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What if we all walked around naked?

Filed Under: This & That
Posted on: May 30, 2013 12:12 PM

I have often posed this question to my personal training clients, and their answers have varied as widely as their success rates... and often in direct relation.  But seriously... what if we all walked around naked?!  Think of how different our world would be.

(Assume, for the sake of argument, that all of the apocalyptic predictions of global warming have, indeed, come to pass... and we are not forced to weather the brutal Midwestern winter in our birthday suits).    

First of all, we could no longer define 'success' by the label on our clothing.  The red-carpet media frenzy would ask the question, "Who is training you?" rather than "Who are you wearing?"  Would there be less theft?  Less bullying in schools?  Less debt?  Yes, we would miss the expansive canvas of color, texture and pattern that fashion provides... but would we then focus more on the colors of nature?  The deep green of rain dampened leaves against a stormy grey sky... the symphony of color in every sunset?  Would we realize how truly similar we all are as members of the human race... and how insignificant our physical differences become when we are all, basically, 'skin colored' and not nearly as decorative as, say, the animal kingdom?  Or would our naturally creative nature push us to wax patterns into our chest hair and tattoo our flesh in vibrant colors?  Would we take better care of our skin, realizing that it is essentially our 'hide', designed for a lifetime of wear?  Would the strip clubs go out of business... or would we find other ways to push the limits of morality?  Would we hire people to sanitize our public transportation seats?  Just think about all of the things in our world that would be drastically changed by the removal of something as simple as clothing.

My hypothesis is that, overall, one of two things would eventually happen.  Either we would revert back to the medieval conception that 'big is beautiful'... or, more accurately, 'more fat = well fed = prosperous person' (enter a brand new way to create and idolize an elitist subset of humanity...well, not new... just revisited).  Or, without the mantle of deception and status to cover a multitude of flaws, our human race emerges healthier.  The focus shifts from 'how can I cover it up' to 'how can I make a permanent change'.  Yes, one may wish to invest heavily in the cosmetic surgery stocks but, in general, given the current emphasis on the toned/fit/slender ideal, we may have a fighting chance at a world 'in balance'.  Health food, fruits and vegetables would be cheaper and easier to find.  We would walk or bike to work as often as possible, simply to drop that extra 200 calories each morning.  We may even practice a little more self- control... and 'eating our feelings' would mean simply eating our weight in baby carrots.  We would probably keep ourselves impeccably groomed, and cleaner overall, potentially leading to a lower rate of germ/disease transmission.  Not only that, but we would probably keep our environment cleaner as well!  We would have to feel the cigarette butts under our bare feet, and the amount of dirt on our skin by the end of the day would be a tangible reminder of how dirty our atmosphere really is.  

How differently would the workplace function in such a world?  In the same way that many offices enforce a dress code, employers may require that a specific body fat % be maintained in order to work there!  Can you imagine?!  Incentive packages would include gym memberships and mandatory sun screen along with the company phone.  Why?  Because each and every time you interact on behalf of the company... you ARE the face/body/impression of the company.  Each time you meet with a client, they will be making a snap judgment about you based, not only on your products and platforms, but on how confident they feel in your ability to represent their interests... as a person.  Not only as an extension of your firm, but as an individual.  In some cases, your first impression could make or break the sale!      
But wait... isn't that true today?  Shouldn't employers be more concerned with the image of health their firm portrays?  Don't they realize that, subconsciously, clients gravitate more towards the personification of strength, health, and vitality?  Shouldn't they be allowing, and encouraging, their employees to find time to work out?  Shouldn't they be instituting Corporate Wellness programs in order to keep these ideas at the forefront of their corporate mentality?  Don't you think they would... if we all had to walk around naked?  ;)

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