One Way People Are Dealing With the Constraints of Lockdown: Being Naked
Around the world, the Covid19 lockdown has led to increased interest in nudist lifestyles, reports show. Membership requests for nudist organizations have increased in countries like the U.K. and Ireland, while more and more people are inquiring after, and participating in, online nudist challenges, such as naked gardening photo contests and nude yoga, as reported by French nudist organizations. With more people working from home, “fewer people are worried about what to wear – or haven’t bothered with clothes at all,” according to Andrew Welch, of the organization, British Naturalism.
The Covid19 lockdown has already allowed people to happily relinquish clothing constraints, from bras to pants. Nudists, in response to increased interest in their lifestyle, are hoping this trend takes off, ultimately alerting people to the joys of nakedness.
And there appear to be many — first, being naked has mental health benefits, especially for people who have body image issues. Research shows spending time naked can help people normalize their bodies for themselves, ultimately feel more comfortable in their skin, and enjoy better self-esteem. Sleeping naked is also better for physical and mental health, as it is a way to lower the body’s temperature that not ensures better sleep (aiding mental health), but also improves metabolism. Nakedness can also help the rest of the body — getting rid of restrictive clothing helps the body relax, improve blood circulation, and keep the body free of germs and sweat toxins that clothing can often attach to the body. Being nude in the bottom half of the body also helps maintain vaginal health, as underwear often restricts breathability and can serve as a breeding ground for bacteria.
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Despite the benefits, there are restrictions to society as a whole embracing nakedness. Whether it be a nudist (clothes-free habits focusing on the human body) or a naturalist (a philosophy that focuses the relationships between human bodies and nature) lifestyle, it’s often seen as the ‘other,’ as freaky and deviant. Even in pop culture, we see nakedness as a home-alone activity, often hidden away from others, as a thing we do only for ourselves (think, Rachel Greene’s infamous naked window dance in F.R.I.E.N.D.S.).
The Covid19 lockdown trend, however, shows humans may finally be embracing their desire for nakedness, as we all remain locked away in our homes with nowhere to go, nobody to interact with, and hardly any societal codes of conduct to follow. As we search for the littlest moments of joy and agency under isolation — while being completely robbed of choice in the bigger sense of the word — maybe we can all take a page from the nudist and naturalist philosophies and finally exercise some choice in our lives, even if it is related to something as trivial as clothes.
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