Sunday, August 26, 2007

Skin Deep

One of the main philosophies in nudism is to be accepting of one's own body. Nobody is "perfect" like the airbrushed models and celebrities that we see every day on magazine covers. The problem is getting much worse as technology improves - even the French President had his "love handles" airbrushed out recently, and Redbook took a very lovely photo of Faith Hill and turned it into something completely different.

This "homogenization" of the human body is having a big effect on how average people feel about their own bodies. A striking example of this distorted attitude was evident in a recent article in the New York Times on topless pools in Las Vegas, where one young woman was reluctant to participate because "she hasn’t had any work done so told her friends that she didn’t want to remove her top".

So it's refreshing to come across a young artist who is seeking to overcome these false perceptions of the human body through her paintings. Bonnie Stipe, a student at the University of Akron, recently took second place in an art show for her painting "Cosmo Girl".
''I'm very interested in the figure and skin,'' said Stipe. ''A lot of times what you see in the media and everything is just an airbrushed version of what people really look like. I'm not interested in airbrushed beauty, because I think this is beauty. I'm also exploring different ideas of beauty and what our society thinks is beautiful.

''You get ideas of how to be a woman in magazines like Cosmo and Teen. There's a huge variety of them out there,'' Stipe noted. ''Why is image so important to women? I think it's also becoming more and more that way for men.

''But they are all looking at outer beauty. How much of their self-worth is attached to their outer beauty?''

To counter that, Stipe said she has ''everyday people'' model for her because ''I think it's more interesting to see curves and stretch marks and bulges than their smooth and pasty surfaces.''
Social nudism is one of the best ways for people to cleanse their minds of unrealistic body images. The following quote is from the 205 Arguments and Observations in Support of Naturism (pdf file):
Helen Gurley Brown, past editor of Cosmopolitan, says, "I don't think 80 percent of the women in this country have any idea what other women's bosoms look like. They have this idealized idea of how other people's bosoms are. . . . My God, isn't it ridiculous to be an emancipated woman and not really know what a woman's body looks like except your own?"

Paul Fussell notes, by contrast, that "a little time spent on Naturist beaches will persuade most women that their breasts and hips are not, as they may think when alone, appalled by their mirrors, 'abnormal,' but quite natural, 'abnormal' ones belonging entirely to the nonexistent creatures depicted in ideal painting and sculpture. The same with men: if you think nature has been unfair to you in the sexual anatomy sweepstakes, spend some time among the Naturists. You will learn
that every man looks roughly the same--quite small, that is, and that heroic fixtures are not just extremely rare, they are deformities."
This is precisely what we must keep in mind - that the airbrushed cartoons that we see every day on magazines are deformities, that they are abnormal, and inhuman. It is said that "beauty is only skin deep", but only if you can actually see the skin.

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Saturday, August 25, 2007

The Weekend Newds 8/25/07

  • Naked Power: What's up with nude politicians?
  • GOP Nudist: a 77 year-old lifelong nudist is coming under criticism from Democrats for his role in the Arizona Republican party.
  • Fashion Police: An Atlanta councilman has declared war on "low-rider" pants.
    Mr Martin's plan, for which he hopes to gain support in a series of public meetings at community groups and churches, will receive its first official hearing next Tuesday at a meeting of the city's public safety committee.

    There, Mr Martin will recommend that “the indecent exposure of his or her undergarments” should be illegal in a public place, in the same way as sex and the exposure or fondling of genitals. It would be punishable by a fine.
  • Weenie Roast: The Nude Geezers of New Mexico are having a cookout to promote their risque calendar.
    Len Self, proprietor of The Miner’s Chuck-wagon (75 years old and one of the geezers) said, “I’ll cook free hot dogs for everybody that shows up and most of us geezers will be here to sign the calendars.” Madrid is a much-visited tourist stopover along New Mexico’s scenic Turquoise Trail. Self is presented in the calendar wearing cowboy boots, playing a washtub bass and seemingly levitating his cowboy hat.
  • Deadly Shame: An Indian teacher committed suicide following a botched police investigation of a cellphone video taken by her students showing her nude in the bath.
  • Happiness Quotient: Creative Loafing takes a trip to Caliente Resort and loves the experience.
    We're not claiming that if you get naked all your problems will disappear -- but we do believe that many of your insecurities will. At Caliente, adults play unabashed like children, devising their own pool games using floats and rubber balls, spearheading cutthroat matches of nolleyball and letting it all hang out at Jack's karaoke in Si Como No, where, to combat nervousness, you have to imagine the audience dressed. Most remarkably, they grin their faces off, no matter what happens. When they spill drinks, there are no clothes to worry about staining. When it gets chilly, they wrap towels around themselves. When a thunderstorm attacks the tiki bar, they tear off the towels and dance in the rain.
  • SOB: In Nashville, it's legal to have group sex at the Tennessee Social Club, but it's illegal to get a lap dance at Christie's Cabaret.
    What separates a business like Christie’s from a place like the Tennessee Social Club? Just three letters: SOB.

