We all take our naked bodies so seriously, myself included, to a degree that I can't even qualify. None of us can seem to get around this idea that a generous portion of our value derives from how we appeal sexually. That must be it. Why else would we care what a decent friend thinks when they see us for that three seconds between swimsuit and streetclothes after a day at the beach?

Of course, it's supposed to be a simple issue of modesty but why is it immodest to begin with for us to be nude? I think that it's a question of judgment. We assume that we are being evaulated based on how we look naked and most of us hold ourselves to the same absurd standards that we always hear about when a conversation starts about eating disorders. We assume that we are expected to look a certain way and if we don't, we are not attractive, not desirable.

And so when it comes time for you and your friend here to decide what you'll be wearing when you go out on the town this evening, you steal away to the bathroom or the bedroom so that you might emerge in a different outfit, having never subjected your companion to the bits of you that were exposed when you took off your jeans but hadn't yet slipped into something else. And why? Because your friend here might think that you aren't desirable?

What a pain. Wouldn't it be easier just to stand there in your undies while you sort through your closet? Of course it would. But that fear of judgement is real. And it's common but it's not a constant. There are friends who don't evoke that fear. Those friends from whom I don't fear disgust or disaproval when I take off my clothes don't think twice about my body. They don't even think once. They don't care how desirable I am. They care enough about me just to be around in the first place.

These friends are valuable. Not only because it's convenient to not be forced to rush into another room to change clothes but also because there are already an infinite number of things to fear in this world. The judgement of my friends shouldn't be one of them.