Helping to Free
Christians from the Deception of Body Shame
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The Root of Shame
The Harvest of Shame
Rejecting Shame
Freed From Shame
Redeeming the Body
Living Unashamed
Daily Living
Ordinary Nakedness
In God's Image
God's Desire
Body Shame and Women
Shame, Children, and Abuse
Triumph Over Lust


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Rejecting Shame
Shame is the feeling of being unworthy, inadequate, or defective, expressed in the belief that: 'There's something wrong with me.’  It is a feeling of remorse about one's worth as a person.  The self, more than one's behavior, becomes the target of attack.

- Uzma Mazhar, Dynamics of Shame

Shame is a crippling emotion that leaves people feeling that they are inherently defective.  It needs to be rejected.  Common responses to shame are paralysis, escapism, withdrawal, perfectionism, criticism, and rage.  Yet generations of people have been conditioned to believe that their bodies are shameful rather than respecting and accepting them as good.  In the United States depiction's of horror, hate, and violence fill our media and minds, while parts of the human body – even in the most non-sexual of situations – are censored; and when they are shown it is usually done in a titillating, exploitive manner.  These parts of ourselves are legally and socially considered obscene, indecent, and offensive. Children, in this society, are taught from infancy that they must be clothed even when it is unbearably hot and uncomfortable.  All people are forced by law to wear clothing that hinders swimming, relaxation, sports, and other activities, why?  It's because of ignorant people with uninspected beliefs who view any nudity as indecent.  Is it really surprising that our media is filled with images of hate when we, as a society, are ashamed, uncomfortable, and even hate, parts of our most fundamental existence?

There is nothing redeeming or respectful about body shame.  Shame and respect are contradictory.  You cannot respect what you are ashamed of.  Where did this body shame come from?  Much of it seems to come from religion, particularly in our western culture.  However, Biblical shame is in regards to sin, not the body which is proclaimed by scripture to be "very good."  Unfortunately the evidence has been twisted so that God's good creation is often maligned as shameful and indecent.  The body, rather than sin, is commonly sighted as the cause of impure thoughts; and body shame is regarded as right while all other results of sin, e.g., separation from God, death, sickness, hardship, hate, etc., are clearly viewed as wrong.  These consequences of  The Fall are things we strive to undue, escape, overcome, or correct, with a singular exception it seems: body shame.  (For more in depth perspectives of this subject see other articles on this site.) 

Rather then being rejected, this fallacy grew in the early Christian church, largely due to the influence of Gnostic heresy, i.e. that all physical matter is evil, and only the spirit is good.  Later, as Christianity grew from a persecuted faith into a powerful religion it attracted those who saw in it an opportunity to gain power and control over others.  The Gnostic idea of the body being evil served those seeking power extremely well, as shame is a great way to control others.  Power hungry people in society, politics, and especially religion, have always known this and continue to use it! 

In 43 BC Publis Syrus said: "To feel shame is a sort of slavery"  Body shame contributes to a lowered sense of self-esteem and actually promotes sexual temptation, anxiety, and compulsion, as opposed to preventing it.  This is as a result of making parts of the body more alluring, by their concealment, rather than things that are simply accepted and seen everyday.  When the whole body is accepted - healthy sexual attraction is more the result of a positive relationship than pure physical attraction.  When parts of the body are taboo sexual attraction can easily get out of balance causing damage to individuals and society as a whole.  Socio-psychological research, in addition to simple common sense, prove that acceptance and respect for the whole body is beneficial.  Cultures with greater acceptance of the whole body show lower incidence's of sexual deviance and crime, such as rape and child molestation, as well as people with a greater degree of emotional health.

Shame does not make a person a better member of society but, rather, promotes dysfunction individually and systematically.

- From the book "SHAME Spiritual Suicide" Vicki Underland-Rosow, Ph.D

This site is maintained in the hope that it will help many realize that the only thing shameful about the human body is the attitude we as a society have been conditioned to develop toward it.  Our goal is to help people break free from body shame and keep from passing it on to future generations!  Rejecting shame is actually quite simple.  Discarding clothes in everyday, non-sexual, situations helps to rid one of the bondage and shame imposed by those clothes and their conditioning presence, especially if you are around others that have done the same.  Becoming comfortable with your own and others' nudity is liberating, like removing an emotional backpack of bricks. offers you an opportunity to investigate a different view of nudity.  One that can helps put nudity in the context of body respect rather than indecency and shame.  I hope it helps you discover a freer, healthier, and more balanced way of living.  However, it cannot be effective in helping you reject body shame without action on your part.  If you know something is good but never take action on it, how does it help?  Educate yourself about a healthier, more respectful way to view the human body, and then take action!  Educate yourself on how damaging shame is.  "Shame feels like a wound made from the inside.  Shame is dishonor, fallen pride, a broken spirit. If unchecked, shame can engulf the self, immersing the individual deeper into despair.  To live with shame is to feel alienated and defeated, never quite good enough to belong. 1.  Shame is destructive to individuals, families, and whole societies.   Discover the freedom of reject body shame and embracing body respect.  Take off your clothes.  Take off your shame.  Break free! also serves as a resource to help you communicate body respect to others.  While it is important to communicate that nudity is enjoyable, feels good, and provides a sense of freedom, it is also critical to communicate that nudity is much more than something that just "feels good".  Those who most strongly and vocally oppose nudity do so on the grounds of it being immoral, offensive, and indecent.  They do not care whether it "feels good,” they view it as morally wrong, along with many other things that "feel good".  Countering their message necessitates showing that societies that are more accepting of nudity have far lower rates for sex abuse, rape, and teen pregnancy, among a host of other social ills, that nudity is not opposed by Scripture, and that it is body shame that contributes to increased sexual immorality NOT non-sexual nudity. 

United States District Court Judge Richard B. Kellam said: "Nudity in sunbathing alone will deserve constitutional protection only when the act of nude sunbathing is shown to convey a particular message or philosophy.”  "If through collective groups, proponents could present nude sunbathing as communicating an idea, belief or message, rather than simply as an individualistic preference, the courts would be compelled to afford nude sunbathing constitutional protection to invalidate local ordinances which seek to prohibit it."  Society and the legal system needs to hear that, for many people being legally compelled to wear clothing at a pool, gym, park, beach, and even around ones own home, is morally offensive and in violation of their good conscience.  When we stand on principle and say that we conscientiously object to certain clothing, because of deeply held values and convictions, others, including the legal system, will take us more seriously than if we simply say it "feels good" implying that it is nothing more than a personal preference.

A simple way of helping to communicate this message is referring others to this site.  With this objective please feel free to e-mail any of the sites URL's or pages to others.  You may also make copies of articles on this site and pass them out at events, mail them to friends, family, media, or elected officials so long as you include the web address and copyright statement.  The more this message gets out, the more it will help establish in people's minds, and within our society as a whole, that body shame is destructive and that nudity is a matter of body-respect, conviction, and deeply held values by many.  Help us break this society's negative conditioning of body shame.  Thanks for your support and help. 


David Blood

Founder -


1. Source: The Psychology of Shame: Gershen Kaufman, Ph. D., Springer Publishing Company, New York, NY, 1989

Copyright © 2005

This article may be freely copied and distributed unaltered. 

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