Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The End of Privacy, Part Two

In an earlier post, I wrote about how privacy will soon be something we remember, and not something we can actually have.

Mike at The Academic Naturist has taken the argument a step further with his post Technology Against Privacy.

From Google Earth, to miniature cameras, to the Polar Rose face recognition technology, there is no longer any reasonable expectation for anyone to truly protect personal privacy.

The bottom line is that if you are a nudist/naturist, and have a nude photo of yourself posted on the Internet, eventually you will be identified.

Technology is only going to get better. Cameras will keep getting smaller, with higher image quality. Satellite imagery can already read license plates, and soon will be able to identify faces. GPS systems allow you to know exactly where you are on the planet, and will someday let anyone else know the same. Cell phone cameras are being used to transmit nude photos all around the world. Imaging machines at airports are able to take highly-detailed pictures of a human body right through any clothing. And the government is listening to your phone calls and reading your e-mails.

Everyone is an open book. From my point of view, I do not see any way to stop the destruction of privacy, it's as inevitable as the dawn, and with this seismic shift will come a new paradigm - a society without secrets. There will be no lifestyle, no financial situation, and no physical attribute that will not be readily available knowledge for all to discover. People will be stripped naked in every meaning of the word.

Mike believes that we can prepare ourselves for this erosion of privacy, but I disagree. I don't believe that there's anything we can do.

The telltale signs have been there for a while. Radio, television, and then the Internet have allowed the world to get smaller in terms of access to information. President Cleveland once was able to have cancer surgery on a boat in New York harbor and keep it a secret from the public, and President Wilson had a stroke in 1919 and the public was kept completely in the dark. As late as the early 1960s, people were able to maintain privacy when it came to sexual orientation, women were able to hide their pregnancies, and people with cancer or other serious diseases didn't talk about their afflictions, and often went to the grave with nobody knowing the cause of death.

In a few short decades, people now freely talk about their sexuality, and share stories about their pregnancies and diseases. Betty Ford told the world about her breast cancer, and her alcoholism. Katie Couric had a colonoscopy on live television. Celebrities are photographed crossing the street with their children, and Presidential candidates are dissected to such a degree that every person they have encountered in life becomes an issue of character. If someone somewhere says something, it's on YouTube in a day or less.

The trickle has become a tsunami. There is nothing we can say or do, and no place that we can go, where privacy can be reasonably maintained. The upside is that people will be forced to be more honest and open, but the significant downside is the loss of true freedom. Enjoy it while you can.

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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Huntington Beach Nudist Revealed

The "naked man" of Huntington Beach, California, whose penchant for nudity caused the city to enact a nudity ordinance last year, has finally spoken out. His name is Michael Angelo Ferriera, a 43 year-old grandfather and native of Portugal, who emigrated to the United States at the age of 16.

Aside from enjoying a clothes-free lifestyle, Ferriera did nothing wrong, yet neighbors and police harassed him until he was forced to leave the city. His work as a general contractor dried up because of the notoriety.
"I certainly felt harassed by the police department when I lived in (Huntington Beach)," Ferriera said. "The police department did not personally agree with my lifestyle. They believed that if you're naked that naked equals … that you must have some sexual desire. It's very hard for people to grasp knowing that you no longer have to hide behind that mask."
Ferriera recounts stories about people walking by just to get a peek, and police knocking on his door and attempting warrantless searches of his home. Eventually prosecutors charged him with nine counts of "suspicion of indecent exposure", and threatened with making him register as a sex offender, so Ferriera made a plea deal. The card-carrying AANR member was no longer welcome in Huntington Beach, and the law was enacted to prohibit all nudity in public.
Ferriera, whose weathered face reveals his love for the beach, said he misses Surf City and is not as happy being as far away as he is from the coast. He sometimes contemplates moving back to Europe, where he said people are more comfortable with nudity.

Still, he said he feels partly to blame for the way city officials struck a blow at the naturists who live in the city.

"All this almost makes me want to cry," he added.
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Erica Jong to Miley Cyrus: Nude is Not Lewd

Erica Jong, in an essay today on the Huffington Post, declares herself a "natural nudist" and is astounded, as am I, about the tempest in a teapot over the non-nude Miley Cyrus photos.
If Miley had any spunk, she certainly would take her clothes off and stay naked 'till we got out of Iraq. That would be better for her fans that all these hypocritical apologies. Stop feeling embarrassed for your non-nakedness kiddo. Start feeling embarrassed for your country!
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Monday, April 28, 2008

Much Ado About Miley

Miley Cyrus says that she is "embarrassed" by her upcoming Vanity Fair photographs. Disney, Cyrus' employer, says that the young star was deliberately manipulated in order to sell magazines. Photographer Annie Leibovitz says that the photos are "simple" and "beautiful", and the photographs have been misinterpreted. And one blogger is threatening to boycott Cyrus, calling the photographs "illegal".

