(ok, ok, I’m not – but it got your attention, huh?)
So, interestingly enough, one of my most read posts is also the shortest. While one may possibly assume that according to these results shorter = better; while this may be so (in some cases) it appears that the reason that this post is viewed so often is because… it’s about nudity (and maybe it has to do a little bit with Tom Ford….maybe). Hmmm. Apparently, it’s a topic people are very interested in (*raises eyebrows*). The reaction to a teeny little quote has piqued my interest and got me thinking about what it is about the subject that titillates us so – besides the obvious reasons… more like opinions on the topic of when we are the most real/equal naked vs. clothed. So, let’s repost that Tom Ford quote and bounce off from there:
“With a more natural relationship to nudity, we might also be freed up to find each other a lot more fascinating. There’s an equality to being naked; the fewer clothes and accessories a person wears the less you judge them, and the more you notice their truest traits, like their eyes or their charisma, their great hands or their one-of-a-kind hair or, most importantly, their personality and character. As much as I love clothing, it gives us one more layer to hide behind.”
Clothes. I can’t help but love them. But, I/you can’t really deny that in some ways we can both hide behind and define outselves by them. They are intrinsically a part of the persona that we project, whether or not we are aware of it or do it intentionally. They help to represent who we are and/or who we want to be; and like the great costumer Edith Head once said, “You can be anything so long as you dress the part”. We stress out about what to wear to an interview, or on a date. We try to figure out which version of ourselves we want to present and how that person ought to dress. Or, of course, we can try to fake it entirely – but often, at least for me, you just feel uncomfortable. I always found it fascinating how our choice in clothes and accesories tie into both our personality and body image. While I was working in retail it was always interesting to see people try something on, look in the mirror, make a face and say, “Oh, that just looks awful on me!” – when actually, in theory, it looks fine. It just doesn’t work with who they are.
And since just about everyone can admit that they’ve worried about what to wear at some point or other, very few people can honestly deny the effect that someone’s clothing choice affects our initial opinion of them. We tend to have constructs built into our mind of how a person of any certain profession or station in life should present themselves, and we might try to assume a lot about a person by what they wear – how much money they make, what they do, what music they listen to, etc. It’s not always a sure thing, however, and you’ll often find yourself surprised. It was uncommon for customers that I least expected it from to would pull out a Black Amex.
So, yes, it’s relatively undeniable that we often (unfortunetly) judge one another by what we wear (at least and especially at first), and perhaps like Mr. Ford says, we’d be a whole lot more equal naked. Without all of those layers to hide behind. Without all of the things that those layers convey about us, we’d be forced to actually talk to one another to find out more.
Of course, you could make a counterpoint that at least here in the United States, we have a whole lot of body issues; not that we judge one another not only by what they wear but the bodies underneath. And in theory, a whole lot more shows when we’re naked. Or maybe just as much…but in a different way. Maybe we’re just too self-concious about the skin we reside in. You can dress to fill a role, but your body will always be your body; though, even so, there are so many forms of plastic surgery and body modifications we engage in so as to make our bodies fit “us” better. It seems that even naked we’re hoping to say something about who we are. And then, of course, that (especially here in the States) we tend to sexualize practically everything. So naked isn’t just hey-man-its-my-body, your form, its naked *wink wink, nudge nudge*
It’s fascinating really, and I could likely go on and on and on about the subject. But, I’ll leave it at this for now, and perhaps it could continue in another post should any interesting comments be raised.
I guess I could just leave it with the question, when do you feel more you? naked or clothed? (for example/additional things to think about… how some people with non-average body shapes have said they don’t necessarily think of themselves / their bodies being “different” until they go shopping and find that not much fits)