“Nudists are people too” is the most important lesson I’ve learned since I started writing about nudism. I keep having to remind myself “Nudists are people too” because of a mindset that I’m trying to get rid of. The mindset that: A person’s choice to go naked is what defines them.
To go into more detail:
It sometimes still boggles my mind that peoples’ reasons for going naked can be pure — i.e., can have nothing to do with sex — and that a naked person can be around other people who are naked too without having the encounter become an orgy. And I keep having to remind myself that when a person is going naked, that doesn’t change who they are: A human being. Made in God’s image. (Genesis 1:27)
I wouldn’t say that my struggle — the struggle to remember that nudists are people too — has anything to do with lust. The reason why is because when I encounter nudity I would say that I do a good job of keeping lustful thoughts at bay by praying and reminding myself of my pure intentions for looking at such a portrayal of nudity, or by removing the nudity from my sight. (“Out of sight, out of mind,” as the old saying goes.)
My struggle comes from the fact that, even though I know I wasn’t, I still feel like I was taught that “A person is defined by their body.” Taught that the body is the most important aspect of a person. Does that make sense?
Thus, when I hear that a person is going naked, I sometimes think “That person thinks their body is the most important aspect of who they are.” Even though I know that’s not true. Even though I know that a person who goes naked, just like a person who is clothed, sees themselves as more than their body. Going naked is just how they express that belief. By showing all of themselves to the world, a nudist is implicitly saying “See me for all that I am. Look beyond my naked body and see the person underneath.”
A nudist is not defined by their choice to go naked, just like a person who is clothed isn’t defined by their choice to wear clothes. It’s what these people do, as a result of the choice they make, that defines them.