This is re-posted…click on the pic to read the original post
So why is nudity necessary?
Nudity is not an alien concept for me (and I feel genuinely in debt to my parents for that!), we are all born naked but not many of us are lucky enough to be brought up with naturism as an ordinary occurrence. That’s right, I’m a naturist. And before you all gasp with judgement at a young lady wanting to be naked in public a few stereotypes need to be addressed and corrected:
First and most importantly, nudity is NOT sexual. Not unless you flounce around in a suggestive manner; which even then you will likely achieve a more immediate effect simply by shrugging into some inexplicably small and uncomfortable lingerie. (For men it’s true also, you may not have frills and bows but many women would agree that when seen objectively the gentlemen’s parts, although not without their function, are not the most tidy and inviting, so a nice pair of boxers won’t go too far amiss.) Hence naturism is not about being attractive and it certainly isn’t about sex – it’s about nature. Being comfortable with the reality of yourself and others, releasing public stereotypes usually supported by clothing and finally relaxing into a natural way of living without expectation or judgement.
We are not all naked all the time !
Nudity is not a compulsory or regular part of life just because you see yourself as a naturist – it is a lifestyle choice that says that in certain situations you are open to the concept of social nudity as a freeing and comfortable past-time. It doesn’t mean I walk around my house naked everyday – I have two Dutch housemates that might get a shock if that were the case. It doesn’t mean we force our naturist habits on others. It doesn’t mean we freeze ourselves in the name of naturism, when it gets cold we put clothes on – we are naturist not stupid. And it doesn’t mean we would be comfortable being naked amidst a group of textiles (that’s what we call you strange clothing obsessed beings). Naturism is common in the format of a campsite, a beach or a spa. Naturist campsites are very safe communities that are usually quite difficult to join whilst spa’s and beaches are public which brings both the benefit and downfall of accessibility, bringing me to number 3…
Because we are happy in a naturist environment does not mean we want any Bob or Jack seeing us naked. Naturist groups are respectful, non-sexual situations where one doesn’t look at another’s body because there is no need to. We simply all have naked bodies and it isn’t appropriate or worthwhile to stare. This means, and I’m talking now to all the meerkats and peeping-Toms I’ve come across in my time, that by being naked we are not an invitation. You have no right to enter a naturist area if you have no respect for this lifestyle and you certainly have no right to stare or photograph us. This would be weird in general public so why would you intimidate someone simply because they happened to be aiming for a no-white-bits tan?
Naturists cannot be stereotyped. Unfortunately I am aware that I am exactly the kind of person people would assume to be open to nudity. But dreadlocks and paint-brushes aside I can state from experience that naturists come from all walks of life and the free-loving hippie vibe is just not a genuine presence in naturist locations. You can be sat with a lawyer or banker, a full-time parent, a student or bar staff and you wouldn’t know until you really got to know the person. Another beautiful thing about ridding ourselves of those telling lifestyle costumes.
It has been scientifically suggested that nudity is good for our health! Of course this is only logical that natural living would be but many don’t think about the reduced stress and increased vitamin D achieved by the powerful mix of nudity and that long-awaited sunshine.
So being a naturist all my life has become a large part of my being. Some naturists feel it makes them no different apart from some seriously relaxing holidays, but for me it’s a proud lifestyle choice and a strong belief that it has made a massive positive influence on my life and personality. I feel it frees me from the stresses of society and makes me strong and unique.
As a teenager I struggled with body confidence issues that reached the stage of attending Slimming World and breaking down at the glimmer of a camera lens. Both unfortunate and increasingly evident issues in today’s young generation. But these problems stem from the pressure given by fashion, advertisement, television, music, and so on. Often a figment of social imagination and expectation rather than genuine problems, our idea of ‘healthy’ or even ‘attractive’ weight is disastrously mistaken. On the other hand, in naturist environments I could finally release my sucked in stomach and save twenty minutes of painful self-judgement each morning trying to choose which outfit shows the most airbrushed version of myself. This is why society needs nudity.
We need to know what average people look like. We need to know it’s ok to be ourselves and aim simply for happy and healthy. And we need to realise that there is more to learn about a person than what first meets the eye. It’s amazing that we are surprised by the shallow, make-up slicked, ‘selfie’ producing generation when we suggest no natural alternative. And on top of that, if we are born naked what is so wrong with it? It’s a real shame humanity has developed to the extent of being offended by its own natural appearance.And lastly, why it is relevant to my practice. Aside from the fact that my best work is often made naked amidst a pile of paint and blankets (you don’t get your clothes stained that way!) my work is centred around society and I feel nudity is a perfect symbol for being unashamedly honest about our presence on Earth and my hopes to bring it to a purer and healthier form in any small way possible.So let’s strip off the stereotypes, the politics and the expectations of society. Jump out of whatever box you’ve been put in and join me in thinking clearly and independently..