Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Daily Newds 10/31/07

  • A man in the UK answered the door naked in order to scare away children trick-or-treating on Halloween. []
  • The Key West Fantasy Fest had plenty of nudity, body painting and wild times. []
  • Bill O'Reilly has almost a creepy interest in San Francisco's annual Exotic Erotic Ball. O'REILLY: All right, so the people who came to see the exhibits on the stage, they themselves are in costume. And a lot of them, I guess, were topless and bottomless and less less, and all of that. So there really were no rules at all. You could do whatever you wanted to do? []
  • Someone is apparently shocked to find Britney Spears topfree in a locker room. []
  • In Port Richey, Florida, swingers clubs are legal as long as there is no nudity "in the conversation area". []
  • If you are out and about tonight in Boulder, be prepared for the annual Naked Pumpkin Run. []
  • Sexy Victoria's Secret posters in an Arizona mall are not compatible with the "family-friendly" shopping environment. []
  • David Zirin equates public nudity with racism whan arguing the inappropriateness of The University of Illinois "mascot" Chief Illiniwek. []
  • If you have a good name for the statues of six naked silver ladies, contact the Mayor of Wellingborough. []
  • The Milkin' Mamas have invested $10,000 into developing a breast milk bank. []
  • A group of islanders in the Outer Hebrides have posed cutting peat in the nude for a calendar designed to raise money for leukemia research. [] Elsewhere in the UK, a group of firefighters was banned from posing for a nude calendar that was to raise money to help the aged. [] In Virginia Beach, a group of women aged 73 to 83 are a hit with their nude calendar which will raise money for people who cannot afford to live in their retirement community. [] Wait! Here's another nude calendar! [] And another! [] Still one more! []
  • In Wisconsin, anyone interfering with a breastfeeding mother will be subject to a $200 fine. []
  • An Israeli soldier who was being questioned about drug use was able to flee the interrogation by baring her breasts and momentarily stunning the officer in charge. []
  • Thames Valley police are looking for four young men who rode naked on a local bus, prompting one man to explain, “At my age I thought I had seen everything but this is something I won’t forget in a hurry. I just wonder where they put their fare.” []
  • The director of "Get Naked! The Boys are Back in Town" says "when we sing love songs naked, it's more pure and powerful than with clothes on, this is about an exploration of the naked male form." []
  • For the first time ever, and exhibition consisting of all nude photographs will be shown in Hanoi. []
  • Lily Allen's brother, who is set to take over Daniel Radcliffe's role in Equus, is apparently a nudist. "He wanders around the house naked on Sunday mornings which is rather disgusting." []
  • Nicole Kidman has followed in Uma Thurman's steps by wearing a dress that leaves her essentially nude in public. []
  • A female Spanish soldier has posed nude for Interviu magazine. []
  • Model Kerry Katona, a former Mum of the Year winner, does not mind if her three daughters pose topless some day, but she draws the line at lap dancing. []

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Ohio Court Rules Against Topfreedom

An Ohio Court of Appeals has ruled that free speech is not absolute, and since women's breasts are considered "erogenous zones", Lorien D. Bourne will not have her disorderly conduct conviction overturned.
The 3-0 opinion said that while the “court does agree that there are occasions where shirtless males are offensive; however, we cannot ignore the firmly rooted societal differences between male and female anatomy”.

“Rejecting the appellants’ equal protection arguments…..’We further note that the reason the female breast was explicitly enumerated as an ‘erogenous zone’ is the fact that female breasts are anatomically distinct and our society has viewed the public display of female breasts far more differently than male breasts. The female breast has traditionally been viewed as an erogenous zone. Because of the anatomical and societal differences, the government has an interest in preservation of the public decorum, decency and morals”.
This ruling is disturbing on many levels. The statement that shirtless males can sometimes be offensive is a giant step backwards for body acceptance in the United States. Does this mean that an obese man with large breasts can be singled out as being offensive? If someone complains about a shirtless man, will the police be under legal obligation to ask him to cover up?

Also, the government has no business defining "erogenous zones". The human body is loaded with erogenous zones, most of which are completely legal to expose in public, such as the mouth, the eyes, the ears, the nape of the neck, the legs, the feet, etc. One can argue that the most erogenous area of the human body is the lips, which women paint in order to accentuate specifically as a sexual attraction. Once the government gets into the business of controlling societal "norms" it threatens to become an American Taliban, or an Iranian police state, where officers regulate women's clothing through brutality, threats, and imprisonment.

It's just stunning to me that a woman sunbathing topfree in a park could be considered a threat to society, when there are so many greater and more serious issues facing us today. Not only is the media guilty of sexualizing the female breast, the government has now become its enabler, complicit in objectifying female anatomy for the pleasure of males.

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Sunday, October 28, 2007

Body Peace Treaty

Seventeen magazine has taken a giant step forward in dealing with the problems faced by teenagers today regarding body image through their Body Peace Project. It is reported that 91% of young girls feel anxiety when they simply look in the mirror, so Seventeen challenges girls to sign the Body Peace Treaty and declare themselves free of unrealistic expectations, and to begin loving their own bodies.