    Under Nashville’s Sexually Oriented Business ordinance—which began being enforced last year—any strip club or cabaret must comply with a rigorous set of guidelines that limit everything from a dancer’s proximity to a client (three feet) to the required height of a stage (at least 18 inches.) The SOB guidelines also require that dancers register with the city, have a criminal background check and get fingerprinted.
  • Nude Awakening: Jerry Harke has spent the last 40 years photographing naked women.
    He photographs naked women hanging from rafters, naked women pushing strollers, naked women perched on horses, naked women stretched catlike on boulders and branches. Harke’s lens captures images that are angular, black-and-white forms and ones featuring bubbly, cheetah-printed lingerie models, but one thing remains the same: It’s all about the female form.
  • Cleared: Two young women in the UK who lifted their shirts in front of a closed-circuit camera were arrested for "outraging public decency", but were cleared at the last minute before facing a trial that would have cost taxpayers $15,000.

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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Brattleboro Rejects Nudity Ban

In a stunning turn of events, the Brattleboro Selectboard has voted down an ordinance banning public nudity, after a proposed amendment to strike out the words "breasts" and "buttocks" was passed. The swing vote in the Vermont town went to Dick DeGray who said that he could not vote for anything but the original ordinance.
For (Dora) Bouboulis, a strong opponent of the ordinance, said it was about rights, and that it wouldn't matter if even 99.9 percent of residents supported it, it is not up to the board to restrict those rights.

"We in this country are going down a slippery slope these days," she said. She also stated that a headline from a national newspaper that ran an article about the emergency ordinance read "Tolerant town gets intolerant." She doesn't want to see a town that has to put more and more legislation on the books to try and become a good place to live.
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Mick Jagger's Daughter is a Naturist

Again, I'm not a big fan or paparazzi photos, but Egotastic has some lovely photos of Jade Jagger on a nude beach. It's just nice to see celebrities (or children of celebrities) enjoying non-sexual nudity.

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The Daily Newds 8/22/07

  • Erotic Art Show: St. Petersburg is host to its first annual Erotic Art Show.
    "Some of the pieces are pretty out there," said William Schramm, who will host the event at his antique store in the Grand Central District. "I told my clientele, 'If you are going to be offended, don't show up.' "
  • Bigger Than Christmas: The Boobs on Bikes parade in Auckland attracted 100,000 spectators, more than the Christmas parade. Not everyone was happy.
  • She Did if for Journalism: A writer strips down to do a story on a nudist resort.
    My experience at Oaklake Trails wasn’t awkward. No one stared and said "Look at Fatty Patty over there.”I was treated with respect and reminded of how free it feels to go natural.
  • Firecrotch: A woman set fire to her ex-husband's penis as he sat naked watching TV and drinking vodka.
    "It was monstrously painful," the wounded ex-husband told Tvoi Den newspaper. "I was burning like a torch. I don't know what I did to deserve this."
  • Naked Ambition: George Davis, who is running for mayor of San Francisco on a platform or making Golden Gate Park clothes-free, could receive public funding if he can raise another $100,000.
    Davis has said that if he gets public matching funds, he intends to promote his campaign with clothing-optional art performances and concerts. That may sound like a dubious use of public matching funds, but John St. Croix, the executive director of the city's Ethics Commission, says it would probably be a legitimate expense under the rules so long as the event promotes Davis' candidacy.
  • Flashdance: Beyonce Knowles had a wardrobe malfunction when her top flipped up revealing her bare breasts on stage.
  • Moon Over Miami: Spencer Tunick is seeking nude volunteers for an installation at Miami's Sagamore Hotel.
  • Nudist Town: UK naturist Richard Stofer is facing up to five years in prison because he likes to sunbathe in the nude.
    "I don't like wearing swimming costumes but it sometimes gets me in a bit of trouble.