Cut the crap. Cyrus and her family knew exactly what they were doing, and that is creating a controversy out of nothing in order to generate a billion dollars worth of free publicity. The mainstream media is going nuts about this, mainly because people must be bored with the Presidential race, as well as with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and people obviously are not concerned about $4 per gallon gas and skyrocketing food prices.

So what exactly is so offensive about the photos, which show the 15 year-old pop culture phenomenon draped in a sheet with her bare back turned to the camera, hair tousled and a demure come-hither look in her eye? Is it the fact that her back is bare? No, it can't be that, because there is nothing offensive or illegal about the nude human back in our culture for persons of any age or sex. Is it the look on her face? No, it can't be that, because there are countless photos of Cyrus out there with a pouty or provocative look on her face. Or is it the combination of the bare back with the sexy glare that is so offensive? No, that can't be it because if the photo of Cyrus had been taken on the beach with her in a bikini, there would have been more exposed skin.

What makes this photo such a sensation, such a scandal, is the fact that Cyrus has already apologized for the photos in advance of their publication, thus ensuring a sell-out at the newsstand, and a predictable media frenzy. Cyrus, her family, and her handlers have played the media and the gullible public like a harp from Hell.

Are the photos "illegal" as that one blogger claimed? Absolutely not. There is nothing illegal about photographing the nude human body, no matter the person's age. What is illegal is photographing a minor engaging in sexual acts. Courts have consistently upheld the works of Robert Mapplethorpe, Jock Sturges and Nan Goldin as being valid works of art, even though their work sometimes features nude children, and create controversy. There is a fundamental misunderstanding on the part of many people about what is child pornography, and what is the artistic depiction of innocence and beauty.

And now Jamie Lee Curtis has chimed in on the whole manufactured affair.
Today's generation of performers have had to navigate the treacherous shoals of adolescence in full frontal viewberty of the peering voyeurism of the media and it's voyeuristic participants. We have watched them as they stumble out of the safety of childhood, not that being a professional actor as a child is safe, but that is another blog, into the glare of celebrity, rehab, prison, teen pregnancy and now this, a backless shot of a young girl. It was called "artistic'.
More nonsense. Comparing the "backless" shot of a young girl with rehab and prison is further sensationalizing and publicizing the situation. And someone who is really deeply concerned about "voyeurism" shouldn't be in "show" business.

Anyone who just stands back and examines the photo can see that there is nothing wrong with what Annie Leibovitz calls a simple and beautiful image, but looking through the forest of false indignation, insincere apologies, corporate condemnations and public hysteria makes it hard to see the trees.

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The Daily Newds 4/28/08

  • Sunshine Gardens, one of Michigan's oldest nudist venues, is going textile.
    Penny Adams said though she'll have some things to get used to running a clothed resort — she'll have pockets, for one thing — she said the spirit of Sunshine Gardens will remain the same.

    "We'll be the same family-friendly, fun resort that we always were," she said. "Just now, with clothes." []
  • A California woman who is known as the "pastie lady" is baring as much skin as legally possible in order to send a message promoting Earth-friendliness.
    "Nudity is natural, but a lot of people are uncomfortable with it," said Moss, 32. "It's OK for children to play video games where they are killing each other, and it's patriotic to murder people in a war. But women's breasts in public? You better watch out!" []
  • Over-hyped, over-exposed and over-sexualized teenage Disney commodity Miley Cyrus is suddenly apologetic over some tastefully done artistic photos taken by famed-photographer Annie Leibovitz for Vanity Fair magazine. Incredibly, the Disney Channel is accusing the magazine of deliberately manipulating the 15 year-old girl. Pot. Kettle. Black. []
  • Kids are natural nudists, but when does spontaneous nudity become something more disturbing?
    Corey Zenz, 4, loves to wriggle out of his little Cleveland Browns T shirt, shorts, socks and undies, and tear around outside naked. "It was kind of cute at age 3," says his mom, Lindsay, 29. "But if he does it this summer, it's not going to be that cute." She's concerned "people might think he's headed down the nasty path of being a flasher." Stopping him, however, isn't easy. "Boys Corey's age are slippery and amazingly fast," she says. "He's dressed, then he's not and I'm yelling, 'Corey, get over here and get your clothes on'." Oh, come on, it's still cute. []
  • Mischa Barton does not have a problem with nudity. []
  • A planning committee in the UK has ordered an artist to remove a sculpture which depicts male genitals.
    "If it had been a woman's breasts, that would have been different," said Rebecca Johnson-Marshall, of Marlborough Hill. "I thought the world had moved on, but obviously not." []
  • An Ohio prosecutor is threatening children who take nude photos of themselves with jail time, juvenile detention, and registering them as sex offenders. []
  • An advice columnist, when asked about what to do about a nudist roommate, responds: "For her, nakedness is a way of life. For you, clothing is your way of life. Who's to say her nakedness is wrong or your clothing is right?" []
  • A journalist offers her perspective on the controversy between PayPal and The Federation of Canadian Naturists.
    The naked truth, in this case, may have less to do with skin-bare minors than with fear and blame over our lost innocence and society's anger at those who reduce our children to the objects of sexual enjoyment. []
  • Nudism figures prominently in the history of tanning. []
  • A Pakistan art gallery is coming under attack for displaying nude portraits.
    “For me, it’s nothing but an insult to women,” said Abdul Wahab, a visitor. He said the nation paid for this spacious gallery but it had nothing for them except for shame and embarrassment. []
  • Young Chinese women are having nude photographs taken of themselves in order to record the beauty of their youth. []
  • The Oxford Union, perhaps the world's best known debating society, takes on the subject of Britain's "page three" topless photos. []

