Science says nudity could make you feel better about your body and your life
Ever let it all hang out on a nude beach? There’s a reason those people are all smiles: Being naked around other people might make you happier, according to a new study from Goldsmiths, University of London.
Researchers surveyed 849 people, and found that those who had spent time in the nude outdoors or with other people—sorry, your girlfriend or family doesn’t count—reported they were happier, felt better about their bodies, and had higher self-esteem than those who didn’t shed their clothes.
Then they did two more experiments, but this time they talked to people before and after they participated in an actual nudist event. The results were similar: Study participants reported improvements on those same wellbeing measures afterwards.
“What we found was a very good correlation, that generally, if you did these activities, the longer you did them and the more frequently you did them, the happier you were about all of these things,” explains study author Keon West, Ph.D., in a video produced by the university.
What’s more, seeing other people naked predicted a more positive body image than being seen naked by others, the study authors wrote. And no, it’s not because you get to stare at a bunch of butts.
According to one participant, seeing other people with “normal, not perfect” bodies helped ease the insecurities they felt toward their own.
So while more research needs to be done to confirm exactly why nudity could make us happier, the findings have the potential to help those with body image problems in the future, West explains.