Nudity and Honesty


While writing my short story The Nude Man, that I posted a while ago here, and later on discussing it with some bloggers who posted comments and some friends offline, it made me wonder about the real link between Nudity and Honesty that was represented in the story.

The idea is how much can a person reveal of himself without offending the others. I am not talking about physical revealing, but character and inner thoughts and ideas as well.

My friend said that thinking about how wanting to be true to ourselves can sometimes be the only thing that causes us to lie to the others because of our differences.

How much should we expose ourselves to others?

If you are hiding something, then people around you would sense that which would put much strain on your relationship with them. In the other hand, sometimes people don’t share much not because they don’t want to share, but also because they think that the others can’t handle what can be “too much information”.

It is like nudity. People need some kind of intimacy in order to be able to show their bodies to each other. We don’t want to see every other one’s body. It depends on the kind of relationship and closeness we have with the person.

I wonder if pysical and mental nudity are related. Thinking about that, it makes me think of how much we wear as Arabs in comparison of how much the Western people wear.

Does our bulking up clothes and covering our bodies more than them affect the way we communicate with each other? Does it put much stain on our relationships and prevent us to really connect with each other?

The scene of a husband and wife having sex with their clothes on because they feel embarassed of taking it off because they have been taught that sex is bad, and having a kind of relationship where they do share only the minimum required to keep that marriage in the eyes of society pops into my mind as in various Arabic TV series.

Those scenes speak volume about the strain we have in our relationships in the Arab world. I am not sure how much strain clothes add, but it represents a block that we the Arab add between each other as a mechanism of protecting ourselves.

12 thoughts on “Nudity and Honesty

  1. marie says:

    very interesting blog! i’ve been thinking a lot about this a life that’s truthfulwhat does it take to live a life thats truthfuldoes it mean just being you not trying to impress others? Opening up to others about yourself without having your guard up? Not having the fear of being judged? being ok with the fact if you are judged by others its ok life continues and you are ok with it at least people see the real you not some illusion? well i can go on and on. Nudity and Honesty…. when you reveal yourself your true self it leaves you nude. you don’t have all that Junk covering you up. its like makeup!🙂

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  2. I think there is a relationship between honesty, nudity and freedom, I feel it the most when it comes to paintings… For me paintings with people wearing cloths are meaningless… nudity paintings (even if the body details are vague) can simply tell you more, I feel the artists soul talking to me when I look at a good one of those …But Fadi what about striping, play boy and pornography ?… I think that is ugly… what do you think? It is really complicated

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  3. Marie, maybe it isn’t required from us to be truthful with everyone. Maybe some people really don’t want to know too much information about others who they dont really care about. Maybe it can be a challenge for us where we learn what to reveal, how to reveal and who to reveal to as we grow wiser. I feel like the more you reveal, the more you feel connection with others. It may be risky sometimes, but eventually it can ad value to your life.Natasha, I think that nudity paintings are the artists way of speaking out the truth. They may not be able to live it, so they manifest it in their paintings. It is the same when writers talk about truth that others refuse to see. That is why as you said gives more meaning, because it is more truthful and honest.As for striping, playboy, and ponography. It is ugly when you are doing it for money as of selling your body or offering it against your well.But, I think that when a person get this courage to reveal his body to the world, he wouldn’t find any hard time exposing other things, like having nude models and prostitutes being more blunt and harsh in their words when you talk to.Maybe they find it also easier to connect with others, but those others have to go through the same amount of exposure in order for them to connect with.

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  4. They are related in a way. The way we dress and how much we can reveal and the imphasis on how we look and how others percieve us has in a way impacted the way we think and communicate too..We do not open up completely and clearly,we want to maintain a certain image to go with our outside look..We are victims of social traps,and our relationships are not totally open. While here, there is no boundaries,totally free society which impacted every aspect of their lives.They speak their mind with no fear of consequences.

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  5. Interesting observation. I would also say it also has to do with shielding the mind, as stupid as that may sound. Although, of course, that goes both ways…

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  6. I think there is a strong relationship between the mental states and the physical states.Try for one day to smile. Your mood will instantly become brighter. Even if you were sad one day, force yourself to smile, and you’ll find that your mood gets better. In the same way, try to frown when you are happy, and your mood will become tense.This above observation shows how our physical state affects our mental state. We are being raised to be secretive at some degree. We are taught that by if we spill too much then we lose some respect. How many times were you genuinely encouraged to express yourself without constraints?!I believe that both honesty and nudity need to be given as choices to us. Personally, I believe that humans have a right to privacy, that a person has the right to hide information relating to them. But they also should be given the freedom not to censor themselves.In the same sense, people need to be given a free choice whether to cloth or not. I know that in many societies, like here in Jordan, it would be considered against the law to go out nude, but that a true problem in the civil laws here in Jordan, as well as, numerous other countries that have this restriction. I personally would seriously consider going nude in a country where nudity isn’t shunned.

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  7. Observer and Natasha, whats wrong with playboy and pornography?!They are selling what this world is missing. Why do you think pornography and prostitution are very successful businesses?! Its simple, those people are providing services that are <>needed<>!!Many people will be enraged to admit that prostitution is a needed service, but that would be blinding oneself to the obvious clue: It is a wide spread business!I think, not until nudity and sex become completely acceptable in our communities, pornography and prostitution would continue to exist. Personally, I feel good that there are people out there to restore the balance that numerous institutions have broken.

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  8. noura, you are right, wish we reach that state at some point.Roba, it goes both ways, indeed.Devil’s Mind, I wouldn’t be against selling something if people doing it are happy with what they are selling and not selling it just because they are in need or in pain. The problem of the ponography is that they use young women around the world and manipulate them in order to make money out of their bodies. Those women usually feel low self esteem and humilation for what they do. They only make it to survive. Have you watched Oprah yesterday? She showed a new Dove ad campaign where they wanted to show the women above 50 can be beautiful as well. And so they took some photo of 70 years woman nude and posted it on the billboard at time square. This is nudity, but it is beautiful because the women participated were happy of what they are doing.

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  9. Nasser says:

    Nice interesting post observer:)I enjoyed reading it and reading the comments that followed.OK the way you put it there might be a bit of a relationship between the two but when you compared between the arab community and the west “Does our bulking up clothes and covering our bodies more than them affect the way we communicate with each other? Does it put much stain on our relationships and prevent us to really connect with each other?” from my personal experience in living abroad and having many friends there I wouldnt say that its easier to communicate with them than the arabs I mean even though the cloths are much more revealing some are very difficult to communicate and socialise with and some arent like here in jordan. I think this depends on the people themselves not their cloths.

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  10. Hey Nass, well what about their interaction between each other? Maybe it was hard for you because you were different, I mean a foreigner with different culture and background.Maybe your differences blocked your communication rather than clothes?

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  11. Marie, I have got your message on my email, but it didn’t show here! I dont know why.You were talking about that you are not happy with your job and comparing it to prostitution.Devil’s mind has introduced this idea before so you are no way off topic.I am not sure how much can we compare being misrable by selling your body in terms of doing any other work, and being misrable of selling your body in sexual terms.I think that selling your body sexually applies much more damage to you physically and mentally.If your job is that bad, then yes, it is better to try to change it.

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