There was a line of butt-naked people doing cartwheels on stage. One actor picked up a shake-weight and proceeded to bounce her whole body up and down. I watched agog. I’d never seen a burlesque show like this. Christmas songs were sang. Santa hats were worn, except on the other heads of the actors who wore them. I giggled when two actors picked up an actress, held her aloft in the air and a parade of the naked cast did a Limbo line underneath. Holy cow. The message I got from the show was: Yeah, we’re naked. So what?

I left the theatre and went to grab a drink with my friend David who took me to see the show. My mind was buzzing. To be naked, in this country, is so… taboo? I thought back to other times I had seen live nudity. Not many instances came to mind. In fact, I’ve never even been to a naked beach! All those people on stage: I could clearly see how different they all were. Every person was incredibly unique in ways that were not the type of fabric they wore, or the colors of their pants or even how tight their shirts were! No: these were differences that were as honest as differences between humans could be. After the first 3 minutes of trying not to stare at pivotal points of their bodies, I became used to the idea of the nakedness. That is how we all are, all the time. I thought.

I so rarely see anyone naked though, that the only readily available reference for a naked human body is myself. But: people are naked! There are showers taken naked. And clothes are changed. And sex happens. And occasionally sleep is in the nude. The list goes on and on. But, all of those acts are so personal: done behind closed doors, and only in the company of a person that is very trustworthy at that moment.
Naked is beautiful. I thought back to the only time in my life when, surrounded by other females, I took off my bathing suit and swam and sunbathed with only my bottoms on. That was in a secluded place at 2pm during the summer. It was so freeing. So natural. I felt more woman than a tight push up bra on a hot date could make me feel.
So, I guess the biggest lesson I came away with from last night would be: Naked does not mean perverse or sexual. It can simply be a state of being. A Powerful one, too. I certainly will grab a lot of attention at just the word “Naked.” And yet, as attention grabbing as that state can be, it is so hidden in this country. I don’t see nudity in this country like I’d seen it in Europe. It’s not part of the culture. But it’s always there… Just hidden by a thin line of fabric, or a closed door or a strong religious cover.

December 11, 2011 at 5:08 pm by Natalie Allen