But there is something missing from the treaty, which puts the emphasis on how one should deal with thoughts and feelings in order to develop a positive outlook. Aside from stressing sensible eating and exercise, there is no concrete suggestion for confronting these problems with action. It's one thing for a girl to develop a healthy mindset about the way she looks, and it's another for her to put on a bikini and go to the beach. Seventeen should be encouraging girls to get out of their shells and have some fun that allows them to confront their phobias head-on. If someone is afraid of flying, the only real cure is to get in an airplane and deal with it. It's not enough to merely train the mind, the body must be trained, too.

One of the pledges in the treaty reads as follows: "Remind myself that what you see isn't always what you get on TV and in ads — it takes a lot of airbrushing, dieting, money, and work to look like that." I know that they mean well, but statements like these don't help the problem. The insinuation is that airbrushing, dieting, money and work will make a person "look like that", when, in fact, most people are not going to ever look like Jessica Alba no matter how much time and money they invest in themselves. Holding onto a false ideal only leads to more extreme measures to conform, such as plastic surgery, liposuction, botox, etc. The only way to get back to reality is to shatter the ideal, not adhere to it.

My recommendation to anyone with a body image problem is to confront it head on. If you don't like your legs, wear shorts. If you don't like your feet, wear open sandals. And if you really want to shatter the ideal, try nudism, which brings all these issues into perspective.

Number 60 of the 205 Arguments and Observations in Support of Naturism reads as follows:
Clothing makes people look older, and emphasizes rather than hides unflattering body characteristics. Paul Fussell writes, "Nude, older people look younger, especially when very tan, and younger people look even younger...In addition, fat people look far less offensive naked than clothed. Clothes, you realize, have the effect of sausage casings, severely defining and advertising the shape of what they contain, pulling it all into an unnatural form which couldn't fool anyone...The beginning naturist doesn't take long to master the paradox that it is stockings that make varicose veins noticeable, belts that call attention to forty-eight inch waists, brassieres that emphasize sagging breasts."
You can talk all you want about how you think and feel about your body, but unless you are willing to just shed the outer shell of clothing that is the "casing" which holds all your phobias within, you haven't confronted the problem in a meaningful and constructive manner. We as a society seem more than willing to bare our souls in the media to bring balance to our minds, so why not the same for our bodies to bring balance to our entire selves?

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The Sunday Newds 10/28/07

  • Charges have been dropped against a UK man who refused to put on clothes during a charity cliff walk by 20 male naturists. He was charged with "causing distress" to a fellow cliff walker. []
  • A study has shown that breastfeeding does not cause sagging breasts. []
  • You say "vagina", I say "vajayjay". []
  • Half Moon Bay police and the San Mateo Sheriff's Department had extra officers on hand to ensure that the 20-year tradition of streaking at a high school football game came to an abrupt end. "I really could care less if kids want to run across the football field and streak," a parent said. "It doesn't matter to me. The only thing that bothers me is when they slow the game down as much as they did last year." []
  • The Spice Girls will live up to their name by appearing completely naked on stage for their upcoming tour, although their bodies will be partially obscured by stage props. []
  • A naked man in the UK led police on a 10 minute chase before he finally tuckered out. []

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Saturday, October 27, 2007

Is Exhibitionism on the Rise?

David Greenberg, a forensic psychiatrist, has done a study of exhibitionist behavior, and has found in his Canadian research that by the age of 18, a third of all women have been confronted by a flasher. That is a stunning statistic which shows that many people are seeking sexual gratification by exposing themselves to others.

In a 12 year study of sex offenders in Western Australia, the professor found that 25% of the people in a treatment unit were exhibitionists.
"People often think exhibitionists are nuisances when in fact they can become very dangerous. About 15 per cent graduate to hands-on sexual assault," says Professor Greenberg.

"Most of these people do not get apprehended. Or they've committed hundreds of offences before they're caught. They're very surreptitious and they always have an escape route … We believe only a fraction of them end up in the justice system."
It's no wonder that nudist groups run background checks on potential members, although it would not take long for anyone to discover if a new nudist was aroused by being naked in a social setting. Nudism and exhibitionism are not at all the same thing, and it's a common misperception that people who gather in clothes-free situations are doing it for some sort of sexual thrill.

Professor Greenberg does not explain the causes of this phenomenon, but it's clear that the sexually repressive societies that we live in, coupled with the bombardment of images sexualizing the human body, is causing people to explore their own fantasies and sexual urges in creative ways. The more forbidden it is, the more exciting it is.

This why I feel that any serious advocate of the Free Body Movement must agree that overt sexual activity is not part of nudism or naturism. The human body in its natural state needs to be normalized and de-objectified. The sight of a female nipple should not be a shocking event, nor should the sight of a male penis. Covering up and hiding our own skin only serves to repress our own natural sense of being, which in turn leads to unnatural and perverted behavior. Without some sort of common sense approach to the problem, it's only going to get worse.

Human Race Will Split Into Two Different Species...

...according to a top scientist.
The human race will one day split into two separate species, an attractive, intelligent ruling elite and an underclass of dim-witted, ugly goblin-like creatures...Men will have symmetrical facial features, deeper voices and bigger penises...Women will all have glossy hair, smooth hairless skin, large eyes and pert breasts.
Depending upon your own political point-of-view, the photo above shows that the split has already occurred.

