Nakedness (or nudity, as I would have titled this post if it were up to me*) is not something we English are, generally speaking, all that comfortable with.
In case you’re unfamiliar with our culture, I would describe the English as a private, uptight people. A people who do not really wish to see fellow members of our species bare naked. Unless we’re going to have sex with them. And not even then, sometimes.
I think this might be the real reason we didn’t join the Euro – agreeing to a single currency, after all, is only one step away from agreeing to political away-days at the UN’s sauna. It was nothing to do with any economic foresight on our part. I can’t say blame what ever politico decided to back right out of that shiz – I too wrinkle my button nose, and shake my head very, very hard to vanish away thoughts of Berlusconi and Angela Merkel in the buff and dripping with sweat.
My family though, in our mission to overthrow social expectation at every turn, just love being in the nude, despite being English.
Most of my fellow British nationals think that it’s quite weird when I tell them I have regularly seen my Dad’s naked body, and have often had a conversation with him, while he stood unclothed on the landing. As I have with my Mumma, and most of my sibs. Except my middle brother (who doesn’t get any British points for his abstention from the nudity, because he quite often dances to Beyoncé in the public areas of the parental home, dressed only in tighty-whiteys and sheeny-shiny gold high-heels adorned with sequins).
I don’t know why we bucked the national trend. It’s probably the German genes.
You would think, by the reaction I get from friends, people I meet in pubs and cab drivers when I mention that the sight of my parents dressed in ther rawhides is not totally unfamiliar to me, that we’re the kind of deviant perverts that Sun readers feel compelled to burn at the stake.
But it’s alright peoples, calm down.
We are not perverts, at least not in any sexual sense.
I should probably also mention that we’re not nudists either.
We do not relish hanging it all out at the beach, or around the table over a Sunday dinner.
We’re just relaxed about revealing our varying degrees of ageing flesh to one another, on a fairly regular basis, on our way from the bathroom to the bedroom and back again.
I don’t think that it has fucked me up very badly either. I’m comfortable in my own skin, and I don’t feel too embarrassed when I have an Unfortunate Mishap in public. In fact, I quite enjoy it when my nipple pops out of my top in Tesco and says hello to all the sad, sallow shoppers.
Even that time when a little boy opened the door of the coach toilet just as I was about to pull up my jeans, thus revealing my lower half to the entire cohort of toothless passengers, made me laugh more than it made me blush.
I choose to see this as a healthy, if exhibitionist, attitude towards my body image (perhaps someone important needs to appoint me as role model to vulnerable young women at risk of body dysmorphia due to the only bare naked ladies they see being in porn films, or on the cover of vacuous lads’ mags).
You’d think being all comfy with my body would fare me well for sucessful relationships. And yes, I suppose I do like being nude with another. The thing is, even though I live alone, the familial nudity is a total relationship killer.
As I know from past disasters, should I take a hot young man to meet the family, there is every chance that he might, one day, I-spy my naked Mumma, and be put right off his breakfast.
I’m not sure if this is totally a reason to be single. But it’s certainly a reason to keep any relationships casual enough that the meet-the-parents thing remains a distant, far off notion. One to indulge in only when you’re sure that this is The One, and that he has levels of love strong enough to hold when he realises: ‘these people are seriously fucking weird.’
* As I promised last week, I shall be writing all blogs this week based on suggestions from readers. If you have one, post below or tweet me @ElfinKate #reasonstobesingle. Go on, I dare you, make it really hard. Today’s: ‘Nakedness’ was the suggestion of @TheTorbes via twitter.