    "We have got a fuddy attitude in this country about the human body.

    "There should be a UK nudist town where people can walk around naked or a UK nudist day once a year."
  • Cracking Down: Huntington Beach makes the nudity ban official.
    Allen Baylis, a director of the Naturist Action Committee, told the council during the public comment period that a vote to ban public nudity could mean that offenders would need to register as a sex-offender in states such as Colorado, Nevada and Utah.

    "You are condemning residents to sex offender registration," he said.
  • Like a Virgin: A nude sculpture of the Virgin Mary goes on display in the UK, but in Canada some nude photos and statues were removed from a festival display.
  • On the Rocks: A nude rock climber lost his footing and fell, and is listed in critical condition in a Pennsylvania hospital.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Colombian Actress Embraces Nudity

Colombian actress Catalina Sandino Moreno ("Mary Full of Grace") has taken a role as a carefree young singer in "The Hottest State", a part that requires nudity. While actors getting naked in movies has little to do with nudism or naturism, Catalina's attitude towards her own body is refreshing.
"I'm not perfect, I have this," she said, grabbing her thighs. "Then I realized every time you watch a movie where a girl gets naked, it's perfect, she's a model and it's not true. It's not real.

"It was kind of like a big thing for me to just go for it, to take my clothes off and be me," she said. "It was something that I really thought about, to do or not to do. Then I just said ... I'll do it. I'm normal, it's not a big deal."

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Sienna Miller Not Afraid to Go Topfree

Although I am not a fan of paparazzi photos, the Sun photos of Sienna Miller topfree on a beach are a shot in the arm for naturists. More celebrities need to strip off for recreational reasons to help raise awareness of the clothes-free lifestyle. It's time for at least some of America's beaches to go topfree.

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Monday, August 20, 2007

Attracting Younger People

Les Rootsey is selecting stories for "The Australian Naturist" magazine to appeal to younger people.
"We are looking at some of the more alternative new features of naturism, like fire dancing," says Les Rootsey, the magazine's publisher based at Runaway Bayon the Gold Coast.
In Queensland, the problems in attracting younger nudists is exacerbated by the fact that nudity is illegal, and there are no official nude beaches, much like most of the United States. In order to remain lawful, nudists must restrict their clothes-free activities to the home or private resorts.
Lisa says the movement is "extremely healthy", but admits most active nudists are in their 50s. She says the only younger people their retreat attracts are Europeans, in particular Dutch, Swedish and Danish travellers.
The struggle to promote nudism as a normal and healthy lifestyle faces an uphill battle in societies swamped by pornography and sexualized images of the human body pervasive in all forms of media. Australia seems to be much like the United States when it comes to the public's general inability to separate nudism and pornography. It could well be that the lack of interest by younger people in the naturist movement is directly related to the rise of exposure to pornography on the Internet, and at a much younger age. It's hard to convince people that different body types are perfectly normal and acceptable when the only images of nude men and women show oversized penises and breasts. It's becoming increasingly difficult for anyone exposed to sexual imagery to maintain a healthy self-image and body acceptance.

This is the message nudist and naturists must repeat over and over, that the human body is beautiful in it's diversity. How we all overcome the damages done by unrealistic sexualized imagery that bombard young people every day is an unknown. But we have to keep on trying.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

