From the gym to the beach, there’s an unselfconscious attitude toward the body here. People of all ages and shapes will change into and out of their swimsuits right on the beach. In the gym locker room, there’s a similar carefree attitude. And I’ve seen more nude sunbathing in my time in Stockholm than I have in my entire life in the US.
Of course, this casual naked attitude does make for good stories for my American friends. They love to hear my naked neighbor tales. Out of my kitchen window, I am likely to see at least one naked neighbor on his or her balcony or standing at their window on any given day. And from my dining room, I can see everything from the naked 20-something-year-old female vacuummer to the 70-year-old topless sunbathing retiree.
Coming from the Midwest, I find this casual attitude refreshing. I was the editor in charge of art magazines in the US for many years and always took a lot of grief for publishing nude paintings and drawings. I just could not understand how artists could not appreciate the nude form.
Perhaps that’s why I enjoyed the direct contrast to this attitude at this year’s Pride Pride. There were tons of topless females. And there was one very brave woman who marched completely nude with only three small X-mark pieces of tape covering her in front. She was so happy.