Perhaps you heard about the company Naturist Cleaners in the United Kingdom. Several naturists commented on the company’s intentions. Paul, for instance, wrote of his concerns. I, too, worry that aspects of the company’s approach might sexualize women and detract from naturism.
Original Focus on Naturists
The idea of a naturist cleaning company is awesome. How often do naturists wish that society would embrace naturism? So, theoretically, a naturist cleaning company serves well. In fact, Naturist Cleaners shared via one of its blog posts that this was their original inspiration:
Naturists who often had to cover up and hide themselves from the cleaners who were not comfortable with their lifestyle, can live freely and be themselves. Not only do the cleaners have no problem with you being yourself in all your glory, they are naturists too and will join in the fun!
The world’s first completely naturist cleaning service is sure to make a big impression on the naturist community, and it is clearly only going to boost the naturism movement which is getting stronger each and every year.
Fantastic intentions appear throughout their site and Twitter feed. Yet, some aspects of the business’s practices detract from naturism.
Social Media Pattern
Naturist Cleaners only follows 15 Twitter accounts at the time of this post. Many of those accounts are naturist individuals and organizations. Yet, as a business, they also chose to follow @Lovehoney. This account’s profile description reads:
We are the sexual happiness people, here to give you the latest news and special offers. Discuss anything sex-related, share your ideas, or just say hello!
From a professional business perspective, how does @Lovehoney relate to naturist cleaning? This can confuse naturists and non-naturists alike. The message is inconsistent.
Cleaner Appearance Preferences
One of the pillars of clothes free living is body positivism. True naturists do not say, “Well, they aren’t curvy enough, so I won’t interact.” Body positivism embraces all shapes. Yet, that is not clear from Naturist Cleaners’ business model. While some areas of the site are body positive, contradictions arise on the Clothes-Free Cleaning Enquiring web form. The Cleaner’s Preference portion reads:
First, you should note that this is a required field as indicated by the red asterisk. But, I imagine many naturists would want the option to say, “Doesn’t matter.” Right? Certainly, some people might have gender preferences if they worry about safety, for instance. Honestly (and unfortunately), given negative past experiences, I might feel more comfortable with a female at first. But, why would naturists care about breast size? And why should a “naturist” company encourage clients to articulate preferences around body shape?
Picking Apart Women
Notice the body options on the web form, “thin, curvy, small breasts, large breasts.” True naturists would not care about that, right? And a company promoting naturism should not encourage such discrimination. Yet, this form encourages clients to scrutinize women in particular. You notice, for instance, that there are no options to discriminate against penis size.
Also, the blog portion of the Naturist Cleaners site frequently speaks to female cleaners’ beauty. An excerpt from the December 12, 2016 post “Benefits of Nude Cleaning“:
The benefits of nude cleaning are plentiful. Having a beautiful, nude cleaner and making sure your home is spick and span is a dream for most people, and now it can become a reality too, with this amazing service.
The great things about the maids is that they are beautiful, fun, intelligent girls who are great to be around. Not only can you look at their amazing bodies as they clean and entertain you at the same time, but they have glowing personalities and can provide you more laughs and entertainment with their conversation and their hilarious antics, as well as with their beauty and grace.
Many people and businesses value women based on how we look. People call a woman a “goddess” or a “queen” based on a picture before they’ve seen her do anything. People judge women’s work by their fashion rather than their deliverables. Naturist Cleaners’ focus on their female cleaners’ beauty echoes that. Are the male cleaners beautiful? What about other “manly” (blech, I hate to even write that) attributes like pectorals, abs and facial hair? And what does any of that have to do with cleaning and naturism?
One of the most concerning parts of the site was the testimonials. The company excitedly promoted its reviews page, as it received many 5-star ratings.
Observe the review from May 10, 2016. Sure, it is a 5-star review. But, is it a 5-star representation of naturism and clothes free living? Not so much.
All of this ties back into clothes free living. And since the company posts about naturism, we look at its responsibility through that lens. Encouraging clients to articulate body preferences detracts from body positive clothes free living. The body focus devalues the “living” service part.
Also, a naturist business must balance between satisfying client desires and training them to think along naturist values. This is particularly important since, as noted in their talk with the Croydon Advertiser:
The service was initially intended as a service for naturists, but it has expanded to allow anyone to hire a naked cleaner.
Ms Smith said: “We don’t say we can’t provide services if you’re not a naturist but the idea and business started as a service for naturists.
Some clients might wish their cleaner to have a particular body type. But, if the company supports naturism, it must discourage such discrimination. It must train clients by insisting that such details do not matter. And think about it – clothed cleaning companies do not send staff pictures for clients to scrutinize. Why should this one?
No more encouraging clients to pick apart female cleaners’ curves and breasts. No more encouraging clients to watch them like Netflix. Instead, the company should speak to their customer service, competency and skills – the living breathing business part.
All of this impacts perceptions of naturism. All of this impacts how we see and treat each other.