The Weekend Newds 10/27/07

  • No Name Key in Florida is still without electricity, and apparently also without clothes. []
  • Getting totally naked was not enough for one fan to win tickets to see Led Zeppelin. []
  • An woman finds new terminology to measure the decreasing size of her breasts. []
  • A New Zealand naturists club is holding an open weekend (includes video link). []
  • The state of Utah is considering legislation that would censor material on the Internet. []
  • "Dear Annie" advises a woman to "Lock the bathroom door and make sure you have a robe with you" when her husband tries to take nude photos of her. []
  • The prima ballerina of the Korea National Ballet has been docked a month's pay for appearing nude in a fashion magazine. []
  • A group of Brazilian oil workers stripped naked to protest discriminatory policy in the company's retirement plan. []
  • A judge has fined a Barcelona man who likes to stroll about the streets in the nude because "others also have the right not to see him without clothes". []
  • Actor's Equity has strict rules regarding nudity that stage producers must abide by. []
  • Before he was James Bond, Sean Connery was a nude artist's model. []
  • Travelodge reports that nude sleepwalking is up 700% in Britain. []
  • The city of Opa-locka in Florida is considering a law against sagging pants and exposed underwear. "It's not decent. It's not respectful. Showing your butt sends a terrible message," said Commissioner Timothy Holmes, the measure's sponsor. []
  • Queensland Premier Anna Bligh considers the bare-breasted women on balconies to be more dangerous than the auto racing at the Indy motorsport festival. []
  • A writer signals the dawn of the "New Nude Tourism" and lists the best places to let it all hang out. []
  • The Getty Center is offering "In Focus: The Nude" which traces the use of nudes in photography since the early 1800s. []
  • An Australian barmaid was fined for crushing beer cans between her bare breasts. []
  • Does James Lipton really have a nude portrait of Miss Scarlet from Clue? "I am proud to say that the poster, the chair and the astonishing woman in it are still in my living room?" []
  • A conservative commentator thinks that nude protesters are dumb and selfish. []
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Friday, October 26, 2007

Naked With Your Family, Part Two

A student at McGill University reports on naturism and wonders what her family life would have been like had she been born into the lifestyle.
As a clothes-wearing vacationer, I find it a bit difficult to wrap my mind around a family vacation consisting of naked volleyball and naked shuffleboard. The thought of my nude father kind of makes me want to gag. But maybe that’s the problem; maybe I’m the problem. I wonder how I’d feel if I’d grown up, like many naturist children, with nudity as a central part of my family bonding. Would that have been a more natural upbringing? Would I be more comfortable with my family, and with myself?
The beautiful thing about naturism is that it's never too late to try, but be forewarned that once you do take the plunge, you will wish that you had done it sooner. Any naturist will tell you that.

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Victory for Artistic Expression

The Elton John owned Nan Goldin photograph "Klara and Edda Belly Dancing" which was pulled from an art gallery in the UK has been proclaimed "not indecent" by the Crown Prosecution Service. The most disturbing aspect of this case is that the photo was seized in order to test if "standards had changed" since the image was first examined by the CPS in 2001. Had the image been determined to be indecent, every person with a photograph of a nude baby or child would be subject to criminal prosecution. There is nothing indecent about a naturally nude human being of any age. Society needs to stop looking at innocence through the eyes of a pervert. Here is a link to the photo.

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Thursday, October 25, 2007

Brattleboro Newspaper Supports Anti-Nudity Ordinance

An editorial today in the Brattleboro Reformer supports a town ordinance against public nudity. The state of Vermont does not prohibit anyone from walking around without any clothes on, but some communities have passed regulations requiring clothing in public. Brattleboro is now poised to follow suit.

The heart of this issue is this: Is being nude a basic human right? After all, most people believe in God, and that God created humans in his own image. If people truly believe this, how can they possibly believe that God's creation is obscene? Certainly humans are capable of performing obscene acts, but is the naked human form in and of itself something that should be considered offensive?
It's been a longstanding principle that when one goes out in public, one does so with clothing on. A person may currently have a legal right in Vermont to walk around naked. However, in terms of public decorum, not to mention practicality, it's not a particularly good idea.

Everyone involved in the nudity issue has let their emotions get the better of them. It's time to step back, take a deep breath and think about what is being discussed here. We are talking about a simple ordinance, something that many other towns in America have, that states that if one is in a public place, one should be clothed. People that choose to flout this rule would first get warned to put their clothes on and be fined if they refuse.
But is this really a "simple" ordinance? Brattleboro is about to consider a law that states that the human body is offensive. Vermont is one of the last places in America where a person can be truly free, by skinny-dipping in a pond, or sunbathing. The more time I spend on this issue, the more convinced that being naked is a basic human right and should not be suppressed. We are well on the way to having a national dress code, with some communities even now dictating the type of clothes a person can wear in public by banning droopy pants, or prohibiting any exposure of underwear. Not only is the body considered offensive, now some of the coverings are also being tagged as "disrespectful" and obscene.

I understand fully that in our society, the majority rules, and some things that are considered offensive are banned, such as smoking, dog poop, excessive noise, etc. It's just baffling to me sometimes how something so natural, so beautiful, and so unique as the human body has become such an object of scorn. People seem to be more afraid of a naked human than they are of getting into an automobile, an act which kills tens of thousands of people each year, or of food poisoning, which claims 5000 lives each year. As far as I know, nobody has ever died from looking at a nude human being.

