Liberal and Puritan Liberal and Puritan
Illustration by Karyna Piwowarska

Liberal and Puritan

Opposing Attitudes Towards Nudity in Sweden
Katarzyna Tubylewicz
time 7 minutes

Nakedness in Sweden is no longer as straightforward as it used to be. For some, it is still the obvious, healthy norm; for others, it is revulsion, sin and dishonour. This is because ‘one’ Sweden and ‘typical’ Swedes no longer exist.

Sweden is commonly associated with a relaxed attitude towards nudity. On beaches all over the world, a ‘typical’ Swede can be singled out by his blonde hair, but also by the fact that he changes his swim shorts without a towel. In the locker room at my Stockholm yoga studio, women do not get hastily dressed and do not hide in towelling robes. Naked, they chat with friends, look in the mirror, or sit behind glass doors in the sauna. They see no problem in carefully applying body lotion to their entire body in the middle of the changing room.

No clothes, no glances

Swedish savoir-vivre assumes, however, that people do not stare at each other. The lack of staring and


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