How can it be that something so natural, basic, celebrated and yet common could be a source of
We are boaters. My husband, 9 year old and six year old spend our precious leisure time on Norris
Lake’s emerald green waters. We spend our summer water skiing, tubing, swimming and picnicking
nestled in the immense and raw beauty of the Smokey Mountains.
As we were driving our boat to settle in and anchor in our favorite cove, we passed another boat full of
seemingly harmless adults. Ten 60 year-olds swimming and enjoying the water. We witnessed one very
uninhibited and confident older woman decide to climb down the ladder from her boat wearing only a red
visor…had to keep the sun off her face, I suppose. Her body was not what you see in the movies or
magazines…she had lived a life and it showed. In any event, my kids and their friends are absolutely
AMAZED!”Can she really do that”…”Did you see the Naged lady?!” Yes, with a “g”…Saucer-eyed and lips
firmly pressed together to suppress a serious howl my six year old was speechless…Her older brother
wondered out loud…”Did anyone see the birth canal?”…”Nope, son, I wasn’t that close” thank goodness,
I thought. How was it that this very natural state caused such an uproar?
What is it about nudity that can be just so unnaturally funny…is it a nervous awareness? What did Eve
do to all of us? Do we like to pretend that we aren’t mammals? Did we forget what we were wearing
when our mothers brought us into this world?
Why is it that something so natural makes us so uncomfortable? We have become so conditioned from
our cultural standards we forget who we are. Don’t get me wrong, these standards are in place for a
reason…I’d hate to run into my neighbors “au natural” in the produce isle at the Piggly Wiggly. Rules are
here for a reason, thank-you-very-much. But I do start to wonder, what else is so natural and yet quite
uncomfortable? What do we think of the woman who isn’t battling to still look like the ingénue she was
20 years ago? The woman who doesn’t try to please others? What about the man who can cry in public
when so moved? That is more naked than any nudist you’ll ever see at the lake!
There is something every empowering and inspiring to be around those that can be truly
naked…dropping their egos, defenses and protective armor and allowing us to see who they really
are…authentic, human and perfectly imperfect. You won’t see me running around in my subdivision in my
birthday suit…but a part of me really understands the motivation to drop a few figurative layers and get
good and comfortable in my own skin.