So…I’ve stopped following nudists on Twitter.
Well, not altogether, but for about a month or so now, I’ve stopped following / following back profiles that identify as nudist unless their history of tweets speaks to 1) their own fascinating experiences or 2) educational issues and perspectives.
Firstly, I’ve noticed that many (not all!) accounts that identify as “nudist” or “naturist” tend to follow image-infused accounts and/or prn. Even some of the staunchest, most “experienced” naturists follow several hardcore prn accounts. Associating with them drew prn followers to me. And, for some reason, some still seem to think that posting random pictures of anonymous story-less women inspires and educates us, no matter how often we don’t “like” or repost, no matter how often we say, “This literally means nothing to us,” no matter how small our numbers remain. All this created an experience where I wasn’t learning anything, often lost faith in the community, and left feeling frustrated.
The second reason, though, is the most important for today’s piece. As much as I enjoy reading the shares of the naturists and nudists I do follow (I truly value the posts), it often feels like I’m running around in a cage of the Mostly Boys Club, and that anything I share is mostly preaching at the same audience. It is very challenging to connect with more women and actually spread the word about clothes free living if I’m only interacting with “naturists / nudists” online.
As I’ve mentioned in a few other posts, the thing about women is that we are interested in life as a dynamic whole. Some of us don’t even identify as “naturist” or “nudist” even if we do spend most of our time clothes free, because we don’t see ourselves as just that one thing. If you look at how a lot of naturist/nudist guys post, it’s usually “naked time!” There is absolutely nothing wrong with that! It’s awesome! At the same time, though, if you check out the naturist / nudist women, you’ll notice many of them actually don’t spend that much time talking about “naked naked naked!!!” They post about politics, work, human rights, food, funny stuff online that has nothing to do with naturist / nudism. Exclusively tweeting about nudity just isn’t our thing. So, if that’s the case for the women online who DO have a connection to the naturist/nudist sphere, how much more so is it the case for women who don’t, right?
Several trends are happening right now when I look at various women outside of the naturist / nudist world. Women are talking about health, wellness, healing from traumas, human rights, reconnecting with nature, self-care (this is a HUGE right now), yoga, mindfulness, career, etc. We are going through a time of stepping out of the shadows and reclaiming our humanity. For so long, we have been silent citizens constantly living with violence, inequality and disrespect. People don’t take our authority and expertise seriously. We are thought of emotional, hormonal wackos who just need to be taught how to calm down, be self-confident and obey whatever laws were created based on someone’s objectification and symbolization of us. So, these trends I’m seeing with women online (and offline) speak to all this.
My own clothes free life touches on some of those areas. For instance, clothes free time outdoors is a necessary self-care practice for me. Not only does it calm my spirit, it regulates my body. And when I have that kind of concrete experience to reference, I realize that I’m not just some hormonal wackjob, that there are actually things about my current environment and schedule that truly are not healthy for me as a human being. So, that I can speak to those concrete experiences shows that I’m not crazy which, then, boosts my self-confidence. As a note, a big part of self-confidence for me is not so much being seen (naked) as we so often talk about in the naturist/nudist sphere, but being heard, having the courage to speak my truth. When I think I’m just emotional or crazy (as women are so often framed), I lose confidence. But, when I know for a fact what is good for me, no one can deny the truth I live. I gain a lot of confidence from that.
With that in mind, I am following other types of accounts, including female podcasters, women promoting wellness and self-care, journalists, entrepreneurs, etc. I believe that clothes freedom can fit into any of those discussions as a powerful life practice to support positive outcomes. So, this approach, I hope, could be a successful way of organically connecting with more women and authentically sharing the possible joy and benefits of living clothes free.