Thursday, June 06, 2013

The Frau is not Naked

What is it about naked people in Switzerland? Naked hiking was so popular in Appenzell that they had to pass a law against it. Not to mention all the topless sunbathers lounging around in the middle of Zurich.

Swiss people love to get naked. But Americans, well, we don’t really do naked. We may dress sloppy, but we don’t pull off our clothes in the middle of the city the minute the sun appears like The Frau has witnessed people doing in Zurich.
Using your imagination, add naked sunbather here.

No, we Americans are prude and proud. We freak out about seeing a woman breastfeeding. We freaked out when Janet Jackson bared a breast during the Superbowl. We call topless pictures of women porn, while the Swiss call them everyday news—at least if dailies like Blick have anything to say about it.

The Frau has something to say about all these naked Swiss people. It’s that she feels strange not being naked among them. But no matter how many women strip down to their birthday suits in Swiss swimming pool showers or sun topless along the Limmat, The Frau is, at the very least, wearing her entire swimsuit.

So even in the shower at the pool, The Frau looks like a foreigner. And every time she realizes this, she wonders—would she rather be naked? But then again, she is naked—at least in her foreignness. And that—for now, anyway—is all the nakedness she needs.


Anonymous said...

I never understood why people get upset oder even offended by other people's nakedness. Just don't look., it's that simple.
But some specimen (not meaning you, Chantal) seem to be just waiting for "the bad thing" to happen to start an uproar.

Anonymous said...

It's not that simple; we are hardwired by a million years of evolution to react to naked women, or for females, to naked men. It's nature; accept it. The problem is that we Americans are just plain immature about it. So, instead of growing up as a society, we find it's easier to just outlaw the practice.

Likewise with men who openly wear pantyhose and flats; they are the targets of much derision, but, why?? Women can wear mens clothing without thinking twice, but the reverse is just taboo. That is institutional sexism at its finest. (Ironically, both nylons and the "ballerina flat" were originally mens attire when they first appeared!)

I don't agree with any it, but what can one do?

Hattie said...

Well, this is relatively new in Switzerland but has been very common for a long time in France and Spain, and of course Scandinavia.
I am am American and prudish enough to remember being put off by the rows and rows of English and German women on display on the Spanish beaches with their tight bikini bottoms, spread-legged with their chests thrust out and dribbling cigarette ashes down their fronts. That was in the 70's. Now I guess it's the full meal deal down there.
Displays of nudity don't have to be vulgar or overtly sexual, of course. I would not do this now, because I am old, but even when young I preferred not to display my body in public. I did go nude in mixed saunas, sometimes, though. But after being chased around by a man in an embarrassing way I stopped doing that,too.

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