It seems as though over the last several weeks various people, mostly other than long-time naturists, have been writing very positively about nudity. Nice trend. Here are some examples I’ve found…
5 myths about nude vacations (October 14, 2005)
The idea of taking a vacation in your birthday suit may take some getting used to. But nudists aren’t deviant septuagenarians and their resorts aren’t sleazy hideaways. The truth is, nudists are often the people next door, and if nothing else, a nude vacation can lead to many new discoveries.
The author here is Christopher Elliott, who (according to the article credits) “is National Geographic Traveler‘s ombudsman and a nationally syndicated columnist”. He’s talking about his introduction to nudism in Europe, which he accidentally stumbled upon “as a college student hiking through the French Alps many years ago”. The “5 myths” mentioned are standard canards that people who are ignorant of naturism tend to spread among themselves.
Nude sensation (October 19, 2005)
Standing naked in a classroom with all eyes fixed on one’s bare body is the type of story read about in trashy teen magazines under the heading “My worst nightmare.” But senior Joey Feaster assumes this position frequently. And he doesn’t even find it scary.
Feaster is a nude model and one of a handful of people who model in the buff for figurative drawing classes at USD. Nude modeling continues a tradition going back to Greek art, and if that fact alone isn’t enough to entice prospective models to lose their clothes, the Fine Arts department pays $20 per hour out to models.
This is from the student newspaper of the University of South Dakota, by reporter Alana Bowden. Obviously, it’s about nude art modeling. Imagine… actually getting paid a lot more than minimum wages to go naked. Sounds like it’s actually not easy work. But it has its rewards:
Posing nude is not only important for the sake of art, but it can be an exhilarating personal experience. Feaster looks back with pride on the newfound independence he’s found through nude modeling.
“My reward, would be my self-confidence with myself, as well as my body,” he said.
Photographer gains self-esteem from social nudity (October 14, 2005)
I have always found social nudity to be a fascinating thing. What would life be like sans clothing? What would my life have been like if, instead of being embarrassed and even ashamed of my body, I could have seen first hand that I was no different than anyone else?
I finally decided to find out, and I called Oaklake Trails Naturist Resort.
So wrote Mark Schuster, who is Assistant Director of Photography (not clear where, perhaps Missouri Southern State University). Despite serious last-minute second thoughts about his visit, Mark discovered it wasn’t as traumatic as so many who haven’t tried social nudity fear:
Like most people who have never experienced it first hand, I had certain ideas about what a nudist resort would be.
To my pleasant surprise, all of the positive things were reinforced, and all of the negative things were proven to be groundless. For one thing, the atmosphere at Oaklake Trails was not one of extreme sexual tension, as may be expected considering everyone was naked, but was actually less sexually charged than, say, your normal municipal swimming pool. It’s hard to explain, and it seems illogical, but it’s true. These people were not flaunting their nudity.
They were simply existing in a state of undress, as commonplace at Oaklake Trails as firemen wearing protective outfits before running into a burning building.
It seemed to me that social nudism would be good for my body image and self-esteem, and it was. I’m not in shape and I have issues with my body, but in talking to people who were willing to take the time to look below the surface at who I really am, I learned that my body has just as much validity as any other.
Samantha Bennett, a columnist for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, introduces a story about nudity in Germany, and how organized naturism in Germany is declining… because nudity is common enough there that one doesn’t need to belong to anything in order to enjoy public nudity.
In Germany, it’s all nudes, all the time [Link still valid!] (October 13, 2005)
For reasons regular readers may remember, I am considered something of an expert on nudism. I have this exalted status because, while most people have in their lives been nude, I am one of a tiny handful of Americans who have been nude in public. To be honest, I don’t know why the talk shows haven’t called.
Nudity is a big deal in this country. I participated in an art installation in Cleveland in which more than 2,700 people disrobed as briefly as possible on a very chilly morning so an artist could take a picture of the whole crowd of us, and I am still hearing about it as if I had been Miss September.
“So what’s it like to be naked?” people ask me (usually men, for some reason).
However, Samantha is an American writing for other Americans. And there’s a subtext to the article. Through her sassy attitude — which I really like — she’s expressing her hearty approval of nudity, and the message that it’s the people who don’t like nudity who are weird.
Finally, we have an interview with a long-time naturist — Jennie Trisnan, who lives near Croydon in the UK.
Happy to be… a naturist [Link still valid!] (October 19, 2005)
To most, naturism is a hobby which raises a few eyebrows and prompts a titter or two.
But to those who regularly shed their clothes, it is a chance to get back to nature and a great way to combat the stresses of everyday life.
Jennie Trisnan was introduced to naturism around three years ago and hasn’t looked back since. She spends most weekends indulging her hobby at one of two clubs close to Croydon and insists they are just like any other social club. Except that sports, amateur dramatics, dancing and drinking in the club bar is all done in the nude.
What does Jennie like about naturism?
“For me it’s like being primitive. Being at one with nature and leaving the outside world behind you. I’ll often take a tent and just go to the club for the weekend and relax.
“I like to go barefoot, even when I’m walking in the woods. The only thing I will wear occasionally is a scarf when it gets a bit cold.”
“My family don’t mind really. I don’t tell everyone in my life because people do tend to judge you, but the ones who do know think it fits in with my personality.”
Jennie believes her passion is something she shares with a significant portion of the population – even if they don’t yet know it.
She says: “I’m convinced many people would think about giving it a go, they are just stopped by what other people might think.
“Doesn’t everybody want to feel free and liberated? Just to be accepted for who they are? I am sure many people want that but are just too scared to try it.”
Originally posted October 27, 2005