The Sunday Newds 8/19/07

  • Are No Nudes Good News?: The Economist concludes that nudity used as an instrument to generate publicity has become ineffective.
    The resurgence of nudity is not a sign of a return to a less sinful age but rather the tail end of the crumbling of restrictive social mores since the 1960s. But as public nudity has become more acceptable, its power to surprise and so its usefulness as a catalyst for change has diminished.
  • Teacher Leave the Kids Alone: Redwood Middle School in Napa has a dress code that makes IRS instructions look simple by comparison.
    Below is a list of items that students are not allowed to wear at anytime: Red or Blue colors worn as or in conjunction with gang types of clothing, Bandanas or rags, belt buckles with the initials S, N, West Side or BP, clothing with old English style writing, low riders, drama masks, laugh now-cry later, prison insignia, tears, shaved or partially shaved eyebrows, pen or tattoo marks with 3 or 4 dots, hanging belts, the numbers and/or letters 8, 13, 14, X4, 18, 69, 80, 81, 88, 311, 420, 707, SS, SUR, 187, X3, XIV, XIII.
  • The Naked Appeal of Our Human Imperfection: A writer for Independent News sees a naked comedy show in Edinburgh and experiences a sort of epiphany.
    Given a choice between spending time with a woman (or man) who is physically flawless, and therefore intimidating, or with a person who has a sense of humour about themselves, I know which one I would pick. It has been an enormous relief and an inspiration to meet the naked comics who can laugh at how unfair life is.
  • Nearly Bare: Only the assistant manager of a Canadian store went fully naked under her apron in a protest demonstration against the wastefulness of over-packaged products.
  • Open Up That Golden Gate: Mayoral hopeful George Davis is running on only one issue: to make Golden Gate Park clothing-optional.
  • The Way We Live?: The Sunday Times has a new feature designed to help women cope with everyday life, but instead the writers add angst to what should be easy and natural pleasures, such as going to the beach.
    Unless you’ve paid for them or they’re naturally pert, don’t go topless. Leave something to the imagination...Aim to stride seductively through the waves. Pull in your stomach, hold your head up high, and think gymkhana as you pick up your feet, lift your knees and step over the waves. Don’t try and push through them, as you’ll lose your balance and fall flat. If you don’t have massive breasts, you could try this at a light trot.
  • Cold As Ice: Hundreds of naked people posed on a disappearing Swiss glacier for photographer Spencer Tunick at a Greenpeace sponsored event to raise awareness about global warming. Here is a link to some photos.
  • Back to the Garden: The BBC has a nice profile of naked gardeners Ian and Barbara Pollard.
  • Sign of the Times: Government funding was halted for Japan's "Naked Sign Language News" but a Tokyo TV company will carry on with the show.
  • Nude at a Funeral: Actor Alan Tudyk spends most of his onscreen time naked in the new movie "Death at a Funeral".
    He had never done a nude scene on the big screen, but one of his "Funeral" costars, Rupert Graves, was no stranger to baring it all for the cinema. "He said, 'Don't worry about it, Alan. The first 10 minutes you are very uncomfortable, and then after that it's like, why isn't everybody naked? It's the most natural thing.' "

Friday, August 17, 2007

The Weekend Newds 8/17/07

  • Barefootin': A retired North Carolina accountant is an activist for footfreedom.
    But old fears are hard to erase, he said. "Many people think feet smell, are dirty and disgusting," he said. "But if you kept your hands in mittens for eight to 10 hours a day, they'd smell, too."
  • Body of Work: Portraying Lady Chatterley in a new French film has thrown actress Marina Hands into the spotlight, having to spend much of her time discussing her onscreen nudity.
    It helped, she says, that the film offered "a very natural way of being naked. Lady Chatterley is not a model in Vogue, it was not sophisticated nakedness. And we would be talking about emotions in the sex, which is not often shown." For Hands, sex in the movies takes two forms: "You get the cliches, the fantasy of glamorous models making love in the light, or you have violence and porn. I thought there was an empty space for this kind of work."
  • Naked City: A Pittsburgh paper takes readers on a tour of all the public nude art in the Iron City.
  • Nude Parade: 10,000 naturists are expected to march down the main street in a Russian city to attract attention to the lifestyle.
  • It's a Living: Nairobi artist Patrick Mukabi profits from his paintings of nude women.
    "After admiring nude works by some celebrated artists like Michelangelo, it appeared as an exercise I would want to indulge in," says Mukabi. When the moment came for the artist to get walking into nude artistry, he did not run away. Instead, he grabbed the opportunity. That was sometimes in 2004.

    Mukabi says a woman friend inspired him to paint nudes. She knew Mukabi as a painter, but never thought he could agree to paint a friend in her naked glory, for the entire world to see.

    She invited him to paint her and Mukabi rose to the occasion. "I was always inclined to painting human figures. This was an invitation most welcome," he says.
  • The New Nude: Christiania Vodka is holding an online contest searching for "the most compelling modern vision of the human form".
  • Strip Tubs: The Las Vegas topfree pool experience sounds more like a visit to a strip club.
    At all three pools, topless women were perhaps what best attracted a crowd. There is so much jiggling and wiggling around the pool that an ordinary day in the sun can feel like a debauchery-filled bachelor party at the Minxx Gentlemen’s Club & Lounge, the city’s most famous strip club.

