Please stop appealing to nature

One of the most common arguments for virtually anything today goes “it’s natural”. For a food, they say it has 100% natural ingredients and everybody assumes it’s healthy, just because it’s natural. In case of nudism, proponents say it’s natural, or that it brings them closer to nature (hence, I assume, the alternative name “naturism”).

The scale on which this particular argument is used with just about anything makes me assume – the very moment I hear it – that everything that preceded it, and everything which follows, is absolute bollocks.

Death is natural. Feeling any closer to nature? Poison is natural. Feeling any more confident about those 100% natural ingredients?

Everything is natural. Appealing to the “naturalness” of something isn’t an argument in either its favor, or against it. In fact, when someone invokes an appeal to nature it makes me dubious because if “it’s natural” (like everything else) is all one has to say about a thing, then that thing doesn’t sound like it’s very interesting.

Nudism is so much more than just “natural”! And no, it doesn’t bring you “closer to nature” – you’re 100% natural through and through, clothed or not, uptight or easygoing, and there’s no way to be any closer to nature than that.

Sure, many people will handwave my position away, claiming that nobody ever meant that 100% natural ingredients would include poisons, but rather those ingredients which are healthy for people and aren’t synthetic, or processed. In the case of nudism, they’ll say “Of course a human is natural, but when we say that nudity brings man closer to nature we actually mean it will expose that person to the elements and make that person experience the elements in a completely new way!”

But… my question is… why don’t you say exactly what you mean?

What stops you from elaborating on the exact way that nudism is natural? Why is it so difficult to describe that amazing feeling of a gentle breeze gliding across the surface of the skin, the soft tingle of it disturbing your body hairs, and the cool sensation it brings to the surface of your body as it is exposed to the warmth of the Sun? And what of that liberating feeling when you lie naked on your back and take a deep breath and feel the smell of the ocean or the sea and pine and sun tan lotion, and the freedom of your chest moving up unburdened by the weight and stretch of clothes? Why is all this so often ignored in naturist writings in favor of the meaningless, worn-out bromide proclaiming that nudism is “natural”?

After all, if we forget what exactly we value nudism for, and the only argument for nudism we are left with is that it is natural, and we simply parrot this argument without understanding and without any meaning, then what stops us from saying that sex is also natural and therefore we should have sex in public places?

Think about it.

What makes nudism so special to you?

What sets it apart from all other perfectly natural activities you could be doing instead?

8 thoughts on “Please stop appealing to nature

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  1. Hey, “natural” sells, and it’s the same as “no chemicals added”, “that food (or whatever) has no chemicals”, this is “organic”… people should know that everything is chemical too, that it’s not-man-made may be another thing but “no chemicals”… and everything coming from a living thing is organic. Here, people say “ignorance is daring”, that’s so true and can easily be exploited…

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    1. Ivan, I can’t dispute the fact that something being labeled as “natural” sells more of the same than if it weren’t, but that, I think, backfires when we’re talking about controversial matters. Public nudity is not something everyone is comfortable with and sure, some will dare try it when they hear it’s “natural”, but I have doubts about this being the main selling point for nudism. That’s why I’d love to hear more and I’m often disappointed to find that the central point of everyone’s argument for nudism is it’s “naturalness”.

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  2. More and more I’m calling myself a naturist. As an environmentalist who sees society as perilously alienated from nature, and someone who has worked in the energy conservation industry, I too am jaundiced about claims that things are natural. I’ve used the word “nudist” because nudity itself called me, and thought of “naturism” as an aspiration. Lately I’ve realized that we are alienated from our naked bodies, and that nakedness is the manifestation of nature whose alienation carries the greatest peril.

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