Once upon a time I read a post about a mom who wanted her sons to see her naked and it caused controversy on Facebook. Go figure. It wasn’t my page, thank goodness. But all the same, women were completely outraged that this mother would let her boys see her naked body. Some suggested it was nothing short of child endangerment. And that folks is what made me mad.
See I am constantly reminded of the story of a mother breastfeeding during bath time who was arrested. And more and more parents who are actually taking care of their kids are being punished for something as simple as getting a second opinion on medical care or even playing outside. Yet parents who let their children rummage through stores destroying property, curse openly in public, or bully other children are guilt free. But I digress…
Nudity. I am not sure why people have issues with being naked. It might have to do with the self-esteem issues in today’s culture. Oversexualization in media definitely plays a part. And, god forbid, if someone is actually comfortable in their own skin they are ostracized for “promoting fat culture” or, on the other end, creating “unrealistic” ideals. (Skinny girls exist, too. And not all of them are starving.) What is unrealistic is the expectation that every body is the same and that every family should respond to the issue of nudity the same.
As far as I’m concerned, the issue of nudity and modesty is a private matter in every family. Just as parents should be responsible for teaching their child all about their bodies and privates, they should gauge each of their children on appropriate behavior for nudity.
My oldest (girl) is 6 and my youngest is 1.5 (boy). What sex they are doesn’t matter because I think it’s more about age than body parts. I don’t close the bathroom when I shower, or sometimes even when I pee. I like to hear what’s going on so I leave doors open. If I’m changing and my daughter walks in she’ll say “oh sorry,” and not awkwardly but just as if she meant “oh that’s your space we’ll talk soon.” My son is too young to care either way, but eventually he will get to an age where I’ll tell him “go along now while mommy changes. I would like some space please.” I think those are personal boundaries that each mother must set with her own children. No two relationships are identical.
I once dated a man who grew up in a nudist family. In fact, I saw his dad’s privates before we even considered intimacy because Dad came barging in unaware that my boyfriend at the time had company over. He apologized and shifted behind the door frame, but was never awkward about it. He said what he came to say, introduced himself, apologized again, and left. I remember being perplexed, but then my boyfriend said his parents were nudists and I was like “Oh. That’s rad!” And that was that.
People need to start getting over this idea that bodies are weird, awkward things that need to be hidden away. That kind of behavior leads to confusion about what our bodies are for, what is really normal, and can contribute to all those nasty body image issues of the current generations. Consider telling the truth to your children about both sex and what their beautiful, wonderful bodies are capable of. (Creating and nurturing life is a great start!)
And it’s okay sometimes for bodies to be naked.