Celebrating the British Body

Whether the event was inspired by Spencer Tunick's nude installations, or whether it was just a stunt for a television show, the sight of 300 naked people in public is a step forward for body acceptance in our inhibited and shame-driven society. This weekend, UK TV personalities Trinny Woodall and Susannah Constantine used a crowd of naked bodies to create a living sculpture of a human body at Sussex Downs, and the hosts themselves joind in on the mass strip. []

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Saturday, April 26, 2008

Nakations in The New York Times

The New York Times has a lengthy article on nude vacations, complete with multimedia slide show. The writer focuses on the upscale aspect of "nakations" and errs when referring to naturists as "naturalists". Still, it's good to see positive nudist articles in the mainstream media.
Today, America’s increasing obsession with health and wellness may be contributing to the rise of clothing-optional vacations. “Americans have moralized healthy bodies,” said Dacher Keltner, a professor of psychology at the University of California at Berkeley, who has studied moral emotion and judgment. He added that “a case could be made that people are traveling to these places to be pure for moral reasons — to
achieve harmony in nature.” It’s really a form of self-expression, he added, that dates back to Walt Whitman and John Muir, as well as Thoreau, all of whom advocated being as true to yourself as possible. “The truest you can be is taking off those clothes,” he said.
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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Daily Newds 4/23/08

  • Moscow is not a breastfeeding-friendly city. []
  • Trinny and Susannah are looking for 200 volunteers to strip naked in public for a television stunt in the UK. []
  • Kelly Clarkson admits to being nude at home, even among guests. [Hollyscoop]
  • Spencer Tunick is planning nude art installations in Ireland. []
  • Where did the saying "naked as a jaybird" come from? []
  • In Nashville, new permissive rules for topless clubs are meeting approval from even a Pentecostal preacher. []
  • David Beckham and his wife Victoria are also self-admitted home nudists. []
  • A judge has refused to block a new ordinance in Memphis aimed at topless bars which "would ban beer sales and require dancers to wear pasties and maintain a six-foot distance from customers and one another when performing". []
  • The Desert Shadows Resort and Spa is reopening almost as quickly as it closed. []
  • A nude art model in Florida likes her job. Her parents, not so much.
    "Getting into it isn't particularly hard," she said. "You just kind of want to do it."Her parents weren't thrilled with the news. "They were not very accepting of any of the nude forms in art or any in real life," she said. But the idea eventually grew on them. Well, a little, at least."It's not like pornography in any way, you know," she said. "It's art - it's beauty - it's real." []
  • A bus full of naturists will be following the Olympic torch in Australia. [MCOT]
  • Naked Sushi was not enough to save a Twin Cities restaurant. []
  • Tina Fey laments the loss of the "girl next door" images in Playboy magazine.
    "But it's all fake now," Fey sighs.

    In an era of cosmetic surgery, she gets depressed when she contemplates the phenomenon of young women who want to look even more beautiful than they already are -- in the past she's accused them of "mutilating their bodies" -- and she marvels over what this says about our current culture.

    "We don't want to see people looking not great," she says, adding that this certainly applies to celebrities undergoing cosmetic surgery. []
  • A sculpture of a naked man, anatomically correct, is dividing a town in the UK. []
  • If you are planning on sneaking in a camera to snap Daniel Radciliffe's "chap", you'd better think twice. []
  • Penelope Cruz bares all in a new Richard Attenborough film. []

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Denmark is the World's Happiest Country

Tim Ferris today lists 6 reasons to visit the "world's happiest country", Denmark, but he neglects to mention that the country celebrates naturism. In fact, only a very few kilometers of the coastline forbid nude sunbathing, and public nudity is not illegal, although people can be prosecuted for indecent behavior. The United States ranks 23rd on the happiness list, which isn't as bad as Japan which comes in at 90th, or France which falls in at number 62.

