Some time ago while visiting a Florida resort, I observed an elder lady stepping into the pool. She had long, straight, pepper-grey hair that was bright against her full but not overly-done tan. Her skin was loose and bore the wrinkles of age, but her musculature still had some fullness and tone. Hers was a body that had been lived in and worked but also had been cared for. She was a picture of purity as she stepped into the pool, which she did with grace and poise. She was naked and without care, just going for a morning swim. I felt admiration and thought her worthy of emulation.
A few days later, I found myself a guest at an elegant, private country club elsewhere in the state. I saw an elder lady walk into the room. She was dressed in a shiny blouse and white slacks. Her sandals looked like the best money could buy. She carried an expensive handbag and sported fine jewelry. Her hair was coiffed and unnaturally blonde. Her face did not show wrinkles but the stretch of a cosmetic surgeon’s handiwork and a generous helping of make-up. Her appearance befitted one who occupies a perch at the top of high society, and this was so by design. I thought her a cartoon and without beauty.
It is wrong to judge these people by their appearance. They are probably both fine individuals each pursuing their own vision of happiness. However, this portrait in contrast crystalized for me a virtue of Naturism. To be comfortable in one’s own skin, bodily imperfections and all and to limit the contrivance of one’s personal image seems good for the soul. I have nothing against clothes (well I kind of do actually…) or dressing for an occasion, but I choose the Naturist lady at the pool as a preferred model for how to age gracefully.