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Thread: Nude beaches and children

  1. #1
    Silver Member BecxyRex's Avatar
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    Nude beaches and children

    Hello all! Iím having a bit of a debate with a friend, and it got me thinking. Iíd love to hear everyoneís opinion on this.
    We were talking about a specific beach here in town and itís an optional nude beach. people are clothed, but a lot of them choose to be nude.

    I personally havenít taken my daughter, but itís more of an inconvenience due to distance, than me being uncomfortable with the idea. My daughter is 3.5 for the record.
    Iím not trying to settle a debate or anything, since weíre aware we have differing opinions, but Iím more curious how people generally feel about this topic, since it got me thinking a bit.

    I grew up in Europe and people sunbathing nude in city parks isnít unheard of and something Iíve been ďconfrontedĒ with during childhood more than enough. I never thought anything of it. In actuality it became more of a norm to me to see bodies of all sizes and shapes. If I were to go to this beach here in my current city I wouldnít be necessarily concerned to take my child. I donít believe in demonizing or sexualizing nude bodies by default, but it seems a lot of people would find it inappropriate to have their children see naked people in a non sexual environment.

    I think actually that it can be beneficial to see people comfortable in the way they are, as opposed to experiencing nudity in some medium that might portray unrealistic ideals. I see it this way, our kids will see naked people at some point in life. I hate to think about it, but it will come up in ways I wonít be aware of as a mother. Do I want my daughter to have been exposed to actual nudity before that happens? Yeah, I think itís helpful. I think itíll not only help her own body image, but also help her become normalized to the idea that people do look different and itís all ok.

    Obviously if anything inappropriate were to happen I would absolutely take my child out of there. Iím very protective of her and think about her upbringing every single day. Iíve heard the argument made, that children will look at men and they may become aroused. Iíd argue that itís a pretty messed up individual who would feel that way towards a child looking and Iíd rather not apply that to the general population by default. I donít think all men are pigs at all. I think most if not all of the dudes there just want to enjoy some sun and relax. What are people so afraid of?

    Iím aware bad things can happen. Iíll do my all to prevent them, but I donít see how going to a nude beach is endangering my childís well being or innocence. Iím very interested in opinions. Iím not set on this by any means. Getting Ready for a First Date

  2. #2
    Forum Supporter Fudgie's Avatar
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    Ultimately, it's a cultural difference. You grew up in Europe and nudity is much, much better received there than it is in the US. Remember, the US is the land of blood/gore/violence on prime time TV but as soon as someone shows a teat accidentally during the Superbowl Halftime show, all hell breaks loose. I suspect many Americans who will comment on this will voice disagreement that a nude beach is suitable for children but again, I think that boils down to cultural differences. I don't believe there is a right/wrong choice as long as the child isn't seeing sexual activity and the child is being watched by the parent, but I guess you could make that argument for an outing at any beach, nude or not.

    Personally, I think it should be up to the parents and their own judgement. 3.5 years old may or may not be too young for a nude beach, depending on your child and your perception of their maturity level. A few very young kids may go to a nude beach and then have trouble designating between when it is okay/not okay to take their own clothes. I've heard stories from my parents from my 3-year-old years and I can guarantee I would not have been a good candidate for a nude beach. I LOVED to take my clothes off on a hot day outside, no matter who was around, and I'm pretty sure a nude beach would haven given me permission to exploit that and be a little sh__t. But again, each kid is different and I think it's up to the parent(s) to decide based on their own knowledge/understanding.

    I'm sure the topic of child abuse may come up: would seeing nudity in such a setting open a child more to abuse? I don't know the answer to that question but I think probably not, as long as the child can understand "this is a place where adults can be naked, however you should not talk to a naked adult, even if one wants to talk to you, and NO ONE should touch you in your privates nor ask you to touch yours".

  3. #3
    Super Moderator Capricorn3's Avatar
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    I know nude beaches are very common in Europe and has been that way like forever. For people growing up there, it is completely normal. It's also like they have public saunas where families go - parents and children amongst other adults etc and no-one covers up with towels. All totally nude. Totally normal there and no-one flinches. No-one even looks.

    For countries where this is not the norm, people would be outraged and horrified.

    It all comes down to what people grew up with. What is normal to them. Many people will totally disapprove and be disgusted. Many others it will just be 'meh'.

