The Naked Rambler’s Brother Installed Our Staircase, and other small steps towards understanding attitudes to nudity

The naked rambler’s brother installed our staircase. Fact. He was fully clothed when he did it. Public nudity is not a family trait.

The naked rambler is a chap who has been in prison for 2 and a half years for breaching an ASBO ordering him to cover up in public.

I read about his latest exploits just after I had read this article about a woman who has turned to art to express her despair at being forced to wear  the burqua.

While I was reading that article, I noticed that the 3 year old was starkers, standing on the window sill, waving to the passers by. I wondered if I was being irresponsible leaving him there. Parenting-peado-paranoia has taken hold of my mind.

When I finally retrieved my son, I looked out of the window and noted that my husband has nearly completed the installation of the outside bath. We wear swimming costumes in the outdoor bath. We do this to protect our pot smoking, heavy drinking, swearing neighbours who peer over our fence, from the obscenity that is our bodies. Because we are nice like that.

Speaking of swimming costumes, I went to the pool other day in an attempt to shift some of the baby weight (the baby starts school in September).

While in the changing rooms, two teenage girls shamed one of their ‘friends’ due to some perceived imperfection with her body. The shamed girl shuffled into a tiny cubicle to change.  In disgust, I stood there naked aside from the towel I was using to dry my arms, and I stared the bullies down: “this is what a human looks like”, my eyes challenged them. They more than understood.

The incident reminded me of a conversation I once had with the naked rambler’s brother’s girlfriend. She was in the female changing room at the local baths, showering naked. A mother with her 7 year old son asked if perhaps my naked friend could keep her swimming costume on while showering so as not to upset the little boy.

I must first point out that my friend was German, and had not quite got a handle of the subtleties of some words in the English Language. So, you can imagine the concerned mother’s face when she was told, “He came out of your c*nt, I’m sure he doesn’t mind mine”.

Try saying it in a German accent. Brilliant.

Are our continental friends more comfortable with their bodies than us Brits? Perhaps it was the Dutch traveller that misled our English Rose into getting her boobs out at a sacred monument in Malaysia. Seems a bit disrespectful, but to be fair on them I am not sure they anticipated that their actions could result in an earthquake, courtesy of the wrath of the Gods.

I wonder what 20 somethings do think about nudity these days. They have grown up surrounded by music videos verging on porn, by actual porn, by being told that boys fail at school because girls’ skirts are too short, that it’s OK to breastfeed in public. No it isn’t. Yes it is. No it isn’t.

That they live in a free country.

That they can dress how they please.

Although burqua wearing really isn’t cricket

And being naked in public is most likely a step too far, whether you are rambling or not.

And as for all the steps in between full coverage and full nudity, who knows?

Not me!

I’m going to have a bath. Things are always clearer after a bath…..

…..aren’t they?

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8 thoughts on “The Naked Rambler’s Brother Installed Our Staircase, and other small steps towards understanding attitudes to nudity

  1. clara@expatpartnersurvival.com says:

    The title to this blog post wins my title of the year 🙂 I have to say, I think the naked tourists in Malaysia are just idiots (it doesn’t take much to at least try and understand the culture of the country you are in), but I do despair at all the fuss made over nipples in this country. There have been some brilliant posts, tweets etc recently pointing out that male and female nipples are pretty much the same and yet it’s totally fine for one set to be seen in public but not the other…unless, of course, it’s for sexual reasons and to sell something. I particularly despair of the fuss made about breastfeeding in public.

    Like

    • Abby Boid says:

      Nipples definitely should have had more of a mention in this post! We do make such a big fuss over them, don’t we? Weird. And yep – the breast feeding thing drives me potty. Have a lovely weekend, however you choose to dress.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Stephanie says:

    My children were pathologically unable to ignore any water no matter how shallow and would always strip off and plunge in (very cool in the Highlands of Scotland). Nudity is not a big problem for them but how sad that it is for so many folk and even sadder that ‘how’ one’s body looks is the cause of so much angst or envy or religious constraint. Good luck to the Naked Rambler.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. sabretoothedchickenstour says:

    Yes, Europeans are far more comfortable with nudity than most people in Britain or Australia. Yes, people do have different levels of nudity where they feel comfortable. Yes, you should feel comfortable with your own body. Being naked does not have to be sexual. I say head out there in the English summer, when the kids are asleep and have a naked soak in the tub – go on… 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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