Then, Kate, at least half a mile away from prying eyes on a 640-acre estate in France, was caught sunbathing topless by a photographer with a larger, telescopic camera. His magazine published the photo. Much outrage. A more civilized, and sensible, stance soon followed when Kate, on being welcomed to the Solomon Islands, faced a bevy of women in eye-appealing native attire - and bare bosoms. But then a photographer was right behind Kate in Australia to capture the view when a gust of wind blew high her skirt. Where and why did this cover-up desire, almost universal and unique to our species, originate?
Well, it could be that we miss that nice hairy coat we wore for so many millennia which did have its flaws. It housed biting insects and it hurt when you pinned medals on it. Back in 1972 the Welsh Elaine Morgan with her Descent of Woman explained the aquatic ape theory that our branch of the family, lead by women, spent so much time in and out of the Indian Ocean that lapped eastern Africa that we gradually lost our hair, except for our heads that spent the most time above water.
But then we had to migrate to colder Europe, Asia, America et al. A selfish species, we robbed no end of animals of their coats just to keep us warm and, when we invented pockets to carry things and sleeves to wipe our noses, there was no stopping the fad that led to extremes and helped make me a life-time skeptic.
I recall becoming a skeptic when I learned there was no Santa Claus. Whom in this world could I trust? I was taught for a few years by nuns. Most were hard working and dedicated but I doubted much of what they labelled as truths when they told me we were created in God’s image. If so, why would they hide almost every inch of their God-like bodies behind that hideous garb? Did that not insult their creator? Today the main victims of such garb are those who hide behind the eye-abusing blackouts of some of the Muslim world, a fad that originated in 627 to imitate the wives of Muhammad. We can also blame the Military or actually those who used the military to enhance their power and wealth. Fancy uniforms provided status and hid the hardships, suffering, and death that are so much a part of the career. They were also useful in pinning on medals to which only the owners paid attention. Napoleon had to order the addition of buttons to sleeves to discourage the habit soldiers had of wiping their noses on uniform sleeves.
So, when the climate and duties are amenable what is wrong with human nudity? Male lust, it is said, demands removing from sight what titillates. Then why are cosmetics and suggestive clothing not also universally banned? Some years ago a male acquaintance was overjoyed to get a cashier job in a strip joint. Six months later I bumped in to him again so asked about his job. He explained how, for the first 3 months, he was in heaven but admitted he was a poor cashier as it meant taking his eyes off the naked girls every few minutes. Then, slowly, the novelty wore off and being a cashier became just a boring job with the girls a normal part of the background.
In this life we have so much to worry about what does it matter what is on, or not on, the human body?