  4. #4
    Platinum Member SherrySher's Avatar
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    In an ideal world, yes, it would be wonderful to take our children to beaches or parks where clothing was optional due to heat, and people not be sexualizing it, etc.

    However, in todays world, we have the Jefferey Epsteins, and the sexual predators out there as well as just plain perverts. You also have tv shows and movies sexualizing nearly everything and it's near impossible to keep children away from it.

    Due to that, I think it's dangerous to bring children around adults who might have clothing optional and I also think it's confusing to the child.
    You want to teach your child to not let someone touch them, not let anyone see their privates (and for darn good reason!)...but if you were to bring them into this kind of environment, you're then sending two different messages.

    Keep your children safe!! It is of the utmost importance in todays world where there are, unfortunately, a lot of sick people.

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  6. #5
    Gold Member ShySoul's Avatar
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    It all depends on how comfortable you are with your body and with seeing other people bodies. As an extremely shy and introverted person, I would not be comfortable with it and would not want to take a child. For me, being around someone naked is reserved for someone I'm really close to and are intimate with. It's not that I think there is anything wrong with it, I just don't feel comfortable and don't want to know that much about a stranger. If I was with a child, I don't think I would want to answer any questions that might come up. I don't have children of my own, but I feel like I would want to teach them that while there is nothing to be ashamed about regarding your body, that it is something best kept to yourself and not to be seen by just anyone.

    However, I also don't think we should hide such things from children or make them scared that all people are perverts who will take advantage of them. Children will eventually grow up and be curious about their bodies, about other people, and about sex. It's better if you are talking about it with them as they grow up. Encourage any questions they have. Teach them the positives and negatives. Yes, be careful because bad things can happen. But we should also be able to celebrate who we are, inside and outside. Each person is beautiful in their own way, regardless of what form our body might take.

  7. #6
    Platinum Member Rose Mosse's Avatar
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    It depends on what you're comfortable with as a mother. I get the sense that you feel like you may be judged as a parent for not being strongly opposed. Was your friend firing off on you or getting upset in the debate?

  8. #7
    Silver Member BecxyRex's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Rose Mosse
    It depends on what you're comfortable with as a mother. I get the sense that you feel like you may be judged as a parent for not being strongly opposed. Was your friend firing off on you or getting upset in the debate?
    Thatís a really good question. You know, it took me a while to know the answer. I know itís ultimately all up to me, but I think youíre right that Iím a little concerned of being judged or maybe not seeing something the right way. Itís been a while since I was a child and while I turned out fine, I donít want to make mistakes with my own if I can help it. I may be thinking too much about it, since weíre not even really going to this beach or will in the near future. Iím also a first time mom and my daughter is young enough to think over every single step :) maybe Iím trying to confirm for myself that Iím not doing anything wrong if I were to take her.

  9. #8
    Silver Member BecxyRex's Avatar
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    And rose I forgot to mention, She wasnít being judgemental but rather surprised and it took me for a loop.

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    Forum Supporter ~Seraphim ~'s Avatar
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    I wouldnít but it is a product of my own culture and the fact I was sexually abused. Now I am not body conscious at home with my own family. My son routinely bathed or showered with us until the age of about 3 then the anatomy questions started and we stopped. We always called anatomy by the right names and never brushed questions aside.

    I would have been too afraid to have my child exploited if brought to a nudie beach. I am just not comfortable.

  11. #10
    Platinum Member itsallgrand's Avatar
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    I see it the same as you. I think it's healthy to see non sexual nudity from a young age. I don't see anything wrong with small children being at a clothing optional beach as long as it is a safe environment.
    We have a few clothing optional beaches near me. It's mostly families. And honestly, it feels a lot more laid back and safe to me than the more popular beaches where people commonly go to strut their sexy stuff. I've been eyeballed more in my swimsuit than at the other where you can skinny dip.
    I'm not European, but my parents sort of normalized nudity when I was young. They were appropriate, of course, and they were protective of me. But seeing nude people wasn't treated as odd or to be avoided. I grew up with a really healthy body image, I think, no real hang up's even as a teen about worrying about looking perfect.
    The more worrisome thing is society at large as you grow up. Oversexualizing teens and the sexual assault culture we have going on.

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