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The Psychology of Nudism

A lot of research has shown that people don't
like their bodies and this is actually fairly independent of what their bodies actually
look like. Most people think that they're fat or too
skinny, they don't like the look of their private bits and that is a very serious problem
that makes a lot of people really unhappy. This is where we come in – so this research
was the first research to look at whether or not actually doing it, actually taking
off your clothes around non-intimate others, whether that actually predicts being happier
with your body, whether that predicts higher self-esteem and whether that predicts greater
overall life satisfaction and what we found was a very good correlation, that generally
if you did these activities, the longer you did them and the more frequently you did them,
the happier you were about all of these things. To test whether the naturism was actually
causing those effects we did two what we call 'prospective studies' in which we tested people
right before a naturist event and then right after the naturist event and when we did that
we found immediate improvement in body image, self-esteem and life satisfaction. Beyond the practical how does it work, when
does it work, there's a theoretical: does it matter more to see a bunch of naked people,
or two have a bunch of people see you naked. That's really quite interesting, and once
you start to tear that apart you can get deeper into the mechanisms and understand how it
works and why it works. Will people actually do it? Even if we know a hundred percent that this
is good for you, lots of people will say 'well that's fine, I'm still not going to take my
clothes off around a bunch of strangers', but it is still really good research and it
does point to what I think could be a widely available, very very cheap way of fighting
body image dissatisfaction, because everybody can take their clothes off and that's pretty
easy.