Clothing and makeup as an indicator of health

some radical thoughts

Clothing and makeup have a number of functions from warmth and protection to social.  Healthy individuals should be comfortable wearing whatever clothing and makeup are rationally appropriate.  That might range from heavy layers used for protection from the cold, to wearing nothing in an environment which provides for all body and comfort needs.  Even in warm weather suitable clothing can improve comfort by preventing underarm skin contact and abrasion.  And clothing can shield skin from harmful, excessive exposure to sunshine.  Social events such as an ancient Greek party or a graduation ceremony call for wearing specialized clothing to match the event criteria.  And sensitive selection of clothing can avoid offending the religious or cultural training of others whom are present.

Consider a person who feels uncomfortable wearing clothing which should rationally be suitable.  Many religions and societies poorly prepare individuals to be comfortable in all situations, for example in situations where a minimum of clothing is appropriate.  Or a person might be uncomfortable wearing a toga at a Greek party, a swimsuit at a beach, or a tuxedo at a wedding.  Such a handicap restricts both the individual and the society from maximizing creativity and productive potential.

A society might be considered more healthy if it permits and encourages individuals to exercise the full range of reasonable clothing.  Few societies today appear to have reached that level of social health.  Many societies continue to punish individuals for clothing choices which, while rational and appropriate for the environment, violates religious or traditional taboos.  In today's world, perhaps the quickest way to assess this aspect of an individual's or a society's health is to determine their attitude towards situations where minimal clothing is needed.  (From a religious perspective, it might we worth pondering whether God still demands that some of his creation be hidden from view or whether that hiding flows from human failures.)


There may be rare social justification for some clothes fetishes such as large collections of hats, shoes, or other clothing.  But for most individuals, large clothing collections might be considered excessive with limited value for self entertainment.



Our attitude about being without clothing may be our best thermometer (measure) of our acceptance of our self.  But the determination of where we exhibit that depends on our culture.  For example, many Americans wear masks of considerable boldness.  But underneath the mask they seem to prefer to hide themselves.

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created 5 May 2007
revised 4 August 2008
by D Trapp
Mac made