I like being naked. I like walking around the house naked, cooking naked, sleeping naked—it feels good. I happen to be fortunate enough to be in a hot climate at the moment and adore wearing my sarong or bikini all day when I’m out. Call me a dirty Euro but damn it feels good to be naked. Naturally I assume it must feel good for the babies as well. After all they were born naked and lived naked in my belly for 9 months.
I’m learning the hard way that not everyone feels this way. On recent trips to the beach I let Suri go naked playing in the sand or frolicking in the water only to hear other parents whisper, “that baby should have clothes on”, or “what’s wrong with that baby, can’t they afford clothes?” Even the other toddlers and children were saying, “where are her clothes?” and asking her directly, “Why are you naked?”
My answer, “because she’s a BABY and it feels good to be naked!” To the parents that think this is inappropriate and to the Naked Baby Police all over the world that say it’s not right because of all the ‘perverts’ out there, I ask, “What is more perverted—a naked baby or a baby in a frilly bikini?” I think dressing a little baby girl in a two piece bikini is sexualizing them.
Why are we teaching our children from such an early age that their bodies are something to be coveted and covered up? Why can’t it be natural and normal to be naked? I see the little JonBenets running around with their girly bathing suits and I don’t judge them but I constantly find my naked babies being ostracized and judged. When Suri plays in the sand naked, slowly the other children move away from her. They are clearly not comfortable or don’t understand why she is naked.
North America has some major issues here and they’re absolutely laughable. If my 20 month old goes naked anywhere in Europe noone even bats an eyelash. On all my European vacations I go topless and it’s a complete non-issue. No one is gawking, no one cares—they are happily sun bathing in their own worlds. Why are we so prude and preoccupied with covering up? Why can’t we teach our children that their bodies are normal and natural in the nude?
Despite their alienation I will continue to let the babies roam naked because they love it and because the early childhood years are too damn short. Before long we’ll be back to school shopping for clothes and they won’t have an option, but until then it’s bums bums bums for everyone!