    While ogling women technically isn’t permitted near the adult pools, pool visitors regularly steal not-so-furtive glances of anything they can glimpse. Even at Moorea, where a craps table is no more than 10 feet from the sand, some of my friends were too distracted to gamble.
  • Busted: A Trenton woman accused of shoplifting wiggled free from police by shedding her top and running topfree down the street. When she was apprehended, the primary concern appeared to be covering her naked breasts.
    She was arrested a short distance away on North Warren Street, finally handcuffed and directed to lie face-down on the pavement to shield her naked breasts until officers could obtain clothing for her, police said.
  • Boobs on Bikes: Auckland has formally approved the annual parade to promote a sex industry expo.
  • Photoshop Phun: Actress Keira Knightley admits that the curves showing in a Chanel ad are digitally enhanced.
    "We had an interesting discussion when they said: 'We want to make them slightly larger and you'll get approval' and I was like: 'OK, fine. I honestly don't give a shit'"

    She added: "I don't have any tits, so I can't show cleavage."

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The Daily Newds 8/15/07

  • Naughty Bits: The Garden of Eden, a film with a nudist theme, was banned in Britain in 1955, but will finally be shown in all its glory along with several other censored films at the Barbican in London.
  • Oops!: A Florida man stripped down for some sunbathing, but he was not on an nude beach and was seen by a man and his 12 year-old son.
    The two saw the man standing by a blue and pink umbrella talking on his cell phone. The father and son said the man "did not attempt to hide or cover himself from their view and were exposed to the suspect's rear end and genitals," according to the report.
  • Presidential Pecs: Russian President Vladamir Putin has been photographed fishing topfree. Male nipples good.
  • Post Pecs: Morality in Media is criticizing the New York Post for semi-nude photos published recently, one in a Jordache ad and another of Courtney Love, using the harsh terms "garbage" and "bare-breasted broad". Female nipples bad.
  • Mondo Bondage: It's been 100 years since Vogue first coined the word "brassiere".
    Credit for the first brassiere usually goes to Mary Phelps Jacob, a 19-year-old girl-about-Manhattan who, in 1910, bought a sheer evening gown for a party. The whalebone corset that was supposed to define her figure actually poked out of the plunging fabric. What was a girl to do? She and her maid dug two silk hankies out of a drawer, sewed them on to a length of pink ribbon, added some string and tucked her breasts in place. Girlfriends asked if she would make a similar device for them. Then somebody paid her a dollar to do so, and she took the hint.
  • Celebrity Roundup: Avril Lavigne like to run around naked when she's drunk. Jessica Biel finds film nudity "scary" because she's afraid the images will be exploited on the Internet. Ya think?
  • Nudes on the Loose: A New York man who went for a late night skinny dip on Long Island was found seven hours later, still naked and still swimming. A German man was arrested in Naples, Florida, when he removed his swimming trunks on a beach in front of some children. He said that he did not know he was doing something illegal. Three naked men hopped a fence and swiped a hole-marker flag from a golf course in Florida.

Monday, August 13, 2007

The Daily Newds 8/13/07

  • Yoga Bare: Dr. Georg Feuerstein says that yoga has "strayed from its core".
    Decrying the fashion parade and sexy outfits in yoga classes, he laments how "modesty, once a highly valued yogic virtue, is considered old-fashioned." He is especially appalled at the concept of nude yoga classes. And he says ancient tantric yoga, which often deals with sexual energy, has been abused by exploitative teachers. It's a criticism he shares with Buddhism's Dalai Lama.
  • Picasso Pantsed: A Georgia comic book owner distributed 2000 free books on Halloween in 2004, and a three year free-speech battle is still being fought. Apparently one of the comics he gave away depicted the artist Pablo Picasso in the nude. After much legal wrangling, the man now goes on trial today and faces two misdemeanor charges of distributing harmful material to a minor.
  • On the Sixth Day: Vincent Pigeon will speak about nudism and the body as God's handiwork to gatherers at the fourth annual Canadian Naturist Festival this week.
    "The aspects of nudity that lead to what Christians would call sin are not really the fault of the state of dress or undress. They have to do with an attitude of mind or misbehaviour. That's the negative side. The positive side involves really proclaiming what is considered to be God's magnificent creation."