In the grand scheme of things, a naked human being once in a while in a quiet Vermont town is nothing to get too excited about, but it seems to be all they are talking about in Brattleboro. Even with the legal freedom to walk down the street naked, 99.999% of people in this country still will not do it. We are so hung up about our bodies that we simply are not going to just suddenly shed our clothes and become a naked society. Oh sure, people will gather en masse to pose nude for Spencer Tunick, but those same people put their clothes back on and get back to home and work. We need to get to the point where people who pose for Tunick leave their clothes off when they get home. It is only when we begin to accept our own bodies as being good in everyday situations, and not just photo ops, that we will begin to shed this irrational gymnophobia.

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Naked With Your Family

My first venture into organized social nudism was at a swim sponsored by a local non-landed group. I had never met a single person who was there, there was just some very brief correspondence through e-mail. After walking through the door, speaking to the man in charge for a while, and paying my fee, I calmly walked to a chair by the side of the pool, and stripped completely naked. There was never a hint of nervousness, honestly.

The only time I had some butterflies in my stomach was approaching my wife for "permission" to attend the swim. In a nutshell, she is completely accepting of the fact that I hate to wear clothes, but she does not join me in walking about daily in the nude. It was a relief when she immediately said "Sure, go for it, have fun". She trusts me.

So why is it that nudists are perfectly calm and even passe about getting naked with perfect strangers, but when it comes to family and friends, many keep their lifestyle choice a secret, or practice it alone?

In my family, it's just my wife and I, and one daughter, who still maintains one foot in the door as she attends graduate school. I cannot honestly say if she ever saw me naked. This was not as a result of any personal shame, it's just something that is a taboo in our society. Dads do not get naked in front of their daughters. And I do not remember the last time I saw my daughter naked. It was certainly sometime between elementary school and middle school. When it comes to my wife, she still steps out of the shower in full view of our daughter, and vice versa. They have always been comfortable being nude in front of each other.

So, I was fascinated to read this blog post about the undervaluation of father-daughter relationships, from the daughter's point of view, and her reticence in having her dad see her giving birth, or naked in any way.
A friend of mine at university was from a family of naturists, and so it was not uncommon for her, along with her parents and siblings, to sit around on a Sunday afternoon reading the papers, watching the Eastenders omnibus and eating cheesecake while completely stark bollock naked. This was considered the norm. But, when she revealed this information many of us (some from Daily-Mail-reading backgrounds) were horrified at the thought that her father may have seen her sans scanties, and thus as a sexual being. It was hard for us to accept that there was nothing more to this scenario than the fact that they all just liked being naked, the feel of their leather sofas and shag pile against bare skin (and nothing more), and in many respects is this not a healthy way to be? If you feel comfortable dropping your drawers and liberating your baps in the comfort of the family home, in an atmosphere of acceptance and security, then surely you will cultivate a healthy body image, devoid of the complexes that plague those of us who are afraid to peel off that cagoule in case some randomer miraculously notices that we have one tit slightly bigger than the other.
Yes, yes, yes. She really "gets it" when it comes to nudism/naturism. In retrospect, I wish that my wife and I had raised our daughter in a naturist way. She still does not know that her Dad likes to swim in the nude with a bunch of strangers. My wife almost told her one night but decided otherwise. Eventually she will know, and she will probably laugh a little bit, but somehow I know she will be perfectly OK. Maybe, in a bit of a dream, she will let us take the grandkids one day to a naturist park for a day of fun and freedom.

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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The Free Body Movement

For all intents and purposes, nudism is nearly dead in America. Long live clothes-free and nude recreation, and topfreedom for women. It appears that the traditional nudist resort, such as those seen in the "Golden Days" of the 50s through the 70s, will not rise again.

This is not to say that there are not still some thriving clubs out there, but the membership is aging, and everybody seems to notice this, but nobody seems to know what to do about it.

In Germany, Freikörperkultur FKK (free body culture) began early in the early part of the 20th century as a reaction to Victorian social restrictions. The movement thrived until Hitler came to power and banned the practice, but nudism survived in many forms in Germany and other countries.

In the United States, the government tried unsuccessfully to suppress nudist magazines in the 40s, and only began to leave nudist resorts alone in the 1950s. Once the authorities stopped trying to halt nudism, the lifestyle thrived as part of the pop counter-culture. Just take a look at the photos in magazines from that era, with the beauty competitions, costume contests, and general goofiness. Even as a kid I was aware that there were nudists. A friend once raided his dad's magazines and we laughed and laughed at all the naked people playing volleyball and swimming.

The problem is that we as a society still have that mental image of nudists in our minds. Nudist resorts are still called "colonies", the practice is considered a "cult", and nudist publications are still "nudie magazines". The image of nudism today is further tarnished by all the horrible publicity put out over the last couple of years regarding the aging of people who belong to nudist organizations, and the problems with public nudity and the overreactions of local governments in dealing with the issue, such as in Brattleboro and in Huntington Beach.

Some organizations have begun distancing themselves from the "nudist" terminology, with words such as "clothes-free". I think that nudism should go a step further and begin referring to the lifestyle as The Free Body Movement.

