There’s an adage that says, "All the world’s problems could be solved if our leaders would hold their meetings in the nude." The image may be humorous, but you can’t miss the powerful connection between accepting our bodies and accepting each other.

What we believe about our bodies, is what we believe about ourselves. That’s why that old joke about the one’s who seem to always go naked on a nude beach are the one’s who should keep their clothes on, is ultimately a statement about body-phobia. If we can’t see the beauty in others, especially in the body’s natural state, then we are doomed to hate ourselves, because sooner or later we will have less and less control of our body’s look, not to mention it’s function.

Many of you are probably thinking that this is nothing new because you already feel that your body is far from where you’d like it to be. After all, America’s consumerism has succeeded in not only making us the most obese population in the world, but also the most unrealistic body conscious population in the world. Is that a lose / lose situation or what? But all is not lost. There are many ways out of this scenario and believe it or not, the key is actually your body.

When streaking was the fashionable mode of activism, it worked because the naked body had the shock value to disrupt and attract attention, regardless of what cause the runners were trying to advance (the sexual revolution, antiwar demonstrations, etc...). A few celebrities don’t give a damn about who sees their naked beauty, like Madonna. When she was cornered by the tongue-wagging media about her first nudes being published, she simply yanked the bang out of their buck by responding with, "So what?" (Hey! look, I am a fag! I just made a Madonna reference!)

These examples point out the power and strength that is the unobstructed body. Furthermore, it seems this strength of nakedness is present regardless of body type. It does not matter if a "gym bunny" or a "troll" walked down the street naked, they would, without a doubt, stop traffic. Furthermore, if you were to witness this event, below your culturally trained shock would be some configuration of awe, as if to think, "That takes guts!" Nudity can be viewed as one of the most natural forms of honesty ― physical vulnerability. I believe that the innate desire for a sense of belonging infers an innate desire to be known ― to be accepted as you are. In that light, nudity, to a great degree can become a recipe for more fully accepting yourself ― even if it’s just running around in your birthday suit in the privacy of your home.

So am I suggesting we all doff our clothes any chance we get? In some respects, it is already happening. Photographic and video imaging across the internet is now so easy, that showing explicit and sexy self portraits is becoming as commonplace as revealing your astrological sign. Hundreds of websites are solely devoted to sharing thousands of explicit self photos and videos of everyday people. There is a sense that this kind of cyber exhibitionism and voyeurism has the feeling of a revolutionary act of freedom and sexual self acceptance, which flies in the face of the prudish negativity that is so pervasively degrading in our society. Although an intricate part of internet exposer lies in the fact that all of the sexual activity occurs in the safety and privacy of one’s own home, I predict that if people experience pleasure, freedom, empowerment and sexual health from this type of semi-anonymous expression on the internet, more public forms of this kind of natural expression is only a pant zipper away.

That’s what makes the negative hysteria around sexting so vile. With all this new media, it was going to happen sooner or later, and it will happen again when other new forms of communication emerge. I’m not saying that the bullying and exploitation that has come with it is okay ― I am not. But to label these kids as sex offenders is so damaging and wrong. Besides, if so many adults are doing it, why are we so surprised that they are following our lead? Once again, silly and irresponsible teen behavior gets blown way out of proportion, and what is the message that everyone hears though it’s never spoken: "The body in its natural state is severely bad."

Is it really that horrible? Wouldn’t it solve a lot of the problems in the world if everyone felt comfortable with their unique sexuality, behavior and body shape? Could personal explicit photography and video recording become as commonplace and enjoyable as taping a person’s birthday party? The, um... naked truth is that the majority of us have perfectly healthy and beautiful bodies, and we look nothing like the enormously unrealistic body type our society deems as acceptable. And for that I say, "Thank goodness!" When it comes to body image the most important activity is not to conform to whatever the "ideal" body might be, but to celebrate everyone’s body type, whatever it’s shape and size!

So if you want to reach new levels of accepting your body, I don’t necessarily suggest you streak down the middle of some busy street (unless you can get away with it). But if you are at a nude beach or a clothing optional resort, don’t be the one who keeps your shorts on. You’ve got nothing to hide and nothing to be ashamed of. Celebrate it! I’ll wager you’ll feel good about yourself for letting the sun touch you all over. Make it a step of radical self-acceptance. Oh! But don’t forget sun block - Youch!

(Photo: Getty Images)

Dr. Jallen Rix holds a doctorate of education in sexology and specializes in maximizing sexual pleasure for singles and couples, "ex-gay" recovery, religious abuse and creative approaches to sex education. You can learn more about Dr. Rix at his website.

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My blog:

メインブログ:アメリカ・ゲイ・ライフ American Gay Life (since 2004)
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 Born and raised in Japan, I decided to immigrate to the U.S. to pursue a more liberated gay life. I am mostly writing about gay-related news and gossip about male celebrities, LGBT issues in general, and sometimes personal bromance. Most of my posts are in Japanese, but I sometimes introduce Japanese television programs and gay-related cultural stuff in English. Feel free to leave comments in my blog. ;)