    "A lot of naturists believe that not only is there nothing wrong, but there is something very positive about reclaiming that little bit of the Garden of Eden in the way that we don't have to dress."
  • Boob Tube: Los Angeles collector and curator Lenore Claire is hosting a "Golden Gals Gone Wild" art show on Hollywood Boulevard that features a painting of a topfree Bea Arthur as well as images of other TV stars in various states of undress.
    Has the overwhelmingly positive reaction to this show inspired artists to paint other tv stars topless? Do you believe that you have indirectly started a trend?

    Absolutely! I think Chris Zimmerman is already working on a nude "Facts of Life" piece. You know you want to see if Ms. Garret has a Brazillian.
  • Top Ten Topless Beaches: Forbes has a slide show of the best.

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Friday, August 10, 2007

The Weekend Newds 8/10/07

  • Naked Games: 400-500 people are expected at a San Diego resort between Aug. 31 and Sept. 4 for the nude event, with activities for all ages.
  • Gymnophobia: An Associated Press writer laments about all the nudity found in locker rooms.
    And why the need to walk around naked? I can't speak for the women's locker room, but the men's is a nudist colony, guys of all shapes and sizes strolling, leaning against walls talking to each other without clothes. I don't want to see in-shape guys in the nude, much less some of the apple-shaped slobs that feel the need to jiggle across the room.
  • Not Funny: The Naked Comedy Showcase bombs in London.
  • Thou Shalt Not: The Archdiocese of Denver has suspended a priest who was arrested for jogging nude on a high school track.
  • Run Away: Ask Amy advises women married to men with naturist interests to run away - fully clothed, of course. Yet, in another column, Amy admits that while she is puritanical towards naturism, she can see how it could be pleasurable in "small doses".
  • Going Commando: Apparently ladies without underpants are everywhere.
  • PETA Approved: A group of New Zealand Veterinary students have posed for a calendar wearing only fur, but the fur is still on the living animals.
  • Lord Godiva: The UK's most prolific streaker is considering retirement at age 42 after claiming to have run naked in public 380 times.
  • The Peterborough Principle: Although perfectly within her legal rights, a woman sunbathing topfree in a UK public park was asked to cover up because somebody complained about her semi-nudity.
    Central Park ranger Mark Swift said: "I saw the police car arrive and two officers go over to the woman, but I couldn't see what trouble she was
    causing in the park.

    "I was gobsmacked that the police came over and told her to cover up. She didn't appear to be doing any harm.
  • Focus on Women: A gallery show in Australia celebrates women and the nude female form as icons of art.
  • Bare Breasted Ads: A New York store is featuring ads with topfree women in its display windows.
    "Provocative ads are a tried-and-true strategy for fashion companies," said Ron Berger, chairman of Advertising Week 2007.

    "I'm not saying showing nipple is mainstream, but you have to be blind not to see the Calvin Klein ads where the guy is wearing a pair of briefs and his penis looks like it is 14 inches long."

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Huntington Beach Bans All Public Nudity

On Monday, the City Council unanimously voted to ban all public nudity, effective in 30 days.
"I'm concerned about some thong and bikini implications," said Councilwoman Debbie Cook, commenting on the proposed ordinance language. "That would apparently be illegal under the ordinance, not that I would wear one."

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Monday, August 06, 2007

The Daily Newds 8/06/07

  • AANR Annual Conference: Over 1000 are expected in Oregon for the 76th annual meeting of the American Association for Nude Recreation.
  • Huntington Beach Vote: The City Council votes tonight on the law to ban public nudity in the town.
  • Czech it Out: Photographer Jan Saudek has taken the largest nude group photo ever in the Czech Republic.
    A total of 134 men and 84 women consented to posing for Saudek. The oldest participant was aged 74.

    On Saudek's orders, the nudes obediently put their arms up and jumped up.

    "I wanted everyone to be in the air, flying," Saudek said, adding that it was a wonderful feeling to photograph so many people at the same time.
  • Hungary for the Good Life: Naturism has been slow to gain acceptance in BalatonberĂ©ny, but the country's first naturist beach celebrated its 20th birthday with a 3 day festival, and plans are underway to build a naturist hotel and a "fishing paradise".
  • Moses Supposes: In an interview, Ken Marino discusses the nudity content in his new film "The Ten Commandments".
    ...there's a lot of gratuitous male nudity in the "honoring the Sabbath" skit. Isn't that a little bit…gay?