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Celebrate Earth Day in the Nude

Today is Earth Day. The list online for tips on how to celebrate the day does not include getting naked. Stripping down saves all of the planet's resources that go into the manufacturing of textiles, and it also saves the soap, water and energy that go into cleaning the fabrics. As global warming increases, it's only logical that the amount of clothing people wear will be on the decline. So, if you can, spend the day in the nude. It's not only comfortable and fun, it's good for the environment.

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Monday, April 21, 2008

The Daily Newds 4/21/08

  • The winning entry in a creative writing contest has the following line: "I stand naked in front of my bathroom mirror; it reminds me what a human body should look like." How many of you out there avoid the mirror when you are nude? []
  • A New Zealand gallery used a nude model in its display window to promote a new show called "Curves".
    Gallery director Elizabeth Cunnane said it was the first time the gallery had used a nude model to promote an exhibition.

    Ms Cunnane said having a nude model was a playful and slightly provocative way of getting people's attention. []
  • Dade City nudists have organized in order to promote their Florida area as a naturist mecca.
    "The naturist community is a diamond in the rough," Marcia Stone, a member of the grass-roots group, told the Tourist Development Council on Wednesday. "We want to market Pasco County as a nudist destination. We need to let them know what we have." []
  • A UK coffee shop has apologized to a young mother who was kicked out of the store for breastfeeding her baby.
    The 20-year-old, who had been in an outside seating area with her back to the window, burst into tears. She said: "It was humiliating. I'd just got over a fear of breastfeeding in public and now I've stopped. It's something a mother should never have to go through." []

From Nude

A George Washington University student, Clayton McKleskey, was in Germany with some friends, and eagerly accepted their invitation to go swimming. Little did he realize that the venue was clothes-free, but since everybody else was naked, he was left with no choice but to strip down, too.
The first five minutes were perhaps the most awkward I have ever experienced. There I was, skinny dipping with my best friends. And we hadn't even been drinking.
After the initial shock, his American prudishness began to melt away.
Between the swimming, sauna-ing, foot washing, wine drinking and group showering, it almost started to feel normal that nobody was wearing clothes.

All in all, I have to say I really enjoyed the evening. I mean, how can it not be fun to watch a bunch of hot Europeans walk around naked?

For the sake of my dear GW roommate Tim, I think I should go on the record as saying that I have not turned into a nudist. At least, not yet.
The key words here are "not yet". A little social nudity never hurt anyone, and I'm sure that Clayton now "gets it" when it comes to the nudist/naturist movement, which is basically just saying that being nude is really no big deal. As he says in closing, "Once you have seen one rear end, haven't you seen them all?"

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Sunday, April 20, 2008

The Sunday Newds 4/20/08

  • In a somewhat rambling, and somewhat illogical essay, a writer concludes that the $91,000 paid for the nude Carla Bruni photograph makes her naked, not nude. I disagree. The photo is art, therefore the model is nude. It's the mind of the beholder that makes her naked. []
  • Charges have been dropped against Gordon Lee, the man who was charged with Distribution of Material Harmful to minors after he gave a comic book with a cartoon image of a nude Pablo Picasso to a minor. []
  • A writer doesn't have a clue as to why anybody would want to do gardening in the nude. []
  • Obscenity charges have been dropped against an Italian man whose buttocks were exposed when his pants tore, and he was wearing no underwear.
    Outraged, a couple of women shoppers nearby screamed in horror. Police soon rushed to the scene and arrested the man on suspicion of committing an obscene act in a public place.

    Defending himself in a court in Gallarate, a medieval town of 50,000 in Lombardy, northern Italy, he said that due to an obesity problem, he could not find underwear in his size, ANSA reported. [afp]
  • Nude photos of Alex McCord have surfaced on the Internet. The star of Bravo's The Real Housewives of New York City is unfazed.
    "I’m not sure exactly how that happened," she said. "It’s a non-issue. I’m one of a billion people out there who has nude photos of themselves. So what." []
  • Malta is still enforcing its 1933 law against "naked or indecent swim suits". []
  • Ohio school officials made students lift up their shirts and drop their pants in order to search for cigarettes. []
  • The art of peaceful protest is still alive and well, with nudity a part of the equation. []
  • 23 year-old Jackie Brown plans on skinny-dipping in all 138 of Scotland's lochs to raise money for breast cancer charities. []

The Key to Nudism's Success Is...

...numbers. Nudists and naturists need numbers. Vast numbers of people with money. In a society which worships the almighty dollar over the forces of nature, nudists cannot survive merely on a philosophy which espouses freedom, comfort, and body acceptance, it must have political clout that can only come with financial success.