The Free Body Movement means that individuals believe that the human body in its natural naked form is preferred to covering it up with clothing, that there is no shame in seeing or being seen by others in the nude. The Free Body Movement generally espouses all the best philosophies of nudism and naturism (no need to list them all here), but goes a step further in proclaiming that social nudity is an important component in the health and well being of all individuals. Being naked is not only liberating, fun, and physically healthy, but it also acts as a buffer to the social ills that permeate our culture, such as pornography, religious intolerance, and unrealistic body images.

The Free Body Movement also recognizes a greater responsibility to the planet we live on. The lifestyle does not end when the clothes are put back on, it stays with us at all times. A Free Body individual does everything possible to reduce his or her own carbon footprint, such as turning down the heat in the winter, turning up the air conditioner in the summer, riding a bicycle whenever possible, and so on. The health of the planet is the same as the health of the individual.

The Free Body Movement does not discriminate on the basis of gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity or religious beliefs. And while The Free Body Movement believes that sex is one of the most wonderful gifts given to us as humans, there is no place for overt sexual activity in social situations. FBM is for ALL ages, especially for children, who need to learn at an early age not to be ashamed of their bodies, and to be responsible for their behavior on this planet.

I welcome any and all suggestions on this idea. In short, the end of nudism in America, and the birth of the Free Body Movement. The end of a reactive lifestyle, and the beginnings of a proactive culture, which teaches responsibility and respect for the body as well as the environment. After all, one cannot exist without the other.

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Fond Memories Abound as Nudist Resort Closes

The River Valley Nudist Holiday Resort in Australia has closed after its conception 40 years ago, but the wonderful memories linger for the Vickers-Willis family.
When they reached a certain point in the journey, Jim Vickers-Willis would begin to remove his clothes. "Jim would rip off his clothes as we got onto the road that went into the camp ground. He couldn't wait. It would be a race to see who could be the first to get stripped," laughs Jim's wife, Beth.
This wonderful anecdote illustrates the childlike enthusiasm nudists have for the lifestyle. Personally, when I get home from anywhere I can't wait to strip down, and when attending nudist events, there is no time lost in shedding the clothes.

The story of River Valley is, unfortunately, one that does not appear to be as possible today. The carefree family atmosphere remembered at this and other nudist retreats of the time period have been replaced by upscale adults-only resorts and clubs. Governments continue to pass laws against nudity that criminalize any exposure of genitals in the presence of children. Any nudist/naturist will tell you that it's not the lack of clothing that is a social problem, it's human behavior which can veer off course in any situation, including in such cornerstones of society like churches, boy scouts, girl scouts, schools, and camps.
Beth and Jim agree there was never a hint of objectionable behaviour, nor sexual undertone of any kind. "I couldn't even tell you whether the people I knew there had big penises, small penises or big boobs. Of all the hundreds of people I met, I couldn't tell you about anyone's body. You only notice their face and their personality. Society hasn't woken up to that and so they feel confronted by it," Jim says.
People use their clothes in so many complex ways today. In environmentally controlled interiors, there is no need for clothing as a means of protection, yet people still get dressed every day. Single people living alone still put on pajamas at night, keep them on through breakfast, taking them off only to shower, and then put on clothes for the day even if they are not leaving the house, and if no company is expected. Why do people do this? I think that we as a society have developed a body complex that instills real fear of being seen naked, or seeing other people naked. It's a completely irrational phenomenon, a conditioned phobia that has no basis in natural reality. Engaging in the nudist lifestyle helps to overcome this fear in a natural and meaningful way.

The demise of River Valley is, unfortunately, a sobering reality. The owners needed to sell, and since nobody in the nudist community was able to make the purchase, the land now becomes a Caravan Park for textile society.
David Elmes, 71, is profoundly upset about its closure as a nudist resort. He has spent countless long weekends there and has celebrated New Year's Eve at the resort for almost 40 years, with the exception of one occasion in 1977. "It's tragic for me and it's disastrous for nudism. It was a place nobody could imagine if they hadn't been there. First-timers would come and stay for a weekend, they'd go home, buy a caravan and bring it back. The atmosphere of the place was incredible. It was like close family," he says.

Tennis tournaments and New Year's Eve celebrations shared with the many friends he made are two of his fondest memories. "The feeling of warmth and togetherness between people was immense," Elmes says.

So what of New Year's Eve celebrations this year? For Elmes nothing will compare. "I'll be unhappy. Wherever I am I'll be thinking about the past. But it's not entirely negative," he says. "At least I got to experience it."
Unfortunately, there will be no such memories for the next generation, and that is the real tragedy.

