This is probably the most discussed topic when it comes to nudism, among nudists and even more among textiles. Every nudist blogger around has at some point written an article about this and now that nudism gets into the news now and then, even the regular media starts talking about it.
Is it okay to introduce your kids into the nudist lifestyle?
Is it okay to let your kids run around naked?
Is it okay for your kid to see naked adults?
Is it okay that adults see your kid naked?
Now that the walls around the nudists are slowly crumbling down and nudism is getting accepted by the majority or at least not so much frowned upon, child nudism is still a taboo.
And even though this topic is so well covered, we still thought that we had to share our 2 cents about this. But it’s not easy because we can understand both sides. Although one side takes the upped hand… Indeed… The nudist side.
We have to protect our children, no doubt about that. We don’t want to give them too much sorrows, too much stress so they can enjoy their young years happily.
The major argument against child nudism is of course pedophilia. And this didn’t get any better with the years. When we were kids we had heard about child molesters, they were the awkward men hanging around playgrounds, feeding candy to children and once in a while showing them their “birdie”.
We were told to stay away from those people and that was that.
Now it’s gotten so much bigger. When we watch the news, it seems like on every street corner there’s someone with wrong intentions. Children are approached in chat rooms, kidnapped, raped, sold to dark prostitution networks and never seen again… No wonder people are scared.
So the theory goes: “A naked kid is more attractive to child molesters than a clothed kid, so let’s keep them clothed”. It’s like saying “a kid that often leaves the house has a bigger chance to get hit by a car, so let’s keep them all in” or “corrupt politicians have often studied economics, so we won’t let our kids study that”. Now it suddenly gets a strange taste, right?
There’s a small line between protecting your children and keeping them ignorant.
And then there are the photographs. It’s true, within a blink of an eye someone can take a photo of your naked kid and put it online on some illegal website. Nobody wants their kids appearing there, right? Except when we took the picture ourselves, because people put plenty of photos of their children on Facebook: naked in the bath tub, naked on the beach, naked under the hose or on a sheep’s skin. But that’s only for our friends, we think. We think.
It’s important to note that nudists are a social and protective community. Seriously, this is pure gold. Not only do we try to protect our nudist spaces from perverts, we also protect each other.
Another reason against child nudism is that we shouldn’t raise our children as a minority, because they will get more chances in life when they’re raised more mainstream. Which basically means: Make sure your child is the same as any other child.
And again, there is some truth in this. Kids that are different than the others have a higher chance to get bullied. But in that point of view, it’s impossible to win. Kids get bullied for the strangest things, which clothes they wear, the colour of their hair, because they wear glasses, because they stutter, because they’re larger/smaller/thicker/thinner than the rest. There’s no way you can prevent them from being bullied.
One thing that nudism teaches us is that everybody is the same and that appearance doesn’t really matter. This is important for adults, but even more for children.
This insight doesn’t only give your child a strong personality, but also teaches them the importance of body acceptance and respecting other people. Not only will they stand stronger against bullies, there’s also a much lower chance that they’ll become bullies themselves.
And then there’s sex.
Many people still believe that allowing children to play naked with each other will turn them into little perverts and eventually will result in teenage pregnancy. Even though a nudist culture actually prevents this. By normalising nudity, a naked body isn’t automatically seen as something sexual, so teenagers that have been raised as nudists are less focused on seeing the other person naked. The other person will feel more comfortable because they know that they won’t be expected to look like fake role models from the media or internet. If there’s any comparison at all, it will be with real life role models.
Imagine this: 2 strangers, a boy and a girl, both about 14-15 years old, raised conservative, never seen a naked body in real life so totally dependent on what they saw on TV, internet and in their imagination, are put together naked in a room. What will happen?
For sure there will be a lot of awkward moments, a lot of shame, a lot of staring and 4 red cheeks. What will they talk about? Who knows? Probably not the most interesting topics and certainly with a lot of stuttering…
Will this result in teenage pregnancy? Maybe, maybe not.
Now imagine this: 2 strangers, a boy and a girl, both about 14-15 years old, raised as nudists, used to see naked bodies of all ages and sizes, are put together naked in a room. What will happen?
In fact we didn’t even have to mention that they are naked, because they will react the same as if they were clothed. They will greet each other, have a sit and start talking. They won’t be focused on their or the other person’s nudity, so what they talk about can be anything.
Will this result in teenage pregnancy? Maybe, maybe not.
Actually, we have already covered some of the pros in the previous section. Raising your child as a nudist will help them build a strong personality which will help them fight the uncertainties that are waiting for them when they’ll reach puberty. It will give them a more normalised idea of the naked body which will help them get a clearer idea about what they expect in relationships.
Children are born nudists. Not for the obvious reason that everyone is born naked, but because if you ask any little kid whether they want to be clothed or naked, they will most likely go for the naked option. And until a certain age this is completely accepted. Nobody’s chocked when they see a three year old running around naked on the beach. For a six year old there can be some frowns. And anything above six is just not done. Until this age it’s decent to be naked, afterwards not anymore.
When you think about it, it’s quite strange that a factor like age is used for a situation like this. It doesn’t matter who you are or how you look. When you’ve been running around in the buff for 3 to 6 years, it’s time to get dressed.
Another strange thing is that this is completely dependent on society. The ages we use here are for Europe, but in Bangladesh for example you won’t see a naked kid outside. From birth the children are dressed. In Africa on the other hand it’s not uncommon to see a 12-14 year old running around naked on the beach. And we’re not talking small village Africa here, but the main beach of Accra, the capital of Ghana.
It all makes very little sense.
By assuming nudity as normal within a family, you’re creating an openness that will become present in other facets of the child as well. You create an atmosphere of honesty. This is who we are, this is how we look, we have nothing to hide. It’s a great situation for a child to grow up in.
But… And now we’re getting to the most important part of this article… Don’t put the focus on nudity and don’t force your children into nudism because there might come a moment (typically around puberty) that they will start doubting the lifestyle. Leave them the option, but don’t hide your nudity for them either.
We’re naked and you can be naked too. But if you prefer to be dressed that’s totally fine too.
Of everything we heard and read about this topic, this is the key to a successful nudist family.
Picture credit: The photos in this post are coming from Google and Twitter. If you find one of yourself and you don’t want it to be on our blog, let us know and we’ll remove it.