We all know people that see the brand of clothes you are wearing before they notice the smile on your face, they like you as much for the car you drive as they do for the wine you drink, and they are generally ‘in the know’ with the people who make stuff happen around here.
These are the ‘good’ boys and girls, they probably went to the right school and have a degree and a ‘weekender’ or maybe a boat, or both. They have played the game and been rewarded with a good job, good fortune, a good life. But all is not good because this good life is now under threat, from government lock downs and boarder closures, from climate change events, from the vegans and other activists making us all feel bad about our choices and lifestyle… But we know the truth, something has to change because the good life is only good for some, and now everyone knows not just about the inequality, but we are quickly realising how easy it would be to change.
It is always hard to believe that the courageous step is so close to us, that it is closer than we ever could imagine, that in fact, we already know what it is, and that the step is simpler, more radical than we had thought…David Whyte
However, it is going to be hard, for all of us, to give up the pretty clothes and other rewards just because someone else wants to change the rules of the game that many of us are currently winning; at least to some degree. Will we stamp our feet and claim we are entitled to live and play the way we want? At the expense of so many ‘others’? But the sense of ‘otherness’ is starting to become fuzzy, as the pandemic crashes like an invisible tsunami, leaving a wake of human desperation and despair, and the climate crisis looms in the form of bush fires and rising sea water, we are starting to understand what it means to be “all in this together”.
But there is one thing each of us in privileged society has to face. We are going to have to sacrifice some of that privilege in order to rectify the imbalance, the inequity and the injustice. East or West, left or right, either way our disposable, consumerist lives, are killing us; literally (yes, actually literally, not just metaphorically which is what most people mean when they say literally…. #stopit). And at the same time we are having to face that there is no longer a choice in the matter, it’s too late. Value and supply chains are being interrupted, employees are embracing the ‘great resignation’, and the Omicron variant of COVID-19 is crippling workforces and disrupting shopping culture around the world…..
As well as the logistical and ethical aspects of the textile industry, there are also the social and political aspects, those related to identity. Put simply, the textile industry provides people in our societies with a way of displaying economic, political, ideological, religious and any other social identity you can think of. It is the key signal for otherness in our societies. If we remove clothing, if we all stand as we were born, we become aware, not only of our shared vulnerabilities, but our shared humanness, our collective identity. Clothes are a constant reminder and primer to our differences, nakedness is a reminder of our sameness.
Nudism and naturism as a way of life encapsulates and represents so much of the shift we need to make, away from the capitalist driven consumer economy we are currently enslaved by. However, it is not so much an ideology that motivates me to shed the expected coverings on my body, but the sheer pleasure of the experience. Quite simply, it feels good to be naked, both physically and psychologically. It is liberating, and this experience of liberation, the freedom of the fear of being seen and heard as I really am…? This is something that so many could benefit from.
it costs nothing
anyone can do it
no-one has to know
tell everyone you meet
we all have what it takes
none of us can deny it
we’ve all done it at some point
it’s time to do it on purpose
just don’t pick them back up
leave them on the floor
worn out norms
someone else’s name on your brand
a label on your self and soul
shed them all
walk out into the day
touch the world with your skin
let the world fill your soul
In short, nudism is both a practice and a metaphor.
The practice brings me closer to nature and my authentic self, I am more in tune with my true nature.
The metaphor is about shedding old norms and expectations for a better world. It hopefully helps you see, how courageous vulnerability, can help shift the way people see things, how we can be brave enough to stop conforming to old ways of doing things that we don’t believe in anymore, that aren’t serving us, that don’t actually make our lives better.
We wear clothes because it is an expectation of society that you publicly identify and categorise yourself through this means and the textile industry keeps us trapped in this loop by feeding our desperation to be categorised as we want to be seen by others ….what if we didn’t? What if we freed ourselves from this negative feedback loop? Free from the fear of worrying about how others will see you?
What if you saw me completely naked? Completely authentic, not hiding anything, not ashamed, not scared. Just naked, just me.
What if I allowed myself to be that authentic and that free???