(or -- a step towards naturism?)
A few reasons I can think of for people taking pictures of themselves:
Vanity, or excessive pride in one's appearance, qualities, abilities, achievements. This may be justified when someone has exercised intensely, eaten a healthy diet, or recovered from an injury and they are pleased to look a certain way.
Sensuality, enjoying a sense of pleasure from being totally uncovered; free. Able to experience all the senses the body is capable of delivering, whether due to heat, cold, touch or motion.
Sexuality and getting stimulated at the idea of sharing an image of yourself fully exposed including all the bits and pieces ordinarily hidden from public view but by which we all achieve a sense of pleasure. Being touched, being cared for, knowing the feeling of closeness shared with fellow beings when we are able to touch (knowing of our shared sensitivities; realizing we all experience joy from physical contact -- and knowing the power of touch as well as the responsibility of it).
Pure visual appeal, not related to the vanity described above. If anyone considers themselves to have a artistic eye, an appreciation for subtle curves, contours, textures, lines and shapes, or an appreciation for the marvelous workings of the human body, then perhaps the act of capturing an image of one's self is a "tribute" to these things.
Finally, a secret desire to be more than a clothed image, more than a designer's label, more than a stereotypical (whatever) -- man, woman, person, teen, punk, emo or any other label applied by society. The definition of stereotype in social context is, "a simplified and standardized conception or image invested with special meaning and held in common by members of a group" and since each of us is one of a kind, the only way to express this is by unadorned nudity. The true revealing of one's self as only the "I" can exist!
Whether you believe in creationism, evolution or something else, YOU are the end product of generations of natural selection and more directly of the direct union of two other souls who were also, in their turn, the product of love, caring and tenderness. As the old saying goes, each person at one time was no more than a "twinkle in your father's eye", and if not for that exact and specific moment of love shared together by two people, you would be completely different.
Will we ever be capable of "engineering" a person to the exact specifications desired? A person who is taller, stronger, green eyes, blue hair, or of super-intelligence? The perfect athlete or the ideal, most honorable politician to govern us all? Or should we continue reveling in our uniqueness, having pride in the individual features and look created in a specific moment of love-driven biochemical engineering?
Is being a naturist also an expression of these things? A little of all these things tied together and expressed without anger, as a group, on a beach, at the lake or anywhere in the great outdoors? Perhaps even in a closed space indoors but still together as a group in the hope of achieving social unity, perhaps enlightened consciousness?
If you know someone with shared/unshared naked pictures of themselves, have you ever discussed the reasons for taking them?
(to promote discussion...)