We Had It All!

What happened? ... and when and why did we loose it?

It’s amazing what one little incident can do to trigger a whole load of memories. There is this article 'Whose fault is it?' in which I mention a lady named Dawn Porter who did a TV documentary on ‘Size 0’ a while ago. Yesterday that got repeated and hubby all of a sudden remembered that she has a new project. She is organizing a flashmob in London for the 9th July 2007 for women to show up naked. The idea of the whole thing being, that we should show of our natural shapes and be proud of them.

My first reaction was a cringe face on imagining myself running naked through the middle of London. And then it all came back to me, thinking: 'C’mon, I had my 20s in the 80s – it wasn’t such a big deal to be naked back then!’

Apparently it was already the generation of my parents who prepared the ground for this because my first conscious recollection of being naked in a location where people could potentially see me was at the age of 10 or so. We used to go to one of those quarry lakes in our area for an evening swim and all of a sudden my parents threw their bath suits and I was embarrassed like hell. I only joined under group pressure and felt for the first time that ones actions are not necessarily guided by rational rules, but by what people are doing around you – however silly that might be. One just feels the urge to belong.

Later when I went to University there was a clear distinction between cool people and prudes. One just had to go to the nudist beach. Even the main public swimming pool in our city had a nudist area. It was a pond made for swimming and fenced off, but actually it was the nicer part of the whole facility. If you wanted to go to the ‘normal’ area you had to at least put bottoms on. And of course one would parade topples when picking up an ice cream. I have to admit that I didn’t feel very comfy, especially when one day I bumped into the guy I was doing the house cleaning for. This old bloke – gosh, he might have been about the same age as I am now – was absolutely cool about that and started chatting while I only tried to avoid looking at his dangly bits and his sagging bottom, and I was wishing for the ground to open and to please swallow me for good!

Nevertheless, who wants to be a prude? So on I went with going nude whenever possible - sauna in Germany anyway, and the lake with one side for the ‘normal people’ and the other side for the naked ones where we spent every free minute. Fortunately I did: I never would have met hubby otherwise. I got used to it and it just was the normal thing to do.

We went to honeymoon in 1984 and one reason to chose the location was for the vast nudist beaches it had. I even have photos taken from there. And on recalling that this morning, it happened that past and present met in my brain!

Why on earth was I cringing about the idea of running naked through London – actually, I guess I would as well cringe about pictures somewhere – hold on a minute: If you would have been on Formentera (island next to Ibiza) in July 1984 visiting these beautiful beaches, then you might even have a naked photo of me in your album. All my life I tried to live in a way that I cannot get compromised, and here I am trying to hide my nakedness which might be out there anyway.

The only thing about London is: It's a bit unusual, while a beach is considered to be more appropriate. But that doesn't have anything to do with the fear that a teacher or work colleague might see me naked - so it doesn't have anything to do with being naked itself.

Since I’m writing for this site I feel that the more I open up the more I feel the freedom of not having to be careful all the time. If everybody knows everything: Well, there might be the odd job I won’t get anymore – but meanwhile I’m too old for those anyway, and I probably I wouldn’t want to have them anymore. And else?

Well there are friends and family who might get embarrassed by me. That’s a tough one! If it would be harder for them to be associated with somebody like me, than it would be for me not doing something – oh well, then I would consider not doing it. One doesn’t want to risk losing the whole social environment, but on the other hand it is just too easy to use the others as an excuse or to be pre-emptively obedient.

So, again! What is the worst to happen? NOTHING, I guess. I’m keen to hear what the ladies from the flashmob have to report. On one hand I feel relieved that I got notice of it too late and that I’m not able to travel there so short notice, on the other hand – well, I feel a bit of pity for the missed opportunity, and I feel a bit of pity for myself that I have become a prude after all.

Thanks Dawn, you are a great lady! Thanks for raising awareness, and thanks for making me remember. I wish you all the best for your project!


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We Had It All

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Author: Rika