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Monday, October 22, 2007

The Daily Newds 10/22/07

  • The British Board of Film Classification admits that they no longer cut violent scenes from films. "The BBFC provides clear consumer advice. If the board went about cutting out every scene liable to offend then we would be leaving adults without any choice. Who's to decide what adults can or can't watch?" []
  • Renee Zellweger will not take her clothes off on screen because she doesn't "want the first shot of the movie to be a close-up on my naked breast because what that leads to doesn’t have a place in my life." []
  • The University of West Alabama has adopted a strict dress code that prohibits "caps, do-rags, bandanas, and class or at any university meeting or function...saggy pants and clothing printed with derogatory or offensive language. Men are encouraged to cover up (no sleeveless, netted, or cut-off shirts) and must wear shoes (not flip-flops) in class" []
  • "Mikey" is a nudist in the Tampa Bay area and has some ideas on getting singles involved in the lifestyle. "For the most part if I was young and single again and contemplating my first visit to a nudist resort I would find it easier to be accepted than 20 years ago but it is still not always an easy walk in the park. Locally most of the resorts have moved forward and unfortunately some have taken giant leaps backwards". []
  • Here is a guide to naturist beaches in Cyprus in case you are in the area. []
  • Leonard Nimoy has created the Full Body Project, an exhibit of photographs showing obese women in the nude. "In our culture, there's this worshiping of the thin body, and I became fascinated with that idea." []
  • The man who toured Times Square in the nude last week explains "I had a bad day". []
  • Women in New Zealand voted Greer Robson's breasts as the best during Fayreform National Breast Pride Week. []
  • Dear Abby advises a girl with modesty hang-ups to tell her friends that she's old-fashioned and to deal with it. []
  • The Marine Corps commandant has ordered all Marines, on or off duty, to adhere to dress codes as follows: "No shiny metal or gems on your teeth, no designs carved in your hair, no flashy jewelry and no bare midriffs or excessive cleavage. " []
  • If you are a light-skinned female nudist, your exposure to the sunlight may restrict certain types of breast cancer. []
  • Several Wilmington women have posed nude with artwork for a calendar that urges people to "expose yourself to the arts". []
  • Some college girls in China are posing for nude photographs as a means to preserve their own histories. A photographer says "They now appreciate nudity and consider it an art". []

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Uma Thurman Makes Nude Fashion Statement

Uma Thurman appeared nearly nude in public wearing a see-through Valentino gown at the Swarovski Fashion Rocks event.

The significance of the dress is that it clearly reveals Uma's nipples, breaking a modern social taboo. The female nipple has been well hidden from public view since the Victorian times, and fashion for women has ranged from binding corsets to bullet bras, all designed to be sexually repressive while remaining pleasing to the male eye.

The only memorable fashion statement that directly addressed the liberation of women's bodies was the "monokini" or topless bathing suit, but generally anyone who tried to wear one was arrested.

I have not read any reports about Uma Thurman having been arrested for exposing her breast in public. Perhaps this is the beginning of a new fashion trend. Women have been exposing their cleavage in public for decades, especially in Hollywood. Remember Barbra Streisand and Jennifer Lopez and their revealing outfits? They exposed most of their breasts, but none have dared to freely expose their nipples.

It's long past the time where women should be enjoying the same freedom that men have when it comes to body freedom. Uma Thurman has opened the door in a beautiful and classy way.

UPDATE: Egotastic has high resolution photographs of Uma in her gown, including one from behind where her buttocks are clearly visible. Uma is essentially nude in public. This is not an insignificant event in the fashion world, I'll bet that other celebrities are asking their designers for something equally daring.

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Sunday, October 21, 2007


Somebody wrote and asked why I don't write about myself more often.

I started out this blog as a type of catharsis, outing myself as a nudist by proclaiming it to the world. I still feel that way, but the blog has become more about social issues regarding nudism, and not so much a mirror of myself.

I took the above self-portrait this morning as the first sunlight filtered in. I like the fact that you can just see the very top of my head in the mirror reflection. That's about all I've revealed of myself here.

I'm not like NakedJen, airing out all my personal affairs, although I admire her for her courage and unabashed openness. And I'm not like most "nudist guys" who always post photos of themselves with their pelvises thrust out to the camera. Nudism is not just about waving your genitals in front of the world.

Yesterday was a good day. The Buckeyes won. The Red Sox won. And I went swimming nude with about 20 nice people last night. Life can be very good sometimes. Every once in a while you just have to stand back and take a look at yourself to realize how lucky you really are.

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Friday, October 19, 2007

The Weekend Newds 10/19/07

  • Photographer Oliviero Toscano is considering legal action after an Italian watchdog agency banned his image of an anorexic woman from all advertising. []
  • The Sun is holding it's sixth annual search for the woman with the best boobs. []
  • Hundreds of prostitutes are threatening to march nude through the streets of Bolivia's capital because a "morality campaign" is threatening their livelihood. []
  • 111 men stripped to the waist and invaded a New York City Abercrombie & Fitch store. []

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Dress Codes

Clothing is not merely something that we put on as protection from the elements. What we wear defines us in the eyes of others. We can be casual, formal, semi-formal, businesslike, active, leisurely, smart, attractive, sexy, frumpy, and on and on. Since we use clothes to define ourselves, it's not surprising that others want to mandate the type of clothing we wear in order to conform us to some preconceived notion.

We begin at birth to be defined by what we wear when pink caps are given to girls and blue to boys. Uniformity is the way to go in religious organizations, fraternal groups, the military, and in some schools. While this conformity is mostly successful in the homogenization of people, it is the nature of human beings to struggle for individuality, to break out from the textile facade and rise above the fray. The more individuals attempt to stand out, the more authority tends to suppress.

The example of the two high school girls in Florida, who were kicked out of a football game for painting their torsos in school colors and wearing shorts and bikini tops, is a prime example of authoritarian forced conformity. While the incident is clearly a case of sex discrimination (boys were allowed to be shirtless and painted at games), the principal and other school officials all say that what the girls did was against the dress codes and the banishment was appropriate, and they are making some of the most ridiculous arguments in support of their position.

