Nudists often speak to nakedness whenever they post. Some abhor clothes. Others complain that they have to get dressed for the grocery store. And there are the claims that you must post naked pictures to promote naturism/nudism. However, the community spends little time speaking to anything else inspired by naturism and clothes free living. Isn’t there more than skin to all of this?
I would like to make clear I'm 100% for advocating nudism. Everyone in my life knows I'm a nudist. Including friends, family and coworkers!
— Rasheda Beebs (@beebs_in_queens) January 2, 2017
What I am against is people whining that they can't go to Walmart nude.
— Rasheda Beebs (@beebs_in_queens) January 2, 2017
These tweets really resonated with me. Beebs clearly states that she is open with people in her world about her nudism. Yet, she does not obsess over having to hate clothes or be naked always and everywhere. So, why do so many nudists behave as if nudity constituted all advocacy efforts? “Show the boobs!” Are they really just obsessed with nudity like everyone else?
From the International Naturist Federation:
“Naturism is a way of life in harmony with nature characterised by the practice of communal nudity with the intention of encouraging self-respect, respect for others and for the environment”.
Most conversations focus on nudity while few address the rest of that statement. Truthfully, some nudists’ preference for close-up shots of genitals goes against self-respect. There’s nothing wrong with genitals, but human beings are more than their genitals. There is also a lack of respect for others. For instance, last year, naturists forced people to be nude at a clothing-optional beach. Online nudists often call “textiles” prudish and dole out other remarks against them. To be honest, it seems to be more of a fraternity than anything. You rush by posting as many naked pictures (maybe of yourself, maybe poached) as possible. Then, you chant “I hate clothes” all day, everyday. And some haze anyone who does not prance about naked 24/7. None of these behaviors express the intentions in the INF statement.
Some insist so exclusively on showing skin that they do not distinguish themselves from anyone else in the world. The behavior goes far beyond appreciation or respect. It is an obsession with nudity.
I lost followers today simply because I announced I "might" not share nudes anymore. Glad to know u came just for the nudes! #whoneedsyou
— Matt (@t3dus) January 5, 2017
…unless we change…
Okanagan Naturist focuses on the connection between naturism and environment. They post about cleaning the beach, seasonal plants and foods and more. CFL contributor Liz just wrote a beautiful piece on naturalness and her impact on the world. Emma / Socksoff1 shares tons of information about naturism without focusing exclusively on naked bodies. Felicity of Young Naturists America conducts workshops at nudist events on do-it-yourself health products. Gingerbread engages activism with state officials without disrespecting peoples’ right to choose or ridiculing “textiles.”
There are also many artists, writers, creators producing valuable resources inspired by their embodiment of naturism. You might be familiar with Spencer Tunick’s powerful political installations, for instance. But so many fail to promote these efforts. Instead, many cling to nudity alone as the end all be all for naturism, nudism and clothes free living.
These reflections and winter’s presence inspired me to observe other ways to embody naturism. Cold seasons often require us to put on layers. Not everyone’s body is able to adapt to cold temperatures while fully exposed. Ayurveda and various medical approaches speak to this. In addition, not everyone can afford a high heating bill. And not everyone wants to tax the environment to heat their homes all day. Others might live in contexts where there simply is no option to walk about clothes free. Honestly, I have no interest in forcing people to “find a way” to be naked. Rather, I have taken winter’s invitation to consider other ways I embody naturism and clothes free living.
Naturism inspired me to cut down our paper product usage at work. I petitioned and received approval to buy dishes for the office. Of course we use some water to clean the dishes. But paper product orders dropped significantly. Yay! In the health realm, AmusingMuse inspired me to go on regular outdoors walks for my exercise regimen. These outdoor strolls remind me that I am part of and have an impact on the environment. I also committed to observing habits I engage to cope with stress and anxiety and finding healthier ways to balance. I stopped hating my body for its limitation and, instead, began listening to its wisdom.
Naturism paired with my yoga practice also show me how much I have in common with others. Often I find myself judging others for what they do. Their actions piss me off. My emotions toss about because of something someone else did. But, spending time in nude meditation, reflection and open conversation with others reminded me that I the same them. I do the same things that piss me off. So, now, even though I still feel things in response to others’ actions, I also respect that I am just as human as they.
Sure, I share my clothes free life online on certain platforms. But my embodiment does not end with nudity. I do not hate clothes. Sometimes I like going out in artistic wrapping. I also enjoy high heels every now and then, even though I also loving barefooting. So, yes, I love being clothes free. But, like many others, naturism inspires me to look at so much more in the world.
As you might have seen, clothesfreelife.com launched two challenges for 2017. The first is “A year of living clothes free challenge.” People are invited to share how they embody clothes free living.
The second is a reading challenge. This invites people to read works on topics related to naturism, nudism and clothes free living. You might even come across books CFL didn’t yet know about! Great! Share about them!
These challenges invite us to move beyond skin and fraternity. This does not require us to forsake nudity. Rather, it is a prompt to consider the bigger picture.
So, how about it? How do naturism, nudism and clothes free living inspire you? In what ways, beyond nudity, have you shifted your life thanks to that inspiration?