Confession: I have been working on this post for months. Writing. Reviewing. Scrapping. Writing a new one. Reviewing. Scrapping it, too. The truth is that this is a really simple and exquisitely complicated subject all at the same time. What is it? Personal labels, namely, my dislike of the labels “nudist” or “naturist”.
Every previously completed iteration of a post on the subject was scrapped because I read another tidbit online. Another opinion from another person about another subject, or the same, but that opinion gave me pause enough to toss out yet another past version of this post. The most recent opinion I saw was someone frustrated that the subject of “to shave or not to shave” was still being brought up in the clothes free circles. Their beef was that whether or not people decide to shave (or wax) was a personal preference and it had nothing at all what-so-ever to do with anyone else. Why did people care!?
Sweetie, I feel your pain.
The fact is that much in life that people form very intense opinions about, myself included, have zero impact on any other person until or unless we begin to impose those opinions on them.
I think my dislike of labels in general is similar to my dislike of bumper stickers and decals on cars or clothing blasting a brand name (looking at you Abercrombie & Fitch). What I choose to call myself on any given day, at any given moment is for me alone to determine. That doesn’t mean other people won’t come up with some sort of label they feel is fitting to slap on my chassis, but as openly private a person that I am (that’s correct: “openly private”), I know that a good deal of the labels aren’t accurate. Labels like nudist and naturist, despite my calling myself the “Accidental Nudist” for an article, have never felt appropriate to me.
Yes, I have spent a fair share of time running around in my birthday suit, but so have a lot of other people. People have attempted to argue with me that because I’ve been to a nude beach I am a nudist. No, it makes me someone who has been to a clothing free beach and took advantage of it to sun my buns.
So, what does it take to label yourself a nudist/naturist? I think that’s up to you, and you alone. I believe that non-sexual nudity is a great thing, but I don’t hang out at resorts, clubs, events, meetings, etc., with other like-minded individuals. Mostly, because I’m somewhat of a hermit, but also because I’m busy with other interests that I am passionate about, interests that take priority to clothes free anything. Having labels we want is entirely up to us – like bumper stickers and decals on our cars (or bikes, or laptops, whatever). Just as we’d all (most of us??) be upset to find some stranger put a Justin Bieber sticker on our car, I think we all get upset when a label is applied to us from people who don’t really know us, that isn’t an accurate representation of who we are.
Labels have baggage, no matter what they are. We’re all advised to travel lightly when we take a trip. I think the same applies for personal labels. Make sure that what you take fits and that you are willing to carry the baggage that comes along with it.