjoy seeing my progress, both in my travelling journey an in my body (I am a fitness fanatic).
Maybe the lesson to learn here is that there will always be people who do things you deem unacceptable, and on the other hand there will also be those who deem you unacceptable
We are not made physically the same, nor are we mentally balanced in the same ways, some of us are more easily offended, or thick skinned and you will always have haters for whatever you do, or don’t do and you will always have people you look up to. I guess the key is to avoid what and who offends you and search out that and those which inspired and interest you.
It has made me see that maybe my negative experience recently with a certain German was actually more to do with his personality and high sexually charged nature than it was with the actual naturalism he was practising. Perhaps when shirking off the restraints of clothes, we should also shirk off the social conventions that make us feel like we have to be nice and friendly with everybody. Why not keep some distance if someone just isn’t your cup of tea, why not just not be friends. Be polite, but be distant, there is no rule that you have to try to like someone and spend time around them.
Is it not more rude to be rude to someone because you dislike them than to avoid being around them unnecessarily?