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Opinion: World Naked Bike Ride St. Louis Is A Great Event

July 19, 2017 Bicycling, Featured No Comments

The recent World Naked Bike Ride – St. Louis was the 10th annual here. The purpose is clear:

The World Naked Bike Ride in St. Louis is part of an international event to raise awareness of cyclist rights and vulnerability on the road, and promote positive body image and protest oil dependency.

I absolutely love this event! Sadly, the first rode here was just months after my stroke — so I”ve only been able to participate as a spectator.

AS a spectator even it’s excellent. The hubby and I were sitting at 16th & Washington for about 15-20 minutes before the ride came through. In that time we talked to numerous people — strangers. One couple suspected what we were out: “Ready for the naked bike ride?”. they asked. Others, pedestrians & motorists, asked us what was going on.

Unlike many other events, I saw no corporate sponsors, though many local businesses are partners. I saw almost no genitalia — but I wasn’t looking either. I was bust waving, reading signs, enjoying the creative costumes & body paint. Nothing remotely;y indecent.

Most who voted in the non-scientific Sunday Poll seemed to agree:

Q: Agree or disagree: The annual World Naked Bike Ride encourages indecent exposure.

  • Strongly agree 2 [4.35%]
  • Agree 4 [8.7%]
  • Somewhat agree 5 [10.87%]
  • Neither agree or disagree 1 [2.17%]
  • Somewhat disagree 2 [4.35%]
  • Disagree 13 [28.26%]
  • Strongly disagree 18 [39.13%]
  • Unsure/No Answer 1 [2.17%]

An important part of the ride is to promote a positive body image, to show the world we’re not all cover models.

How we feel about ourselves as people directly impacts what we ultimately see in the mirror. Negative messages from others in our lives and from the media can make this a challenging proposition. Creating a positive body image requires being able to integrate our feelings about ourselves with the messages we are getting from others.

When we have a hard time reconciling how we feel with external influences, we are likely to experience insecurity in our social lives–anywhere from a low hum of anxiety to a crippling self consciousness. We may also find that a good feeling about our body image is hard to hold onto and can be disrupted by small comments or an unexpected glimpse of our reflection. (Psychology Today)

Years ago I did some design work at a local facility that treats patients with eating disorders. Seeing young people with visible bones but think they’re fat leaves a lasting impression. My stroke caused me to have a food disorder, gourmand syndrome.Desiring fine food I have to work hard to not get even fatter.

Keep it up St. Louis, ignore those who can’t see past exposed skin.

— Steve Patterson

 

 

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