Body acceptance is an important factor in becoming involved with naturism to begin with, but also a primary benefit of continued participation in naturist activities. Unsurprisingly, both men and women who might otherwise enjoy social nudity are reluctant to take the first step in that direction – because they’re afraid their body isn’t “good enough”. If one is actually brave enough to visit a naturist club or resort, that people with a wide range of body types are active and enthusiastic naturists is quite obvious.
The present article makes little connection between body acceptance and naturism. However, the 6 individuals featured in the article did allow their fully nude photos to be published and clearly expressed their varied perspectives. The most common body insecurity problem probably has to do with weight. But there are a number of other issues. One of those, especially relevant for women, has to do with body hair. There’s a social convention that body hair on a woman (other than on her head) is a problem. But Emma felt differently, observing that “the more authentic I am, the better it is for me”. And further, “I wanted to just be able to be me and focus on my personality.” That’s a healthy attitude, which is certainly relevant for most naturists.
The second article deals with the same body acceptance issues, but from an additional angle – that of attitudes towards aging naked bodies. Although the focus of the article is on older women, the problem is also relevant to older men. For most people who’re fortunate to reach the age of 50 or 60 in good health, their bodies simply don’t closely resemble the bodies of 20-year-olds. And the resemblance continues to decrease in letter decades. Although most societies value the wisdom of older people (at least relative to younger ones), with respect to appearance the value is clearly on youthfulness.
According to the article, during one year, Australian photographer Ponch Hawkes (a 75-year-old woman) “has shot more than 400 nude women over 50 to fix a pervasive problem.” The problem: “We don’t know what the bodies of older women actually look like.” It’s especially a problem in the eyes of many younger people who might be interested in naturism, since (at least in the U.S.) so many active naturists who visit naturist parks – men as well as women – have passed the 50-year mark. So the issue of physical appearance extends to age as well as weight and other factors. Perhaps surprisingly, enough older Australian women of all body types volunteered to be photographed fully nude – considerably more than one per day. Although “Some women came prepared to be naked… Others hadn’t taken their clothes off in front of anyone for years.”
According to her website, “Melissa Viviane Jefferson, known professionally as Lizzo, is an American singer, rapper, and flutist.” The article here reports that “Lizzo has been on a quest to normalise different body shapes and sizes and smash beauty standards.” As part of that, she “shared an unedited naked photo of herself, curves and all, with the goal of ‘changing the conversation about beauty standards’.” The photo, on Instagram, has received more than 2 million likes. (Of course, it’s posed so as not to violate Instagram’s absurdly prudish “standards” related to nudity.)
Naturism benefits a person’s health in various ways – especially physical, mental, and social health. The physical benefits have been emphasized since the earliest days of naturism – fresh air, sunshine, exercise, etc. The social benefits accrue from pleasant interactions with other naturists. As described above, mental health benefits from improved body acceptance. There are scientific findings that support this.
In the present article, Alexis makes a different yet simple case for naturism’s mental health benefits. If (and only if) you really enjoy being naked, as most naturists do, then your mental state will improve while you’re naked simply because you’re doing something pleasurable. And there’s no reason to feel any guilt about that. In the rest of the article, Alexis offers ideas for increasing the amount of time you can spend naked. (Disclaimer: Alexis included a couple of positive links to posts on this blog. Thanks, Alexis.)
Marie Claire Dorking summarizes a variety of reasons for how life can be better without clothes, especially given the lockdowns during the Covid-19 pandemic. Although there were problems with having to work from home, the upside was the freedom to dress more comfortably – or not at all. Many people probably as a result came to recognize and appreciate the pleasures of everyday life sans clothing. She explicitly notes the physical and mental health benefits of nudity. Quite simply, being naked to do routine things like cooking, cleaning, and even office work is enjoyable.
Briitish naturist Beatrice Berry is quoted explaining how the freedom to be naked compensated for loss of other freedoms during the lockdowns. Another British naturist, Stephanie McManus, founded Body Freedom International during the pandemic to focus “on the discovery of nudity as an internal transformation tool for body acceptance, freedom, and confidence.” The article concludes with advice on getting started with naturism. It’s a good article to share with others who wonder why you like being naked.
Covid-19 is still around. Currently, in December 2022, an average of 50,000+ new cases are diagnosed per day in the U.S. – and rising. So even though the lockdowns are over and pandemic-related stress is down compared to earlier, there are new sources of anxiety and stress instead, such as high inflation, growing levels of common flu, and the onset of winter. The article here reports how pandemic stress could be relieved by getting naked outside. Although that antidote to stress is difficult at this time of year (in the Northern hemisphere), indoor nudity is still helpful – if the heating costs are affordable.