In DeSoto County, Florida, there is a church for every 168 people. It is a rural area in which the idea of being naked in mixed-sex social settings is a moral taboo. And when a developer targets such a conservative area for a major naturist development of 1034 homes, one would expect a major backlash from the population - people carrying torches down the main street, demanding the capture and execution of the monster in their midst. And there is indeed some of that, but beneath the moral outrage simmers some unabashed greed for the potential financial boon such a development could have during tough economic times.
Don Wagner, who has developed mostly small office and commercial buildings in the Naples area, believes he has a recession-proof business plan in the growing popularity of nude recreation, an industry that has increased from $150 million to $450 million in revenues over the past 10 years.

With only one other nudist resort between Tampa and Miami, he says a resort in DeSoto -- centrally located between Florida's coasts -- would bring 60 jobs and $30 million to the local tax base. That is more than a third of the county's current budget, which dropped by $11 million this year because of the economic downturn.

"This could be a major, major economic boost for the community," said Wagner, who is joined by three other Naples real estate agents in the venture.
While many in the area are vocally opposed to the nudist development, some are expressing their independent thinking, to "live and let live". And there is a precedent for a nudist retreat in the area.
"They were out there ever since I can remember," (Jeanette) Foley said, as waitresses exchanged jokes about naked cowboys and hunters using their deer stands to peep in on the resort. "They didn't bother us and we didn't bother them. If they want to be butt naked, then let them be butt naked -- who cares?"
The American Association of Nude Recreation (AANR) claims only 50,000 members. That's about the equivalent of the size of a crowd at a single baseball game. But research shows that about 5 million people are interested in nude recreation. Tapping into those numbers is the key to nudism's success.

A mainstream development like the one in Florida would be a major boon to the industry, taking it from the status of "colony" to the far more preferable level of "community". A community which pays taxes, owns real estate, spends money in stores and restaurants, and has kids in the local schools. When nudists have the numbers, they become neighbors instead of intruders, friends instead of strangers. Keep an eye on the Naples development to gauge the future of naturism and nudism.

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Friday, April 18, 2008

"Clothes Don't Make You Smaller"


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The Weekend Newds 4/18/08

  • A revolutionary Persian artist incorporates images of nude women in Mosque settings in order to challenge "the idea that Muslim women should be hidden behind the hejab". []
  • A high school principal has censored a student artwork in which the head of Harry Potter is superimposed over a nude image based upon Michelangelo's "Adam" from the Sistine Chapel. It's OK for the Vatican, but not for the school. []
  • Sexism is alive and well at Penn State University.
    "We still have 10s, and we still have nines, but somehow it seems like there are a lot fewer eights than there used to be," (Dave) Ricci (senior-finance) said. []
  • Apparently the media will never learn that a registered sex offender who goes naked in public in order to draw attention to himself is NOT A NUDIST. Yes, Brattleboro is in the news again. []
  • Ohio police are warning both students and parents that sending the nude image of an underage individual with a cell phone is "the same as child pornography". Kettering Police Officer Jennifer Smithhart is threatening to charge parents with crimes because they are "paying the bills", and to confiscate cell phones. [] In a related story, Utah authorities have charged a 15 year-old with "one third-degree felony count of dealing in material harmful to a minor, plus three class-B misdemeanor counts of lewdness" for transmitting nude cell phone images. []
  • Pan Ying-hua, a Taiwanese nude swimmer, is publishing a book to commemorate the tenth anniversary of her naturist group. []
  • An art collector is upset that the gallery show that he is bankrolling is being removed due to an event being held at the arts center because "paintings of nudes upset wedding people".
    "There have been accusations they pictures are pubescent and inappropriate and could be any age from 12 to 14. But there's nothing wrong with them; it's just bureaucracy gone barmy. I sponsor these three artists and I can assure you they're lovely pictures. They're all over 16 - most were done in life classes." []
  • Having no truly pressing matters on the agenda. Florida lawmakers have banned the display of "Truck Nutz" on trailer hitches.
    "I find it shocking we'd tell people with metallic testicles on their bumpers that this is a violation," said Sen. Steve Geller, D-Hallandale. "There's got to be better things for us to spend time debating." []
  • An 89 year-old Australian war veteran has pledges to ride his mobility scooter in the nude during a military parade to protest unfair treatment by the government in denying him a medal and revoking his war service. []
  • Generally speaking, Paris Hilton is a twit, but at least she has a healthy attitude about her body.
    The 27-year-old has vowed never to undergo breast enlargement surgery, as she doesn't like the appearance of a larger bust.She tells New York magazine, "I like how mine are, I don't like big boobs." []

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Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Daily Newds 4/17/08

