There are many things in this world that our parents teach us not to talk about if we don’t want to get in trouble with others: religion, politics, and controversial race issues are among those things. So I guess I need to apologize to my parents in that I’m going to talk about a controversial topic today on this blog. I mean no offense to anyone in writing today’s blog- it’s just something that’s on my heart today and I figure that if it’s on my heart, it’s on other people’s, too. Sounds reasonable, huh?
Unless you’ve been living in a cave that is too far out to receive the newspaper, internet, smart phone reception, or a television, you’ve heard about the situation regarding Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman in Florida in which 17-year old Trayvon was shot by Neighborhood Watchman George Zimmerman. I won’t get in to all the details of the case- I’m neither Yahoo News nor Wikipedia.
Since Trayvon’s death, hoodies have been worn all over to make a statement about the unfairness of Trayvon’s death. I’ve seen a friend wearing a hoodie as she addresses her church congregation, senators wearing a hoodie during a legislative session, demonstrations of individuals who are all wearing hoodies, and a congressman kicked off the house floor while wearing a hoodie. Clearly, hoodies are a symbol of the prejudice that is felt in this case. It is said that the hoodie was used to indicate that Trayvon was a young Black man. I’m not completely in agreement with that assumption since I’m a 36 year old White woman wearing a hoodie right now, my 64-year-old mother wears a hoodie now and again, and all of the Nude U students who lead the AANR-East Youth Camp- who happen to be White right now- don hoodies on cold New York nights at camp.
Regardless, the hoodie has been identified as an article of clothing that causes people to have prejudice. As a nudist, I do agree that clothes are an obvious way to create opinions about people- opinions that aren’t always accurate. If a hoodie is a sign that the person wearing it is a young Black man (again, I don’t really agree with that statement), then we need to consider what other articles of clothing indicate: an expensive shirt and tie are indicators of a rich and important person, leather clothing means the person wearing them is a bad biker-dude, ripped jeans indicate poverty or youth, tighter clothing indicates that a person is promiscuous, and the list goes on.
What you see a person wearing truly does impact your thoughts on that person and we all know that these perceptions aren’t always accurate. This is one reason why nudism is seen as the great equalizer: if you’re nude, there are no clothes to indicate your “status.” Within nudism, we have to look much further to figure out what kind of person we’re talking to. This really is a good thing because the way to look further is to talk with the person. Through talking, we learn about the person’s heart- and isn’t that what people should really be judged on? I think so. Forget their fashion sense (or lack thereof, as in my case); what are they passionate about? What is their view on life? What are their hobbies? Yes, this is what a person is. We are not our clothes and some of us are thankful for that.
Little Orphan Annie sings about how “you’re never fully dressed without a smile.” I tend to go further: you’re only fully dressed when wearing nothing but a smile. And you’re also less likely to be judged on irrelavent things like what your clothes might “mean.” Perhaps this is not what I should be getting out of the Trayvon Martin case, but what I realize even more than before is that if we were all nude all the time, we’d have less prejudice and violence in the world (think about it: you can’t hide a gun on you if you have no clothes to hide it in!) I’m all for trying this theory out- especially in Florida, where Trayvon lived, since that is a nice warm state to be nude in!