The article reports how a long-time British naturist, Chris, overcame stress and anxiety late in 2020 by stripping off in the local woods, despite the chilly ambiance. Chris was accompanied by his partner, Ginny, but though she’d become a naturist more recently, she kept her clothes on. However, she explained, “It was so nice to see him enjoying himself again, after he’d had a couple of panic attacks.” Ginny, a photographer, was carrying her camera and documented Chris’ experience.
Here’s one more article on British naturism in the midst of the pandemic. The British Naturism organization made a concerted effort during the lockdown to provide remote activities for naturists in the UK (and elsewhere). Activities included a cooking show, naked yoga, a naked book club, and more. The effort was well-received, as shown by a sharp increase in BN membership. (U.S. naturist organizations generally did little extra in this period.) Many others probably took advantage of being confined at home by simply not bothering to wear anything. So they discovered and got used to the comfort of nonsexual nudity – and became interested in naturist activities.
Since many people confined at home were quite far from retirement age, lots of young adults became adherents of naturism. And since they could be naked at home as much as they wanted, there was no impact on their careers. One of them is quoted, saying “There are many more of us younger generation naturists out there than is outwardly obvious.” The WFH (work-from-home) trend should be a boon for naturism.
Daniel Berish is a Vancouver, BC filmmaker. Going through old photographs with his grandmother Zella one day, they found a photo of Zella clearly wearing nothing but a towel and bathing cap. She explained unabashedly, “Oh, that’s the nudist club where I met your grandfather.” Years later, after Zella died, Daniel finally decided to learn more about his grandparents’ naturism and why it appealed to them. So, as a filmmaker, he went with a colleague to make a documentary.
They visited the VanTan Club, which was founded in 1939 and is Canada’s oldest naturist club. He got more than just a better understanding of naturism and its appeal. According to the article, “As Berish and his colleague interviewed the folks at Van Tan, they realized that to truly understand the naturalist [sic] perspective, they would have to take it to the next level.” In Berish’s own words, “We’re excited to be able to share their story, and we knew that in order to do that, we were going to have to, you know, get naked as well… I reluctantly decided to jump in. And once I did, it was great.”
World Naked Gardening Day was cofounded in 2005 by Mark Storey and Jacob Gabriel. (Storey is presently a consulting editor and principal writer for the Nude & Naturial magazine of TNSF.) Since then it has spread around the world to counties where naturism has enough followers. It’s not an organized activity, for the most part, but is promoted by many local naturist organizations. In the Northern hemisphere it’s usually scheduled for the first Saturday in May. (Usually in October in the Southen hemisphere.)
In this article, Linda Weber (an activist in several naturist organizations) provides 10 pieces of practical advice, which are mainly intended for naturists who have little personal experience with gardening – but who’d like to add a new hobby they can enjoy naked.
This is the sort of mediocre article to be expected of a British tabloid. However, it’s noteworthy that two women – Claire and Kendall – were willing to discuss the subject naked on a TV broadcast. Claire, a survivor of breast cancer with a mastectomy, said the experience strengthened her determination “to embrace her body”, and that gardening nude “gave her confidence”. She added that “I’ve always enjoyed getting my kit off and when the sun shines I love to be outside naked doing my garden.”
Kendal admitted that “she also loves to be in the buff among her plants, but can’t always embrace her hobby fully” due to inadequate privacy from neighbors. She insisted, however, that naked gardening helped “connecting with myself and integrated my body and myself with nature.” During the episode, “the two women looked perfectly comfortable in their own skin.”
Just before the first waves of Covid-19 crashed on British shores, final-year journalist student Stephanie Silom went to a 60s-themed event at a hotel in Bournemouth, UK, hosted by British Naturism. According to her article, she “discovered that Naturism may be the answer to the age old problem of how we can improve our body confidence.” (Why don’t U.S. naturist organizations do this sort of event at regular hotels with quality accommodations? Never mind. What was I thinking?) Much of the article quotes BN spokespersons.
“Naturism gives people the opportunity to see a huge variety of healthy body types in a safe, respectful, asexual environment. Millions of people have been converted to the Naturist lifestyle after discovering the joys of feeling fresh air on their bare skin, feeling more relaxed and less self-conscious as a result.
Naturism opens people’s eyes to the reality and beauty of the human body; our body confidence and the extent to which we base our self-worth on our bodies improves massively once we learn that almost no-one has a ‘perfect’ body.”
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