  • A nude fundraising calendar project has left a group of Spanish women in debt and holding on to 5000 unsold copies. []
  • Have you heard Linda's Nudist Podcast and Radio Show? []
  • As I predicted, the body scanning machines which show a clear nude image of the human body will be expanding nationwide to most airports by the end of the year. [Outside Blog]
  • A Connecticut court has received a request to force a defendant to submit to having his nude aroused penis photographed as evidence. []
  • Intrepid reporters have uncovered Australia's most famous streaker. []
  • The third annual EXXXOTICA consumer show in Miami this month is going to be bigger and bawdier than ever. []

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Daily Newds 4/16/08

  • The nudist flights in Germany are back on. []
  • Shane, a Utah artist, has a team of body painters due to the demand.
    "(Customers) are not bashful by any means," he said. "Most of the parties I've been to, guys and girls, most of wearing some sort of a bottom and most people just do topless." [The Utah Statesman]
  • Sexualizing the entire female body seems to be the goal of Dita Von Teese, who has now posed for a book on foot fetishes. []
  • Nearly half of Germans responded that they were embarrassed about the nude male genitals and buttocks of a new public sculpture. []
  • Easy Target Department: A 49 year-old woman has been arrested because she is accused of selling her body for sex out of her own home. []
  • The once taboo male penis is popping up on the big screen everywhere these days. []
  • A Florida strip club owner is fighting for his right to have live nude dancing.
    In the suit -- filed in the U.S. District Court in Orlando by Playtime of Brevard Inc., which does business as Playmates -- naked dancing on stage is described as "non-obscene . . . Plaintiff maintains that the nude human body is a thing of beauty which, when combined with music and rhythmic motion in the form of dance, conveys an important message of eroticism . . . Nudity is incorporated as a necessary and integral component of these dance performances. The nudity is not presented merely for its own sake." []
  • Streakers are wanted for a charitable nearly-nude run at Florida Atlantic University. []
  • PBS blurred out scenes with nude male buttocks in a new version of "A Room With a View'. []
  • Oregon citizens are rallying against a proposed strip club with plenty of fear and loathing, but no hard facts.
    A bar with nude dancing would be bad for business, bad for Carlton's reputation and, especially, bad for local children and adults, speakers said. It could mean an increase in drunken driving and other crimes, they said. It could threaten the safety of young people and make it uncomfortable and unwise for them to play in their own hometown. []
  • A student challenges a poll which found that 61% of all Northwestern students had partied naked. []
  • Prince William has been photographed with his pants down, at a party where he and his brother challenged some women to see how many CDs they could hang on their nipples.
    Harry, 23, cheered loudly as one girl managed an impressive eight CDs. []
  • The art museum director who chose the nude self-portrait of a 17 year-old girl as the winner of a Virginia newspaper's art show has been fired for "supporting child pornography". Aaron De Groft is outraged.
    “They said, ‘She can’t be the winner; it doesn’t fit with the squeaky clean image of the Virginian-Pilot and SunTrust [their sponsor],’” he said. “And I said, ‘Are you kidding me?’ Every day on the front page of your newspaper you print a blown-up picture of dead people from the war in Iraq.” []
  • Rickets is making a comeback in children because breastfeeding mothers are simply not getting enough Vitamin D from the sun.
    ...vitamin D is called the "sunshine vitamin" for good reason -- the easiest way your body gets what you need is from the sun's UV rays. But our sun-shunning
    behavior the past few decades, fueled by fears of skin cancer and the sun's aging effects on skin, set us up for vitamin D deficiency across the population. []

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Naked Vlog Campaign

People are taking their clothes off to create video blogs on YouTube. From the ones that I viewed, most are expressing healthy attitudes towards nudity and body acceptance, and the naked vlogging community seems to be as close as one can come to virtual nudism. So far this project seems to be a very good thing.

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Monday, April 14, 2008

The Daily Newds 4/14/08

  • Time Out New York magazine wants to feature everyday New Yorkers in "some state of nudity". []
  • Photos are now online showing all the nude actors onstage in the new German production of Verdi's "A Masked Ball". []
  • A writer ponders the American obsession with breasts.
    If we, as Americans, refocused the time, energy and brainpower we spend consumed with breasts, we probably could have this global warming crisis licked in five years - tops. If not, women well may be forced to go topless, because of the rising temperatures alone. [The Daily Toreador]
  • The New York Academy of Art is holding its 17th annual "Take Home a Nude" auction.
    Ms. (Eileen) Guggenheim, who came up with the event's name, said that it started in the early 1990s, when she realized the volume of gorgeous nude drawings and paintings that the talented MFA candidates were producing. "We thought, these are gorgeous and really salable," she said. "Naturally, we needed scholarship funds. We were a young school, so it seemed obvious at the time." [The New York Sun]
  • A doctor running hospitals in Cambodia has turned down the $91,000 he was offered from the sale of the Carla Bruni nude photo.
    "My decision was taken out of respect for our patients and their mothers," he said in an interview with the weekly Le Matin Dimanche. "Accepting money obtained from exploitation of the female body would be perceived as an insult." []
  • The Vancouver Board of Education has dictated that teachers cannot "expose students to nudity through activities such as skinny-dipping (and art!)."
    It has erroneously equated mere nudity with sexual abuse, instead of with body acceptance. The 35,000 members of the Federation of Canadian Naturists condemn this misguided strike at skinny-dippers' rights. []

