Nudity: A Birth Right

At one point in all of our lives, we were brought forth into this world by means of vaginal birth. Our mother was naked; we were naked—it was “natural.” As a whole, babies are left in clothing as scarce as diapers, and for the most part, nobody blinks an eye—babies are cute and innocent, free of any mirth upon this world. As we grew into toddlers, it became more common practice to let the little boys run around in their shorts or pants, while girls were put into dresses or pants. Little girls were aloud to run around topless less and less.

Copy right: Carrie Sandoval.

Copy right: Carrie Sandoval.

By the time we reached childhood, girls needed to wear a shirt in order to not be considered “naked,” while boys did not. Boys could still run around in the summer time topless, while the closest a young girl could get to being shirtless was by wearing a bathing suit top—at this point in development, our childhood breasts were identically flat to our chests, but a lady shouldn’t be “exposed.” 

Copy right: Marla Telijeiro.

Copy right: Marla Telijeiro.

Upon reaching adolescence, girls are told: no tummies, no shoulders, no cleavage, and no legs visible above the knees; these all account for “naughty,” desirable flesh, something that a woman takes sole responsibility for keeping covered in order to control the male species from selfishly coveting her skin. These trends regarding clothing follow well into adulthood, reaching until the late 40’s or 50’s of a woman’s life, whereupon the skin is no longer found desirable, and, as long as the unwanted extremities remain covered, no one bats an eye—we are all crazy cat ladies once we reach that age, after all.

Dress code chart from Hunter High.

Dress code chart from Hunter High.

I can be born naked, I can briefly grow up naked, and I can give birth naked, but once I hit the age of three or four, as a woman, I am no longer entitled to my own flesh. Let me repeat that: as a birth right, I am given nudity as part of my identity, but once I reach an age where I become “impressionable,” I must be taught to reject my skin, concealing it to protect myself against society’s ideal standards of what a woman should and should not do.

Let’s take this even further, once I reach the age of womanhood, I am still supposed to shun or even fear my flesh, for the right to be naked in the presence of another is considered vile of me, disgraceful, shameful! unless the (man) is my spouse. I can’t even experience my birthright to be physically intimate or mate without the blatant approval of society; I must meet preconceived terms and conditions because it’s “proper” for a woman to be virtuous.

Photo from Amber Rose Slut Shame Walk.

Photo from Amber Rose Slut Shame Walk.

A baby has more rights than a woman.

Let that sink in. Because we equate a newborn with innocence and unknowing, with naivety and curiosity, we do not shame or judge a baby for its nudity. We do not shame a baby for discovering, holding on to, or playing with his or her genitals. We do not judge a baby for suckling a nipple, or touching a woman’s breasts. We do not judge a baby for stepping on, or climbing on a man’s privates. A baby simply cannot know better, therefore the child is not immoral or wrong. But were a woman to be applied to similar situations, they are immoral, vixens, sluts and whores, temptresses, and improper--women know better, as if simply knowing how to be provocative makes us vindictive by nature. For a woman to be topless is a crime, punishable by arrest and severe fines. If a man walks around topless, no one bats an eye. If a baby lays around completely void of clothing, its excusable, perhaps the child unknowingly undressed.

Excuse me? A woman simply cannot have flesh without society deciding her skin is sexual by nature, and therefore her fault, and she should keep it "on-lock." But men's skin, even though easily displayed just as sexual, is not considered sinful by nature, so he can show it off. Even a baby can show off all the skin on it's body and it's still more acceptable than a woman just being naked. 

Image found on anthonyuu.wordpress.com; original work unknown.

Image found on anthonyuu.wordpress.com; original work unknown.

This immoral “justice” is restraining women from having true freedom. Societal standards are made into law, making it “valid” to judge and condemn a woman for bing in her own skin, for trying to own her body. At what point is it considered okay to make a woman feel like her body and flesh is sinful? Men are congratulated on conquests. Babies are praised for their soft silky skin, photographed with “cute,” nude butts on display, naked as the day they were born. So why can that same baby girl go from “cute-as-a-button” to "slutty," and "sinful" in just the span of 13 years?

Just because a body ages does not make that skin any more sexual than the day it was born. Society makes skin sexual by believing it is sexual--plain and simple. Stop blaming women for having curves, skin, and natural beauty. We are born to grow up this way. If you have a problem with women having supple, bodacious bodies, then don't reproduce. If a woman is "sexual" as an adult, then that newborn baby in your hands is "sexual," male, female, or otherwise. Let's be honest, saying a baby is sexual is just ridiculous, but so is saying a woman is sexual just for having the naked body they grow up to have.