    There's something homoerotic about it, sure. But it's not gay. Haven't you walked around your house naked? It's nice, right? Who wouldn't want to do that? There's nothing gay about a room full of naked guys grooving out to Roberta Flack.
  • Catch-22: When Stewart Gerard walked into a North Carolina gallery to view his 24 photographs on exhibit, he found only 22 - the two containing nudity had been put in a closet after someone complained that the images were not appropriate for children.
    (Building owner Mike) Coe said he wishes now that he had not taken the photos down.

    “I just think I was panicking,” he said.

    He was afraid that the complaint would reflect poorly on DADA and possibly discourage people from coming to the district.

    “Art is art whether it’s naked or live or photographed and I had no problem with it until I started getting some heat,” Coe said.
  • Group Hug: 18 anti-war protesters in Australia have been arrested for trespassing and creating a nuisance. Their activities included playing frisbee, dancing the hokey pokey, and embracing each other naked while shouting "make love, not war".

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Sunday, August 05, 2007

Global Politics of the Breast

Any of you out there who have been near a newspaper or a television over the past week have undoubtedly been subjected to some discussion of the fact that Senator Hillary Clinton showed a hint of cleavage one day. Not since Janet Jackson's "wardrobe malfunction" has there been so much-ado-about-nothing when it comes to the subject of the female breast.

Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes has an essay up on The Moderate Voice that rambles a bit but manages to make some good points about how we, as a society, have turned human body parts into products to be marketed and consumed along with soap products.
What kind of culture is it that discourages us from being immersed in the mysteries that will take us the farthest and turn us toward an open sea instead of into a mere pothole filled with water… what kind of culture encourages us to treat the body as stupid, dumb, a slave to be exploited for one kind of flat gain or another, not central, not holy, too hungry, a know-nothing, something to be sublimated, or made into someone’s idea of a perpetual motion machine with one excitement point only, having parts that can be judged like animals at a stock show? There’s a difference between playing games to entertain our isolation, and reaching out to live a true sane and sensory life.
A sane and sensory life is an apt definition of what a nudist or naturist is trying to achieve. The more we struggle with the idea of the human body as an object of mass consumption, the more we should be coming to the realization that the only way out of the cultural morass is to simply reject the idea, to strip away the false trappings of society and get back to something of what we all really are. Getting naked is not only primal, it is healing, it is truth personified.

No, nudism is not the cure for all the ills of society, but it's a start.

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Saturday, August 04, 2007

The Weekend Newds 8/04/07

  • Don't Show Me State: A Missouri county has banned all public nudity in businesses and local waters, defined as "showing ... genitals or pubic area with less than a fully opaque covering; or showing the female breast with less than full opaque covering on any part of the nipple."

  • Great White North: 300 nudists are expected to gather this weekend at the Western Canadian Association of Nude Recreation convention.
    "We're here to educate people about the nudist lifestyle," said Tom Dunn, president of WCANR. "We'd like to see more officially sanctioned areas."

    Dunn said nudist culture has made great progress over the years. Nudists aren't likely to be fined while at the beach and new areas are being set up where the lifestyle is allowed by law.

  • Going Mainstream: Sandy Terraces nudist campground on Cape Cod is accepting free reservations on August 18 for those interested in the nude lifestyle.

  • Banned in Boston: An 82 year-old man at a Celtic Pride festival made an impromptu decision to lift his kilt on stage and show people exactly what a Scotsman wears underneath - nothing. Some complained to police and the man was charged with lewd and lascivious behavior.

  • In His Image: Christian nudists gathered at Cherokee Lodge in Tennessee to celebrate the Lord while wearing only the suits they were born with.
    Cameron (Bennett) and others believe children are natural nudists. They think that kids, much like Adam and Eve, should be free to run nude through the garden, to live their lives without knowing shame—that it would take Satan, or a prudish parent, to plant the idea of shame into their hearts and minds.

    A pack of CNC (Christian Nudist Convocation) kids run around the resort, fighting over Thomas the Tank Engine and playing with flashlights. Except for the occasional pair of pull-up training pants, they’re nude. They scribble with pink sidewalk chalk that smears across their rears and bellies. No one cares if the kids get dirty. They’ll get hosed off later.

    And they appear to be very, very happy. They don’t seem to notice anyone’s nakedness—especially their own—and don’t as much as stare at the fattest of the CNC crew or leer at all that sagging.

    CNC parents think these kids will be better-adjusted adults for it. They subscribe to the mantra that nudism demystifies the body, satiates curiosity about the opposite sex, curbs premarital sex and combats poor body image in children.

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