Saturday, April 12, 2008

The Weekend Newds 4/12/08

  • The debut of "The Full Monty" on a Georgia stage is raising very few eyebrows.
    "Who was ever killed by a little nudity?" Theatre Macon director Jim Crisp says. "People now, 30 years later, are far less shocked by nudity. I think maybe we're coming of age. Maybe we've grown up a bit. Maybe we're a little more adult about it." []
  • A guest on The O'Reilly Factor declared that the reason beauty pageants are waning in popularity is due to the fact that "girls just love to expose themselves". []
  • A Cypriot woman discovers something that is well-known by nudists when exposed to a group of nude women on a Greek stage.
    There is always something strange about seeing “normal” people naked. We are so used to the pornographic images of perfect airbrushed model bodies that when we actually see real ones with all their lumps and bumps, with different shaped bosoms and thighs, it’s embarrassingly interesting. []
  • 35 older people paraded nude across a Berlin stage, wearing only Mickey Mouse masks, for a new production of Verdi's "A Masked Ball". [The Independent]
  • A "gloriously fleshy" nude by Lucian Freud is expected to set a record as the most expensive sale ever by a living artist. []
  • A mother is calling for officials to ban an adult sex show after her 15 year-old daughter was admitted and allowed to pose in "slutty" attire for three hours. []
  • Images of the derriere of an Italian adult star have been plastered all around Rome in an attempt to win the woman a seat in City Hall.
    "People don't want to see these politicians' faces anymore," she said from her Rome apartment.

    She said she was tapping into her popularity among pornography fans as "an act of generosity" to help Italy's socialists, who are fielding her in the municipal race.

    "I am the derriere of the Socialist party," she said. []
  • 30 women are competing in a London nipple tassel tournament for the prize of being best newcomer at the International Burlesque Festival. [New Zealand Herald]
  • A Massachusetts town is considering legislation against any "establishment which displays live nudity for its patrons." [The MetroWest Daily News]
  • Cosmetic surgeons are now pushing Botox as a remedy for sagging breasts and sweaty armpits. []
  • People are outraged that a woman was not allowed to breastfeed her child during a court hearing. [KentOnline]
  • A sculptor is re-interpreting stories from mythology by inserting the nude female form into roles popularly held by men.
    "It's a reaction, a strong reaction to what men have done to our bodies," (Candice Raquel) Lee said of her nude creations. "A women's body is a force of creature and by showing her nude, it can help women to look at themselves differently." []
  • What is the appeal of bare-naked dating?
    "You strip away the clothing and the fa├žade, and you get to know that person for who they really are," says (AANR representative Carolyn) Hawkins, a lifestyle nudist. She adds that the experience tends to be "very stress-free.
    "It's usually the man who wants to go the first time, and the woman who wants to come back." []
  • A nude photograph of the First Lady of France sold for $91,000. [Amateur Photographer]
  • Is that the image of a naked woman reflected in Dick Cheney's sunglasses? []
  • The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court has reinstated felony charges against a woman who staged a nude protest in 2005, saying that "her behavior was a potentially frightening and intimidating assault on the public’s eyes". [Boston Herald]

