As unbelievable as it may seem to some, there are instances where we may encounter a less-than-blissful skinny-dipper (naked or nude swimmer). More often than not, there are usually extenuating circumstances that create this anomaly. Most people are sublimely relieved to be experiencing clothes-freedom and a leisurely swim simultaneously. When we think of recreational swimming, it is associated with freedom from stress and other worldly cares and responsibilities. It is, under normal situations, an activity that is performed after our toils and professional duties are long over.
However, the gentleman in the accompanying image above appears to be less-than-pleased at something that is taking place outside the photograph. This incongruous situation is exactly what caught my attention (and curiosity) when I first saw this photo. What caused him so much discomfort?
Is he a “closet” (secretive) bare practitioner who just recognized someone at the same beach or pool from his office? Did he pass someone who made an unflattering remark on his physical appearance? Did someone make an off-hand perceived comment or gesture on his sexuality based on his nudity?
Or did he simply happen to recognize a prior sexual partner that he most definitely did not want to encounter? Did someone intentionally photograph him, completely bare, without asking his permission?
The list of possibilities is endless. Plus, none of us will ever know what really transpired the moment the photographer snapped this picture. The photographer may even have asked that he adopt a posture of displeasure. We’ll just never know the answer.
And that mystery is the purpose of this post. I’m using this photo to create what we educators refer to as a “teaching moment.” It is an opportunity to convey a lesson, an idea, a thought or a belief to another.
The moral of this post is: When a person is bare-assed naked, nude, clothes-free or whatever, please do not assume that you automatically have permission to take his or her picture. Period. If you want to take a photo, always ask beforehand. And if the answer is “no,” then respect that and move on.
This dude is on his own time and doing “his own thing.” His nakedness is his business, his choice and his decision. He is not practicing nudity to entertain you or to serve as an artistic inspiration. He’s bare because he wants to be and is alone because he wants to relax. End of story.
This is a common courtesy that unfortunately some of us need to be reminded. The rest of the world doesn’t exist to provide our photo opportunities. Live and let live.
If the clothes that you’re wearing were on his body and off yours, how would you feel?