My girlfriend took me to a nudist colony, well it was actually described as a clothing optional resort, but it was a private place where everybody stripped out of their clothes. She wanted to go there to escape body shame and to connect with nature, but I had never been around a group of naked people before and I worried about having something unexpected pop up. My girlfriend assured me that it would be no big deal and she said that is why everyone carries towels around with them. I never considered myself to be shy, but since I had never been naked in front of any strangers before, I thought that I would be embarrassed. When we got there, I saw that everyone was enjoying themselves, so I gave in and got naked. The more I did it, the less hesitant I became about it and being naked was not that big of a deal after a while.
With everyone else walking around naked, it felt normal and once I got used to seeing the other people this way, I stopped making an effort to cover up, or try to hide my nudity. Being naked felt empowering, and there was no more need for modesty, as everyone there all knew what each of us looked like and we never thought twice about it. It wasn’t a rule that we had to be naked, it was a choice that I made in order to be more comfortable, as if I was the only one wearing clothes, then I would have felt weird. I did not feel any shame, and as time went on, nudity lost all of its shock value and my girlfriend said that it helped her to build up confidence and self-esteem.
Written for Linda G. Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday where this week the prompt is to use the word growth any way you like.