John Bowen, school board attorney, said the code also applies to school-related extracurricular activities, and that the principal has discretion on how to enforce the rules.

As to the girls' attire at the homecoming game, Bowen said some people complained to Manatee High administrators, saying the girls looked topless from afar.

"If the principal doesn't take any action, rumor would run amok saying that the girls were topless," Bowen said. "Fortunately, they got a lot of publicity, so no one thought they were running around topless."

Bowen offered an opposite scenario.

If a male student wearing spandex shorts and paint in a color that appears indistinguishable from the clothing appears nude from a distance, a principal would have the right to send him home, too, he said.

"It's not an unequal treatment," he said.
Merely stating that something is "not unequal" does not make it so. Remember "Mission Accomplished'? This attorney is actually arguing that even a slight hint of the appearance of nudity is a violation of the dress code. That would mean that anybody wearing a shirt the color of his or her skin would be asked to cover up? The argument is beyond untenable. These girls were singled out and banished from the game because they were female, and all this backpeddling and fumbling for justification only makes the matter more ridiculous.

Braden River High principal Jim Pauley said he would not allow any students to go shirtless at home games.

"We do not allow them take their shirts off," he said. "If we see it, we ask them to cover up or leave."

Will there be a districtwide policy in the future?

"The question is something (the school board) will have to deal with, or the superintendent can direct a uniform treatment," Bowen said.

Pauley said having a set of dress codes for extracurricular activities may not be a bad idea.

"Maybe it would help people to be more consistent," he said.
This last statement is quite astonishing. Trying to force people to be more "consistent" is a communist principle, to mandate conformity in order to abolish class distinctions and individualism.

The action of the girls was also called a "distraction" and "inappropriate". This was a football game, not a lecture on physics. Football games are supposed to be fun, a time when the students can let go a little bit and express themselves as people. The intent of events like football games is to provide a distraction from academics. What are the cheerleaders doing in their short skirts and pom poms? They are providing a distraction, and their dress is clearly "inappropriate" for the classroom.

The real tragedy here is that the school authorities are defending themselves for taking action on something that only appeared to be inappropriate, that from a distance the girls only "appeared" to be topless, and someone complained. Now the school is talking about dress codes for all extracurricular activities, so the all of students will end up being punished because the school overreacted to a non-incident. Such is the nature of bureaucracy - when faced with an error, it tends to err even more in order to justify the initial mistake.

Dress codes are the complete opposite of nudism. Nudists believe when one sheds all clothing, one also sheds the burdens and definitions imposed by society. Nudism is neither capitalist nor communist - it is a form of humanism, a search for truth and morality by returning to a more natural state of man. Telling people what they can wear, and when they can wear it, only serves to falsify who and what we truly are.

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Thursday, October 18, 2007

Exposed to Nudism

Reporter Skylar Browning of the Missoula Independent has written a terrific story about his meeting with The Montana Naturist Organization. Although Browning is generally clueless before he immerses himself into the nude world, his observations are open-minded and quite honest, and he seems genuinely interested in getting it right.

It's amusing to read about Browning's struggle with his own nakedness. After spending a lot of time mustering up the courage just to get through the door, once he is in he is suddenly aware that he doesn't know where to put his hands, or where to look.
Most of the room is older than me, and split evenly between men and women. A lot of them are inked. And shaved. And none of that really matters, I don’t imagine, to anyone but me. I don’t want it to, but during my first few minutes, I can’t help but notice the symmetry of one man’s tattoos—down both arms, both sides of his back, both thighs and across his chest—and that at least three men are uncircumcised. There’s also a Winnie the Pooh tat on one woman’s backside and another woman with a torso that reminds me of an elderly high school teacher we all thought looked like a pear. It’s uncouth to steal glances, but it’s also impossible to ignore some things. I can’t help but wonder what they’re noticing about me.
It's perfectly normal to look. In textile situations, people notice each other's sweaters, or shoes, or jewelry. In nudist situations people notice each other's bodies. In both instances, it's not polite to stare.

Adults who have not seen other naked people in person for many, many years are naturally fascinated with seeing other bodies. It's not unlike children playing "doctor" when curiosity takes over. Naked people do not look like the airbrushed models in magazine, or like movie stars enhanced by perfect lighting, and it is a bit startling to come to the realization that bodies come in all shapes and sizes.

Browning talks to a woman named Claudia, a German emigrant who grew up with normal nudity in her family. She introduces herself as a "woman naturist", and Browning wonders why she draws the distinction.
“I think it’s harder for women,” she says. “And it’s especially difficult for young women in today’s society. They feel they need to lose 10 pounds, or they need to look a certain way before they feel comfortable enough to try something like this. I think the reason we have so many older women here is they don’t care. They’re past all that. And me? I was born this way. I never cared.”And, just out of curiosity, do you think it’s similarly difficult for young men?

