Summer is when everyone likes to let their hair down and bare their bodies. Off come the business suits and on go the bathing suits, shorts and sandals. Some people simply forgo bathing suits for birthday suits and drop their inhibitions along with their clothes.
Nudity is receiving plenty of exposure these days.
There are nudist-focused television reality shows, including TLC's "Buying Naked," VH1's "Dating Naked," and Discovery Channel's "Naked and Afraid."
Dov Charney, CEO of American Apparel, was relieved of his corporate duties for his corporeal naked dance video that went viral.
Tennis stars Venus Williams and Tomas Berdych are photographed naked in ESPN's July 11 Body Issue.
Now I am no prude about being nude. I've gone topless in St. Tropez. I enjoy a private skinny dip in my swimming pool at home. And in a defining moment to accept my reconstructed body after breast cancer, I posed naked for The Grace Project, a sensitive series of photographic portraits of women who have undergone mastectomies.
However, there is a Naked Truth: Not everyone may be as comfortable with your bare body or the concept of nudity as you may be. So unless you are planning a vacation to a nude beach, campsite or community where going au naturel is the norm, test the social waters before disrobing and jumping in if you are among non nudists. Just as it is a matter of courtesy to ask, "Do you mind if I smoke?" you should ask if anyone minds if you take off your shirt, shorts, shoes, etc. TMB "Too Much Body" is akin to TMI "Too Much Information." Some people just don't what to deal with others baring and sharing too much with them.
It's not just about the issue of total nudity. It's about baring body parts in a way that some people just may not care to see. I've never been a fan of seeing men eating shirtless at a table or wearing only teeny tiny shorts in my hot yoga classes. I remind my husband to take his bare feet off the coffee table at home. I think a woman in a well-fitted one piece bathing suit looks better than spilling out of a too small bikini. Sometimes it's just better to neatly tuck in the wiggles and jiggles than let them hang out.
I do believe accepting one's body as beautiful at any size and age is important. No amount of nips, tucks, toning and other tuneups will amount to anything if you don't have and project confidence in your body. I wish we could teach that message earlier in schools before some young girls develop negative body images and eating disorders. I wish we could teach people not to bully or discriminate against anyone whose body looks different. I also wish more people understood the importance of caring for their bodies. A healthy attitude help builds a healthy body along with sound nutrition and exercise.
I also believe there is a time and place for everything, including where and when to bare your body in social situations. Do it because your are comfortable with your body. Don't do it if may makes those around you uncomfortable or someone is pressuring you. Be comfortable in your skin and confident in your situation, but be sensitive to your surroundings and consider manners when it comes to matters of the flesh.