image showing sports watch with all the apps

Are you going Naked Today?

It’s World Naked Day and it got me thinking about what we mean by the word naked. The dictionary defines it as without clothes, but it also relates to feeling powerless and stripped bare. There is a strength about it too, think strong emotions ‘naked desire’, yet with that there’s a darker side ‘naked aggression’.

Emma Johnson

Naked is a funny word isn’t it? A bit of a contradiction – on the one hand, freedom and that almost exciting shock the world thing. But, it also seems that there is a slightly scary side to it. This reflection made me wonder what it really means to me.

Being Naked – It’s More Than Clothes

Nakedness is so much more than being without fabric clothes. These days, I bet few people feel completely dressed without their technology on them. Let’s face it, how often are you apart from your phone and its apps? Similarly, your smart watch, because of course, how else would we know if we’d achieved our 10,000 steps?
Along with our clothes, our devices seem create our identity, help us know where we fit with our clan. Sounds great, but is this apparent overdressing and fear of nakedness increasing our stress and anxiety? And, could true going naked actually increase our nakedness in a slightly more sinister way?

Going Naked

Last year, I read a fascinating article titled “Naked Running“.  Rather than the story being about a woman running around the streets without clothes, it was about her not using her watch to record her run. Without seeing the run on Strava or Garmin, she couldn’t compare herself against anyone else or in fact against herself. While being slightly disarmed, at the same time her nakedness gave her an overwhelming sense of freedom.  I totally understand that. How many of us feel like we didn’t really run, bike or workout if it’s not on Strava? It’s the proof or evidence we have to publicise who we are and what we achieve rather than simply thinking to ourself ‘I really enjoyed my run and feel good for it’. This evidence does no favours. It’s like we have to publicly prove ourselves and if we don’t we’ve failed or not met the perceived expectations.  This potentially creates pressure, stress and anxiety.

Naked Sleep

It’s the same with sleep – your watch will tell you how tired you are depending on how many hours you grabbed last night. Do you know that sense of panic because your watch ran out midway through the night without recording your hours of sleep? We are no longer in control of our bodies by how we feel we can only judge by what our APPs tell us. Our watches and APPs rule our very being and are automating us without realising. Without them the sense of nakedness is a step too far.

Unsociably Naked

Interestingly, so-called celebs are using social media to strip off, others post on OnlyFans. Some use their nakedness to demonstrate freedom and control over their bodies, while for others it is purely to generate an income. However, the so-called freedom and income through nakedness can come at a price. There is trolling, copyright infringement, crime and fear, as well as family and friend embarrassment. Is this really giving us the freedom and control we think it does? The clothes may be off, but perhaps the pictures are still part of the social media treadmill of conformity and therefore the naked stars are not truly naked.

Is Nakedness Legal or Offensive?

It’s only illegal to be naked in the UK if you purposely strip off to upset or shock people. In fact, the person who complains about your nakedness has to prove you have attempted to upset them. Of course, the balance between freedom of expression and causing distress on purpose may sometimes be a fine line.
Take the Naked Rambler who for years rambled across the country, facing arrests and even time in prison. He appeared naked in a prison video link at the Court of Appeal. Was he purposely trying to offend, I am not sure he was.
Naked bike rides aiming to protest against the car started around the cities of the world in 2002. There are naked runs. Channel 4 programme never fails to shock with its’ “Naked Attraction” and they’re making a Naked Rambling programme too. World naked gardening day might bring a few chuckles, and be somehow less shocking more funny, yet it is the same thing.
In Europe, naked sunbathing is commonplace yet it wasn’t until 1980 that a Brighton beach became officially an a naturists beach. These days there are only one or two accepted naturist beaches in the whole of the UK.

We see naked foods as being good for us because they are stripped of all the things we love and know are bad for us! Naked wines purport to support independent producers which is great.

How does Nakedness Feel?

What is it about being naked that on the one hand shocks and on the other draws us in?

Nakedness does give a sense of release and freedom but think beyond clothes. It gives an inner confidence that somehow feels very positive while actually slightly naughty at the same time. It’s like you haven’t conformed!

In fact, if you think about it, not knowing how much you slept isn’t really going to make any difference to your day, apart from probably make it slightly less stressful. It’s the same with recording your steps.

Nakedness is about letting go, not letting these demands of society take hold of us. If you miss the latest social media post, so what? If it helps you to connect with your body more, achieve the mindfulness that perhaps we all need then use today to get naked!

And remember being naked is not just about your clothes!