Saturday, July 20, 2013

The Naked Summer Day (Rated PG-13)

"No city invites the heart to come to life as San Francisco does. Arrival in San Francisco is an experience in living."

~William Saroyan

If you blush easily... I apologize, but what you see is just one more marvelous aspect of visiting San Francisco on any given day! If you really study the photo, you will see that those who are clothed aren't really paying much attention to the man with the hat. That's because the sight of the occasional naked person, going about their day, is seen as a generally accepted practice. Now don't get me wrong, the man with the hat was the only naked citizen I saw that day, but San Francisco does have a long history of social nudity, and I frankly I more than approve of it, I applaud them for it!

But again, don't get me wrong. I also believe there is a time and a place for this, because bottom lining things, no pun intended, parents should not have to explain the practice of "clothing optional" to a young child if they don't want to, and being forced into that situation is quite unfair. But the day I saw this young man, enjoying a truly wonderfully warm San Francisco day, we were in the Haight/Ashbury district of the city. A neighborhood known for it's passion for all things self expression, and the freedom to do so! I suspect that children in that neighborhood have already been led in the idea of personal moral choices... at least I would hope so!

Still, late last year the city of San Francisco did pass a citywide ordinance banning public nudity... sort of. You see, after the ban was put into place, the nudists sued the city for violating their freedom of speech. Personally, I understand both sides of the issue. It doesn't particularly shock me to see a naked person, but by the same token, if I never see another naked person in San Francisco, I don't think it will ruin the city for me. Hmmmm. I do like that up until 2012, there was no ban on the shedding of ones clothing, it is a freedom that helped to make San Francisco such a unique place to live and visit.

Generally speaking, I wonder what others think about nudity?

"Conventionality is not morality."
~Charlotte Bronte

"Too much nudity is a turn off. Especially if all that flesh is on one person."
~Jarod Kintz, This Is The Best Book I've Ever Written, And It Still Sucks.

"Being naked approaches being revolutionary; going barefoot is mere populism."
~John Updike

"You don't have to be naked to be sexy."
~Nicole Kidman

"When I was growing up, in our house nudity was defined as the period of time between the shower and your towel."
~Amy Cohen, The Late Bloomer's Revolution: A Memoir

"There's too much nudity on TV, and not enough on the radio."
~Jarod Kintz, Seriously Delirious, But Not At All Serious

"The body is meant to be seen, not all covered up."
~Marilyn Monroe

"Nudity quickly becomes unremarkable when generally practiced."
~Martha Nussbaum

"It is so basic. A human being is an innocent part of nature. Our civilization has distorted this universal quality that allows us to feel at home in our skin. Other animals have coats that they accept, but the human race has yet to come to terms with being nude."
~Ruth Bernhard

"Indecency, vulgarity, obscenity... these are strictly confined to man; he invented them. Among the higher animals there is no trace of them. They hide nothing. They are not ashamed."
~Mark Twain
Public nudity doesn't offend me. But that's me. What I want to know is how you feel about the subject? Should public nudity be banned in all cities, beaches and parks? Should there be designated areas only?


Suggested Reading...

Free Speech Doesn't Cover Nudity 

S.F. Nudists To Stage Another Protest
(San Francisco Examiner)

Nancy Pelosi On San Francisco's Public Nudity Ban: We Have Our Standards
(Huffington Post)

Mood: Curious

~Me :)


Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting this picture of "Naked Dude"! I was there that day visiting San Francisco with my husband. We are simple country folks from the mountains in the Sierra Nevadas in a small rural rather "Redneck" community. We don't have public nudity here and so my husband and I were very shocked to see this! We weren't offended at all, just so surprised that we were frozen in our tracks and couldn't get our cameras out fast enough to take Naked Dude's picture. I was very disappointed because I know the folks back home wouldn't believe me. So I did a Google search hoping someone had the opportunity to catch a snap shot of Naked Dude and post it on the Internet. Low and behold you did! So I have forward the link to your blog page with Naked Dude's picture so that the folks back home in our little hillbilly community can see just how naked the summer can be in San Francisco. Thanks again!

jr cline said...

"Nudity quickly becomes unremarkable when generally practiced."
~Martha Nussbaum
That quote expresses how I feel about nudity. I'm nude a lot.