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The dominant idea that clothing is necessary for reasons of

modesty is a cultural premise. It's an
assumption that is not shared by all cultures, nor by all members of our personal culture.20
18. There is evidence that modesty is just not related to nakedness in any way, but is quite a
reply to appearing
Distinct from the rest of the social group--for instance, outside the approved customs of
clothes or adornment.21
For example, native tribes nude except for ear and lip plugs feel immodest when the stoppers
removed, not when their bodies are exposed.22 Furthermore, a woman feels immodest if
seen in her slip, even though
it's far less revealing than her bikini.23 This also explains why clothed visitors to nudist parks
feel uncomfortable in
their state of dress. Shrink Emery S. Bogardus writes: "Nakedness is never black when it's
that is, when there isn't any awareness of a difference between fact as well as the rule set
from the mores." Put simply,
for first-time visitors into a nudist park, there's no hint of embarrassment after an initial
reticence, because it's not
contrary to the moral norms.
19. Shame comes from being outside mores, not from particular actions or states. Because
nudity is
unremarkable in a nudist setting, nudists might even forget that they are nude--and often do.
20. Mental research have shown that modesty need not be related to one's state of dress in
the slightest. For the
nudist, modesty isn't shed with one's clothes; it only takes How to Have Fun Being Nude by
Martin Weinberg reasoned that the fundamental difference between nudists and nonnudists
lies in their otherwise-built definitions of the situation. It's not that nudists are immodest, for,
non-nudists, they have norms to regulate and restrain immorality, sexuality, and humiliation.
Nudists just
accept the human body as natural, rather than as a wellspring of embarrassment.25
21. Many native tribes go completely naked without shame, even today. It's only through
contact together with the "modern" world they learn to be "modest." 26
Paul Ableman writes: "The missionaries were typically disconcerted to discover that the
biblically urged
Action of 'clothing the naked', far from creating an improvement in native morals, almost
always resulted in a
deterioration. What the missionaries were inadvertently doing was recreating the Garden of
Eden scenario. Nude,
the primitive cultures had shown no prurient matter with the body. . . . the ethical motive was
normally geared to the

naked state of the culture. The missionaries, with their cotton short pants and dresses,
disrupted this. Naked people
actually feel shame when they are first dressed. They develop an exaggerated awareness of
the body. It is as if Adam
and Eve's 'aprons' created the 'knowledge of good and evil' rather than being its outcome."
Many Amazon rainforest folks still reside clothing-optional by choice, even given an
alternative.28 The
same holds true of the aborigines of central Australia.29
22. Even in North America, nudity was commonplace among many indigenous tribes before
the arrival of
Lewis and Clark reported almost-nude natives along the northern Pacific coast, for instance,
visitors to California.31 Father Louis Hennepin in 1698 reported of Milwaukee-place Illinois
Indians, "They go blunt
naked in Summer-time, wearing only a type of Shoes made of the Skins of [buffalo] Bulls."
He described several
other North American tribes as additionally generally dwelling without clothing.32 The natives
of Florida wore only
breechclouts and sashes of Spanish moss, which they removed while hunting or
gardening.33 Columbus wrote of
the Indians he encountered in the Caribbean in 1492, "They all go around as naked as their
mothers bore them; and
Additionally the girls." 34 The Polynesian natives of Hawaii wore little clothing, and none
whatsoever at the shoreline or in the
water, until the arrival of Christian missionaries with Captain Cook in 1776.35
23. For some indigenous tribes, nudity or near-nudity is an essential element of their culture.
Paul Ableman explains, "very few primitives are totally nude. They nearly always have
ornamentation or
Body modification of some type, which plays a central role in their culture. . . . Into this simple
but successful
culture comes the missionary, and obliterates the key indications beneath his inexpensive
Western clothing. Among many
primitives, tattooing, scarification and ornamentation carry exceptionally detailed information
which may, in fact, be the
Essential regulatory power in the society. The missionary hence, at one strike, annihilates a
culture. It was probably no
less traumatic to get a primitive society to be abruptly clothed than it would be for ours to be
unexpectedly stripped
naked." 36
24. Yet missionaries have consistently sought to inflict their very own notions of "decency" on
other cultures,
ignoring the elaborate cultural customs regarding dress already in position.

Bernard Rudofsky writes: "People [in other cultures] who traditionally don't have a lot of use
for clothing are