I have the chance to live in a country where being naked in front of strangers is completely normal. And while some might see this as completely abhorrent, I have come to embrace it (not while I’m naked mind you 😆) and I will try to expose the reasons why I unrobe in public without batting an eyelid, and not because I’m staring so hard… 🤣
I had a “normal” Asian Christian upbringing, meaning puritanical and guilty about everything 😉 which didn’t mean I stayed like that, in fact I went the complete opposite way…but that’s for another post. Nevertheless I don’t think I saw another naked woman until I was 26, at the gym showers in France, and of course all those topless women on the beaches in France. I picked up the topless bit on the beaches fairly quickly but never really felt comfortable and still walked around with a towel in the gyms.
25 years later and I find myself in Germany, where kids and adults unabashedly strip naked on the beaches and lakes to get into and out of their swimsuits (the naked swimmers come at sunset…), where they sunbathe in the raw in parks (the Englischer Garten in Munich) and the famous public “textilefrei” (free of clothes) saunas and pools, where you even see whole families with kids enjoying the heat of the numerous saunas together, without a stitch of clothing on!
I’m the very “when in Rome” type of person so I tried it at my gym for the first time. When I walked in, there were only women so I laid down and relaxed. Then they left and a man came in and despite trying to stay calm , I counted up to ten and left! I didn’t try it again till 6 months later and now I’m hooked!
I love the FREEDOM of being completely unashamedly stripped of all inhibitions and not caring in the least of what people think! Coming from France where the culture of being slim is omnipresent, it was such an eye opener to see people of all sizes walking around and just letting it all hang out (pun intended), without a care in the world! I was also (mistakenly) under the impression that since the Germans are so used to seeing all that nudity, that they don’t bother looking, so I felt almost invisible in my birthday suit! I myself don’t let my eyes wonder below the waist (yes I promise!) and anyway, at the times I go, I rarely see anything worth looking at! 🤣
There is something really powerful about being able to be so exposed and not worry about any consequences. It created a real shift in the way I think and changed my perspective on how I do things now. For one, I don’t let other people stop me from doing what I want to do, well I never really did…, but now its the physical aspect too. For example some people (my husband included) don’t like going to the sauna/visit places/do stuff if its too busy and there are just too any people. I don’t care anymore, if I want to do it, I can now blank out the rest of the world and enjoy what I went there to do. I’m also less affected by what people think of me (I actually don’t really think about it).
Mind you, I still haven’t come to the point of walking around completely uncovered as some do in the common areas of the sauna, and I still don’t love my body 100%, especially with my clothes on 😉 but I no longer feel disgusted when I see my belly rolls. I’m eating healthy and going to the gym and at 53, I know I can’t get my 25 yr old body back. I definitely don’t want that skinny 46kg body with all its complexes and doubts back either.
Well thanks again for listening to my ramblings. Oh and the painting is a my first sky painting and its for a Christmas card I’m making, which you can see if you come back tomorrow evening. Its supposed to represent the heavens opening up for the birth of Christ and I love it so much I’m going to try and do a much larger version of it!
Have a great day doing something you love!
Daniel Smith extra fine watercolour – Payne’s Blue Grey, Moonglow, New Gamboge, Green Apatite Genuine
Winsor & Newton watercolours – Lemon Yellow Deep & Scarlet lake
Da Vinci Cosmotop mix B no 10 brush
Clairefontaine 200g cold pressed