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Thursday, April 10, 2008

The Daily Newds 4/10/08

  • The number of women under age 18 receiving breast implants has jumped 500% over the last decade. "There are girls and women who are devastated by the fact that they don't have breasts and their friends do," (plastic surgeon Dr.) Greenberg said. "They don't play gymnastics and they don't go on dates or they can't wear certain clothing, and I hear these things every day."[]
  • A writer reveals her disgust for the human body in declaring "Naked Gardening Day" a bad idea. []
  • 60 college students stripped down for an "Undie Run" and donated their clothes to charity. []
  • A new Ohio bill would target a "pack of perverts" who take any surreptitious photos of naked children. []
  • A prominent UK photographer with ties to Sir Paul McCartney has been put on the sex offenders registry for taking naked photos of an under-16 girl. []
  • "Puppetry of the Penis" is "genital origami". []
  • A "nude-in" demonstration is being planned for the Democratic National Convention in Denver. []
  • During the filming of "How to Look Good Naked" in the UK, participant Jenny Stockton stripped nude in front of hundreds of mall shoppers. []
  • First Lady of France Carla Bruni Sarkozy, who has a history of posing for nude photographs, enjoys a 90% approval rate. []
  • The first 2008 people who sign up to pose nude for Spencer Tunick in Austria will receive free rail travel to the May 11 event. [Yahoo! News]
  • Whatever happened to "parking"? Neighbors called police on a couple having sex in a van and blocked their escape with their own vehicles. []
  • The turnout for San Francisco's nude torch run was underwhelming. []
  • A woman in her 30's has no problem with being nude and simulating sex on screen, but is terrified of on stage nudity. []
  • "The Summer of Naked Swim Parties" is a new novel about a family of "free spirits" in the 70s. []
  • The Beltane Fire Festival is becoming more "family friendly" but they are keeping the red-painted naked dancers as part of the events. [Edinburgh Evening News]
  • Neighbors are complaining about all the "sexy noises" coming from Christina Aguilera's naked swims. [My Park Magazine]
  • The two young artists disqualified from winning the student art competition in Virginia are getting a lot of support and attention. Judges chose them as the winners, but the sponsoring newspaper disqualified the awards because the artworks depicted nudity. [,,]
  • Conservatives in South Carolina are seeking to enact a stripper law similar to the one passed recently in Ohio. []
  • Daniel Radcliffe is bringing his penis to Broadway. []
  • A 19 year-old Australian man has been fined $500 for streaking in front of thousands at a rugby match. [Port Macquarie]
  • A Vietnamese photographer finds that there is a movement of young girls seeking to have nude photos taken of themselves. [Vietnam Net]

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

The Nudist Identity

It's the age old question: Who are we? Identity is part of the social fabric, we are all tagged with some label, such as man, woman, child, African-American, Asian, Caucasian, civilian, soldier, and so on. On a less personal basis, we become numbers, from our social security cards and driver's licenses, to the slip of paper we grab for when waiting our turn at the deli counter.

A new art exhibit in Michigan entitled "Revolutionizing Cultural Identity: Photography and the Changing Face of Immigration" reminds us of the ongoing challenges we all face in claiming our own identities. While the show concentrates on the cultural aspects of identity, one triptych shows a young man in t-shirt and jeans, traditional ethnic clothing, and nude. Only when he is nude is he stripped of his dual identities.

When you are in a social nudist situation, you certainly notice the sex, age and skin color of everyone else, but withoug clothing it's impossible to tell anything further. Occupation, social standing, and other identities imposed by society melt away. In a way it's like getting a clean start on developing an identity, one that is unique only within the nudist community. It's who you are, not what you are.

Update 4/9 10:53 PM: a reader points out to me that the triptych mentioned in the article is the self-portrait of a young woman, not a young man. so I stand corrected.

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Tuesday, April 08, 2008

The Daily Newds 4/8/08

  • For one model, "vile" Gok Wan made her "feel bad" naked. [Daily Mail] In a related story, Wan does not want to work with men because of "moobs". [The Sun]
  • The Parents Television Council apparently does not know what constitutes actual nudity. [East Valley Tribune]
  • It's time to reign in female image burdens. []
  • Valerie MacCarthy shows off her breasts "a lot" in the musical "Lost Highway". [Bloomberg]
  • A woman says that there is some "strangeness" about seeing co-workers naked at the health club, and wonders how she can face them the next day. [Mail Tribune]
  • A woman compares the morality of a Hooters restaurant to that of someone threatening to do harm to the President. [The Bismarck Tribune]
  • A 38 year-old African woman walks around her yard in the nude at 4 AM every morning, and neighbors suspect that she is a witch. [Sunday News]
  • Jamie Lee Curtis regrets showing her breasts in movies when she was younger because she "didn't know she was gonna have a child". []
  • Wal-Mart has apologized to a Wisconsin woman who was kicked out of one of the stores for breastfeeding her child. []
  • The Feds are suing Fox for broadcasting "offending body parts (which) were electronically obscured." [AdWeek]
  • Government officials in a UK town have granted six lap-dancing permits, but they have nixed pole dancing classes for children and adults because they were "not appropriate". [The Argus]
  • Bend over and spread 'em, here comes your "Boyzilian". [The Sun]

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Looking at Women from the Outside In

Seattle photographer Rosenne Olson's new book "This Is Who I Am: Our Beauty in All Shapes and Sizes" is called "a devastating look at women's dissatisfaction with their own bodies". The six year project is creating some buzz, and Olson is scheduled to appear on "Good Morning America" on April 13 along with some of her subjects.
"This Is Who I Am" also has earned a rave from Kate Winslet, one of the few curvaceous film stars who has bucked Hollywood's Dictatorship of Thinness. Winslet says that Olson's book "made me feel inspired, exhilarated, normal and beautiful!"

That comment was almost as gratifying to Olson as what she heard from her 90-year-old father-in-law who skipped his nap in order to proceed through the book's photos and text. He concluded, "I'll never judge people by their figures again."
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