Stripping off your clothes in front of someone, whether in the confines of a locker room or your very own bedroom, can be extremely terrifying. But as it turns out, getting naked around strangers may actually make you feel better about your body.
According to DailyMail.com, a circle of researchers from Goldsmiths, University of London took a deep dive into the nudist lifestyle and found that taking a page from their book could be beneficial to your body image and overall happiness.
Dr. Keon West and his team wanted to figure out whether being in groups of naked people makes you feel happier about your body.
In the study, published in the Journal of Happiness Studies, researchers asked 850 British participants how they felt about their bodies and well-being overall. They then compared these results to how often they participated in low-key nudist events (sun bathing or a quality nude bike rides, for example).
Researchers found that, since participants' reasons for being naked weren't sexual, being in a group of people who were comfortable being nude in the great outdoors actually boosted everyone's self-esteem. Others even became more welcoming to nudity after witnessing how casual the act was.
To further study this claim, West conducted an additional test. He wanted to know if people felt more confident with their bodies as a result of participating in nudist activities, or if they participated in nudist activities because they felt confident in their bodies.
His team took a trip to two nudist events: Bare all for Polar Bears, for polar bear preservation, and Waterworld, a UK waterpark. There, researchers asked participants about their bodies and self-esteem before and after they shed their clothes.
Participants felt general improvement with positive body image and overall greater life satisfaction both before and after they took their clothes off. Most of the participants had taken part in some nudist event before, so they were comfortable before and felt the high after continuously doing it.
Neither age nor gender truly played a part in the outcome — it was more about just enjoying the ability to be free.
"The naturists have been saying this for some time," West says. "However, despite a lot of positive claims, little to no empirical research has investigated whether naturist activity (rather than attitude or beliefs) actually makes us happier, or just as importantly, why it makes us happier."
It's clear that one's body can seriously affect how they feel in their overall daily life.
A whole lot of people, including myself, have specific critiques when it comes to parts of my body. The thing is, no one else knows what you're insecure about. The only harsh panelist you'll be facing is yourself.
Instead, you should be less worrisome and let your body be free!
To quote the wise words of bandaid-wearing rapper, Nelly:
Citations: Feeling down? Take off all your clothes: Being naked makes us happier and more satisfied with our bodies (Daily Mail), Naked and Unashamed: Investigations and Applications of the Effects of Naturist Activities on Body Image, Self-Esteem, and Life Satisfaction (Springer Link)