Whatever to Your Neighbors, Just Be Naked: A Defense

Today, the New York Times has 1,700 words on what it’s like to have naked neighbors. The premise here seems to be that hanging out naked in your own home is weird, obnoxious, distasteful, no-good, very bad, horrible, and rude. The Times appears to regard this as an accepted truth.

But we advance an alternative argument: Being naked is none of those things! For, truly, nudity is normal and fine and even boring, because it’s your home, where you live, where you eat and sleep and bathe, and where you (from time to time) are nude.

In fact, when read in a certain way, this article could be understood as pro-nudity. Because while it supposedly details the suffering of people who see naked neighbors, it suggests these people are really suffering from their own failure to enjoy their constrained, clothed lives. It begins with one couple who has a balcony they never use because they don’t like seeing their neighbors garden naked. Sweet, innocent eyes, stop inspecting your neighbors’ skin and enjoy that balcony! Try forgetting about what your neighbors are up to and live your life!

Cities are dense. People have windows and bodies and apartments and skin. Yes, they have blinds, but sunlight is so wonderful. Stop your gawking, and try that free feeling of sun on your skin by your hall closet.

Forget Your Neighbors, Just Be Nude: A Defense