“Yes,” she says. “Sure it is. Society today says we need to look a certain way to be accepted. It’s everywhere, for men and women, and it’s a shame. That is what I enjoy about being a naturist. None of that is an issue. Here we just are who we are.”
When the nudists dress for dinner, Browning tags along and discovers something quite remarkable.
For some reason, seeing the group dressed is more disconcerting then seeing it naked. Flannel, fleece and tie-dye are popular. No one looks very comfortable, except Andrea, who’s wearing a matching purple sweat suit. I find myself more judgmental of their clothing than their bodies. I’m trying to read T-shirts and comprehend some of the color coordination. It occurs to me that they probably don’t give a hoot about their outfits. And why should they? The problem here is that all of a sudden the bond that brought this group together, the inherent camaraderie of being unabashedly naked is stripped away like kryptonite.
Whatever bit of gymnophobia that Skylar Browning had before meeting the nudists disappeared later after dinner when the clothes came off once again.
I join the larger circle at the Jacuzzi, without even realizing that I’m no longer realizing that everyone is naked. Like Bill predicted, it’s simply not an issue anymore. The only time it dawns on me is when I need to get up from the Jacuzzi and I think, just for a second, what the most appropriate way to exit may be. “We create these things that are acceptable in society,” says Bill. “It’s about how you’re raised and how you’re trained. If you’re raised that being nude is healthy, that being free and open to the environment is a natural way to live, then it is. If you’re not raised like that, then discovering it can be like breaking a cultural taboo. It can be hard, almost traumatic to get out of it. But once you do, you want to be surrounded by those who agree with you.”
All in all, one of the best articles I have read about nudism from a non-nudist perspective.

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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Daily Newds 10/17/07

  • A South Carolina nudist has been charged with child sexual assault in a case that dates back 24 years. []
  • A 17 year-old North Carolina student is having his entire life ruined because he streaked at a football game. []
  • Adult businesses in Ohio have filed suit in federal court in an attempt to block the restrictive new laws on strip clubs and adult bookstores. []
  • An Oregon naturist intends to comply with the new law that makes it illegal for anyone to expose his or her genitalia in an offensive manner, or in the presence of a child 13 years or younger. []
  • A Muslim woman explains that covering her body from head to toe actually frees her from having to live up to all the images in the media of what she is "supposed to look like". []
  • A Chinese photographer says that twenty years ago he would have been arrested for staging a photo shoot of 100 naked people. []
  • If you are a woman who breastfeeds her child in the presence of other women, the odor of your sweat just might be turning them on. []
  • A San Diego woman who was topless during a PETA demonstration was forced by the police to cover her nipples with duct tape. []
  • A 19 year-old Canadian breast cancer survivor and her friend have been photographing other cancer survivors nude from the waist up. They were initially shocked at how comfortable some of the women were being topfree, but they got used to it. "It's just boobs. At this point, I'm so desensitized to boobs, I don't even care." Ms. Thorn said, laughing. []
  • If you are a breastfeeding mother who is working in the New South Wales Parliament, you will now be given lactation breaks and other considerations. []
  • Administrators at York University removed two cardboard displays with crocheted female breasts and a male penis from the bookstore because a professor was afraid that his son would see them. The displays were instructional on how to do self-examinations for breast and testicular cancer. []
  • The nude chocolate Jesus has been resurrected. []

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Here We Go Again

Brattleboro Selectboard members have agreed to reconsider a nudity ban after two PETA demonstrators disrobed earlier this month in the downtown area. The issue was raised by a resident who told the Board that many in the town do not understand why there has been no action taken, and that the issue should be put to a public vote. If the Board decides not to put the ordinance to a vote, residents can still collect signatures of 20% of the town's residents to add the issue to the town warrant.

This is a prime example of lawmakers reacting to the needs of the very few. The only reason that public nudity is an issue at all in the town is because people insist on bringing it up over and over again, and it attracts national attention. Aside from the initial incidents in the summer of 2006 when a few teenagers decided to hang around a parking lot in the nude, there have been virtually no incidents involving local Vermont residents. The PETA protesters as well as two other people who went nude earlier this year were all from out of state. If any locals are getting naked in Brattleboro, it's not being reported.

It's nearly November, the leaves are falling, and people are bundling up with layers of clothing, not peeling them off. Give it a break, Brattleboro, you are beginning to sound like a broken record.

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Emmanuelle Béart on Nudity

Emmanuelle Béart is now 44 years old but still gracing the silver screen with her beauty. In a recent interview, she recalls posing for the famous Elle Magazine cover a few years ago.
She has, of course, an innocent explanation: "We'd just arrived for a beauty shoot, it was 5am and I desperately needed a swim. The photographer was a friend, and she asked if I'd mind if she took a few photos. When I saw them, it was me who suggested they use those. It was a riposte to all those skinny, semi-anorexic adolescents that women's magazines inflict on us; it was to say, 'Look, I'm 40, this is my body, this is my plenitude, these are my curves, I like them and I'm proud of them.' It's true, I feel better in my body now than when I was 20. Why not?"
Why not, indeed.

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Nancy Hayssen Loves Her Plus Size Figure

Model Nancy Hayssen has posed completely nude in order to prove that larger women are beautiful, too. Hayssen is waging a campaign to overcome the unrealistic and dangerously thin body images perpetuated by the fashion industry, and to convince women of all body types that it's OK not to be a size zero.
"So many people write to me saying their husbands and boyfriends tell them they love them just the way they are but the women are the ones that feel down and beat themselves up feeling 'not good enough' - the media has been conditioning women for so long to make us feel there is something wrong with us if we are not super skinny."
Hayssen is pushing a book and a makeover program on her web site. Let's hope that she is successful in selling an image that goes against the mainstream media.