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  • Jessica VanDerheyden

When 'Body Positivity' Goes Too Far: Does Public Nudity Pose a Threat to Child Safeguarding?

Nude men on bikes. Nudist booths. Naked people in fountains. Since when is this socially appropriate?


The unsettling trend of public nudity in the presence of children is becoming increasingly hard to ignore. There is a worrisome rise in the number of men who are looking to mingle in "family-friendly spaces" while naked. Our culture seems to have taken a shift and is now starting to defend the idea of children being around naked adult strangers. Looking at the comment sections in the now-viral videos, there are hundreds of people defending the nudists and their behavior. "It's natural!" or "We should be teaching our children to love all bodies!" or even "I am glad we are moving towards showing children that their bodies are nothing to be ashamed of!"



While these ideas may seem innocent and maybe even empowering, they are, in reality, opening the doorway for the exploitation of children. Children are not inherently sexual. However, that doesn't mean they don't understand or cannot feel when something isn't quite right. Most children do not realize why they are uncomfortable being around naked people, but they have a gut feeling that they know is amiss. They become aware that something is making them feel unsafe. An intuition telling them to leave, avoid contact and find a safe adult. This intuition is what helps save countless children from falling victim to abuse. It is important to follow the lead of these natural progressions and validate that there are some parts of the body that should be private. Validating this isn't to teach shame, nor is it to make the child feel a stigma—it reinforces healthy boundaries for themselves and others. Teaching children that a naked adult stranger being around them is appropriate erodes the important natural boundaries children should have with others.


This is especially true if a trusted adult is actively telling them that nudity is a positive thing while exposing the child to it. This also opens the door for an adult to persuade a child into taking their own  clothes off, putting the child in a perilous situation - potentially leading to assault and/or child pornography. This movement is creating a playground for predators, grooming children into dangerous adult-child relationships.



There is a small portion of the population trying to normalize children being around naked adult strangers, and we fear that they are using the radical queer movement to push their agenda. We cannot believe this even needs to be said, but a grown man showing a child their private parts is completely unacceptable and should set off major alarm bells. What kind of message are we sending to our kids? Do we really want them to think it's okay to ignore their instincts and stay quiet just to avoid body-shaming or being offended by something "natural?” Do we want our children to believe that it is normal and safe to be around naked men exposing their genitals? Are we okay with the potential consequences this movement has? This behavior blurs the line for kids, making it harder for them to understand what is safe and what is not. Our top priority should be protecting the well-being of our children. During Pride Month, it is crucial for our community to have open conversations that address these tough questions with a commitment to true equality. Our children’s safety and innocence are on the line.



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