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Erica Simone is a passionate photographer based in New York, and she has recently started a campaign called #thepowerofnaked, with the slogan “Nothing Fits Like You.” The aim of the campaign is to encourage others to embrace their “primary state of being” and to feel comfortable in their own skin, with who they are as a person, with their body and mind and their role in society, while being free from the confinements of societal expectations and the projections from media.Erica has never liked to follow rules, nor has she cared much for wearing clothes.It seems that, as these images are the ones that are constantly in the media, we then compare ourselves to photographs that have been edited, photoshopped and chosen only after thousands different takes are captured.The less natural body shapes we see and the fewer naked images we see, the higher chance we have of believing that ours are somehow different to the majority of others and should be hidden away.It’s now up to you to answer or raise these questions, as you like.” While we wear clothing to protect from the elements, and also to protect our modesty and define our style, many people also use clothing as a means of covering and hiding our bodies—not just due to the fear of showing sexual body parts, but also because we are afraid that other people will judge our naked body for its shape or size.A recent study by the University of Florida concluded that humans first began wearing clothes around 170,000 years ago, primarily for warmth and protection.Fashion tends to segregate us as well as adapt us into various social categories, also helping us communicate our moods.This tool of expression is quite precious to civil society and as most people, I organically use clothing as a way of portraying my own image.
And can we be nude without it automatically meaning our bodies are going to be sexualised?Clothing has since become a fashion statement, and nowadays we are so used to seeing people clothed, that as soon as a certain amount of naked flesh is shown, we are unnerved by it.This seems to have brought about a sense of body shame.I know that, personally speaking, if I am going through a period of my life whereby I am not fit and healthy, my body is a direct projection of that.
I fall back on clothing as a way to mask the things I don’t want others to see. We all have unique bodies, and only a very small proportion of them are the likes we see in the fashion industry and magazines.
It also brought Erica to ponder about how we have evolved far from our primary state of being that now it is against the law to be naked in public.