We Don’t Have To Take Our Clothes Off (in fact, please don’t…)

In the midst of enjoying the opening scenes of the Nutcracker ballet yesterday, an interesting thought occurred to me while I was watching the ladies and men dance together.  The women of the scene appeared quite stunning in their beautiful Victorian dresses and were showing very little skin save for an exposed nape of the neck or a bit of collarbone area.  It was classy, elegant and just plain old refreshing to see women dressed in attire that left them more covered than not.  These dresses allowed all the women to present as lovely, refined sophisticated forms regardless of their individual height or body type.  It left the audience to appreciate their dancing skills, form and presence on the stage.  The attire created an air of mystery…a breath of fresh air.

I was a bit surprised to find that I had even noticed this because I certainly would not define myself as a prude or overly conservative by any means.  I believe in the freedom of expression and am an avid supporter of appreciating your body for the wonderful functions it serves.  In this time of “less is more” though, my mind roamed to everything we are inundated with in terms of clothing and body form.  Clothes are getting skimpier by the day, and if skinny jeans become any skinnier they will become support hose.  Television focuses on “How To Look Good Naked” and Hollywood icons are idolized for their buttocks and breasts (imagine applying fillers to your rump to achieve the Kim Kardashian butt…not like it’s done anything for her love life lately).  We have become focused on micro-analyzing our bodies cosmetically as if the perfect naked form will somehow give us the happiness we search for.  If we invested this much attention to the function and health of our bodies instead, I am sure it would be safe bet that we would be a higher functioning group in no time.

What would be wrong, after all, with a shift backward towards the old “more is less” type of thinking?   What about leaving something up to the imagination rather than serving it all up on a silver platter up front.  If you’re putting it all out there on first glance, what’s left to wonder about?  With the onslaught of social media outlets, girls (and women) are inundated with bodies everywhere and a lot of them are scantily clad providing unrealistic ideas of what is normal or average.  As a nurse I probably view the human body a little differently than most because I see “naked-ness” a lot.  I place my reverence more upon the body’s health than the body’s appearance (translation-if it ain’t working, it doesn’t matter how pretty it looks).  Although we don’t all look the same, the basic parts are all there and all do the same things.

In an age where we want everything quick and easy, the need to use our brains and imaginations is becoming more of an art form than anything else.  Why leave something up for contemplation when you can just show the full Monty from the get-go?  Yet, where’s the fun in that…the exploration, the wonder, the discovery?  There’s something to be said for keeping it on and keeping some things sacred.

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