Nudity. Does this word strike fear in your heart? Does it make you uncomfortable? Do you automatically think of sex?
We are an over-sexualized society. Nudity is so strongly tied to sex in many contexts that it's nearly impossible for some people to separate the two. Look at the whole public breastfeeding (non) issue. In this culture, nudity and sex are not only connected, but they are also used to sell everything from perfume to cheeseburgers.
I could go on and on about this topic, but I'm really just using it as a segue into ritual nudity. Working skyclad is a part of some people's practices. It is seen as a symbol of liberation and as a way of connecting to the gods and to the earth. After all, naked is the way we were born.
And as the sign that ye are truly free,
Ye shall be naked in your rites, both men
And women also: this shall last until
The last of your oppressors shall be dead
It works well for some. There are those who do find it very freeing, and it may help them feel more connected to the Divine.
I don't do the skyclad thing. I'm not big on being nude in front of a bunch of people I don't know, unless I'm going in for surgery or something.
This isn't because I am ashamed of my plus-sized body; I'm not. I think that my body, as squishy as it is, is sacred. It is the gift to my soul to carry it around in this lifetime. I may not take the best care of it most of the time, but we'll talk about that later...
Because I see this body as my soul's gift from the gods, I prefer to cover it up and reveal it only to a select few. I see it and I like it. My boyfriend has seen it a couple of times. Hell, I've even mooned people before. I don't even show my hair to people, much less my other bits and pieces. I don't think it's necessary at all.
The Divine knows what my body looks like already. I don't feel the need to approach prayer or celebrations without clothing. For one thing, it's not exactly practical in many cases. Or legal, depending on where you're conducting your celebration/ritual/whatever.
For another thing, I am not approaching the Divine with my body. I am connecting to the Divine with my soul, my true essence. I go naked in spirit. My soul is laid bare before the Divine. I may be wearing clothing on my body, but my soul is naked before the Divine. And that's what works for me.