Facebook Twitter Email. CNN — When I was a kid, my father always used to sunbathe nude in our garden at weekends. In public pools, children of all ages were allowed to run around naked all the time. Even now I'm comfortable with getting naked in the sauna or gym changing room. Maybe it's because I'm German.
The history of nudity involves social attitudes to nudity in different cultures in history. It is not known when humans began wearing clothes, although there is some archaeological evidence to indicate that clothing may have become commonplace in human society around 72, years ago. Anthropologists believe that animal skins and vegetation were adapted into coverings as protection from cold, heat and rain, especially as humans migrated to new climates; alternatively, covering may have been invented first for other purposes, such as magic, decoration, cult, or prestige, and later found to be practical as well. In ancient Rome , nudity could be a public disgrace and might be offensive or distasteful even in traditional settings, though it could be seen at the public baths or in erotic art. In Japan , public nudity was quite normal and commonplace until the Meiji Restoration. In Europe, taboos against nudity began to grow during the Age of Enlightenment and by the Victorian era , public nakedness was considered obscene.
F or decades Germans have extolled the benefits of free body culture — or being naked in nature. The movement has its roots in the late 19th century when it was promoted as a healthy lifestyle, particularly for workers. For more than 70 years entire sections of beaches, lakesides and campsites have been reserved by law for those who choose to be naked, and the practice — with its strict rejection of any shame about nudity — has seeped into the national psyche. The Nazis largely suppressed it.