The History of Clothing

FOR DOWNLOAD MORE GALLERY Ian Gilligan believes that clothing is man's most important invention.
“I’m no nudist,” Gilligan confesses. “I think that with most people it’s good that they wear clothing, and some people should probably wear more – if only for aesthetic reasons. I’m not being judgemental about clothing. At the physiological level, wearing clothes routinely from birth will have profound sensory consequences. Our skin is what fundamentally connects us to the physical world and makes us aware of our bodily existence, and clothing disrupts those connections. Looking at a lot of trends in basic human behaviour, we have become increasingly distanced from our natural surroundings. Instead we become more attached to the material substitutes we create and this began, in my view, when our ancestors became accustomed to being fully clothed. Yet the strange thing is that virtually all of this is now almost totally unconnected to our clothing.”
Gilligan attributes the invention of clothing as the reason homo sapiens survived on the planet, but it's clear that clothing is no longer necessary for everyday survival in most circumstances, so textiles now serve as merely aesthetic coverings. Gilligan notes that humans have been wearing clothing so long that it has become second nature, something we all do without question because it's part of what we perceive to be normal behavior. The constant feel of clothing against skin connects us more to the material world instead of nature, in effect making us less human than we can be.

I personally believe that nudism, in part, is in our DNA, that we are naturally wired to be without clothing. While the mind has been conditioned over thousands of years that clothing is required, some little spark still exists which rejects this. The problem is that modern society is so restrictive, it actually mandated the wearing of textiles in virtually all public situations, even when swimming and sunbathing. We've hidden our bodies for so long that the general perception is that nudity is somehow harmful, both to ourselves and to others.

Most people never get the chance to be nude in nature, and that is a tragedy. Getting outside without the restrictions of clothing to hike, swim, sunbathe or play games with others not only liberates from our social conditioning, it reconnects us with our natural selves.

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