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The Idea of Nudity to Clothing

Why do we wear clothing?

Brooke Lacock

on 13 November 2012

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Transcript of The Idea of Nudity to Clothing

NUDITY How does that make you feel? A little awkward? In current Western society, most people automatically link nudity with sex, indecent exposure, porn, lust, and sin. However, nudity was initially thought of as innocent, pure, and incorrupt as this baby. Nudity is the purest form of Man. In the same way humans are all born without clothing. Mankind was created in the image of God.

Genesis makes it clear that Adam and Eve were both without clothing. “And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and they were not ashamed” (Genesis 2:25) Nakedness was nothing to be embarrassed about because God made them that way. However, nudity being humans natural undeniably pure state was not long-lasting. Eve is tempted by the serpent and eats the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. She then shares the fruit with Adam.

"Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves" (Genesis 3:7)

After eating the fruit, they realize their bodies are exposed and cover them with fig leaves. They become self-conscious and ashamed. Eve's sin corrupts the naturalness of being naked and gave nudity the opposite meaning. Instead of the naked form of Man being normal, it became unnatural and uncomfortable (Barcan, 2006).

God gave Adam and Eve garments made out of animal skins. The killing of animals symbolizes sacrifice for Adam and Eve's sin and shows nudity is indeed a sin (Ham, 2002).
After the Fall of Mankind, the naked body becomes more than a physical state, but also a metaphor for self-knowledge, guilt, and shame. Nudity becoming unnatural is a universal sign of human's sinful nature.

Clothing becomes a resulting symbol of Man's sinful nature. Humans cover themselves to symbolize they are no longer pure. Clothing alienates Man from God (Beaman, 2006). After the Fall of Mankind, both nudity and clothing represent sin. Images:
http://www.onislam.net/english/oimedia/onislamen/images/mainimages/India%20Muslim%20Women%20Demand%20Qur%E2%80%99anic%20Laws.jpg According to a literal translation of the Creation story, the fig leave is the first article of clothing. CLOTHING to The Idea of By Brooke Lacock Not everyone believes in
the Creation story. Some people believe that the birth of clothing dates back to around 170,000 B.C. (Kittler et al. 2003) However, Ralf Kittler, Manfred Kayser and Mark Stoneking point out "there is no direct archeological evidence" to confirm their research on a relationship of body lice and clothing (2003). A research article by Ralf Kittler, Manfred, Kayser, and Mark Stoneking finds that the demographic expansion of body lice correlates with the spread of modern humans out of Africa which they believe occurred in the last 100,000 years (2003).

The authors argues the origin of body lice is correlated to the birth of clothing.

As archaic humans evolved into modern humans, about 250,000-500,000 years ago, bodily hair became less prevalent.

The expansion of (less hairy) early modern humans out of Africa, called for a form of protection as they began facing colder climates.

In this case, humans began wearing clothing to protect themselves from the environment (Kittler et al., 2003). According to the theory involving lice genetic diversity, body lice also evolved during the same time period as modern humans, but from hair lice.

Body lice lives on clothing, but feeds on humans. So as humans lost their hair, hair lice lost their homes. Hair lice evolved into body lice that would reside on clothing and then still feed on human skin.

It is this evidence, that leads scientists to believe there is a link between the evolution of body lice and the beginning of clothing (Kettler et al., 2003).

Date of discovery: 1991
Discovered by: Christopher Henshilwood
Age: About 77,000 years old
Site: Blombos Cave, Republic of South Africa Bone Awls The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History has bone awls on display. The bone awls were used to pierce through animal skins when making clothing. They are some of the oldest findings related to the origin of clothing. Why do we wear clothing? Why do we not wear clothing? Regardless of when clothing first came into existence, one can not deny the practical reasons they provide. Protection from Cold Protection from the sun Protection from wind Protection from perverts maybe not so much this one... While clothing dates back to thousands of years ago, for religious reasons or simply practical reasons, there is something in covering ones body that has gradually grown to become an essential part in being human. Clothing is the mechanism in which humans can express their identity. Gender: One of the first characteristics humans notice in clothing is the gender associated with the style (Ryan, 1966.) Age: Clothing can reveal one's age, as well as a specific time period. Rank/Position: Clothing is an indicator of one's rank in many aspects. In the past, one could distinguish a peasant from a king simply by their dress. This also holds true when dealing with different occupations such as a "white collar worker" from a "blue collar worker". Religion: "Strict dress codes are enforced because dress is considered a symbol of religiosity" (Lazaridis, 1999).

Many religions have traditions to maintain a uniform style of dress to separate themselves from society and connect them to each other. Mennonites Hasidic Jews Muslim Conclusion:
Man was created nude and innocent, but after the fall of Mankind with Adam and Eve nudity no longer represented innocence, but rather being impure and sinful. Clothing shows our sinful nature and separates us from God.
If one does not believe in the creation story, clothing was created when humans began venturing into colder climates and has continued to serve many practical responsibilities.
Clothing has evolved from simple body covering to ways to distinguish ourselves from others. All of these are categories that define our types of dress and identify humans into groups. Bibliography:
Barcan, R. (2004). Nudity: A cultural anatomy. New York, NY: Berg Publishing.
Beaman, L.G. (2006). Religion and Canadian society: Traditions, transitions, and innovations. . Toronto, Ontario: Canadian Scholar' Press Inc.
Ham, K. (2002). Why are humans supposed to wear clothes? Answers in Genesis. Retrieved from: http://christiananswers.net/q-aig/aigkf001.html
Kittler, R., Kayser, M., & Stoneking, M. (2003, August 19). Molecular evolution of pediculus humanus and the origin of clothing. Current Biology, 13(4), 1414-1417. doi: 10.1016/S0960-9822(03)00507
Lazaridis, G., & Authur, L.B. (1999). Religion, dress, and the body. New York: Berg Publishing.
Ryan, M.S., (1966). Clothing: A study in human behavior. New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Wilson, Inc.
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