wow: i’m here, i’m me

August 19-21, 2016 I found myself running around the hills and trees of Camp Ramblewood stark naked during Field Festival 2016. I was one of very few women who had opted to go nude at this clothing optional event. What’s more is that I was the only black woman who chose to bare much of anything. Black women wore the most clothing of all women present at that festival, considering that even other women of color experimented with going bare chested or completely nude.

I find nothing wrong with one choosing to wear clothes. I believe that we all should have the right to choose how much or how little we want to wear and to be respected. I did not poll the women at the festival to ask them why they chose to wear what they wore. In fact, many people took this festival as an opportunity to use clothing etc. to express themselves in ways they might not normally get to do in la vie quotidienne. However, this observed pattern around black women at the festival raised some thoughts for me, personally, given conversations I have had with women of color, recent news media and stories shared by black women through various mediums. Read more

Understanding SnapChat Privacy

If you have ever used SnapChat you might of wondered how the privacy settings work, so I’ve done quite a bit of work testing SnapChat Privacy settings and how they all work.

I used to think that by changing your account from “Everyone” to “Friends Only” would also change the privacy level of current snaps on your story. However that is in fact NOT the case.

The Privacy setting on your SnapChat only conforms to when you posted said snap to your story. For example if you posted photo A  to your story when it was set to “Everyone” and later you changed it to “Friends Only”, photo A can still be seen by “Everyone” and it’s privacy setting didn’t change.

Here are the general permissions that SnapChat allows

“Everyone” permission

  • If you have your privacy set to Everyone they will see all your story snaps without you having to add them back as a friend.

“Friends Only” permission

  • If you have your privacy set to Friends Only they will only see your story if you added them as a friend.

“Custom” Permission

  • If you have your privacy set to Custom they will only see your story if u haven’t blocked them otherwise.

Below are different scenarios that I tested and have results for each one as well.

New Friends (previously not your friend)

  • If you have your privacy set to Everyone they will see all your story snaps.
  • If you have your privacy set to Friends Only they will see all your story snaps.
  • If your privacy was set to Custom they won’t see any of your story snaps except new ones u add after they become your friend unless you block them.

Removing a friend

So you just removed a friend from your SnapChat & now you believe they can’t see your snaps anymore? Well u might be wrong!

Removing a friend from your list doesn’t remove yourself from their list so:

  • If you have your privacy set to Everyone they will see all your story snaps.
  • If you have your privacy set to Friends Only they shouldn’t be able to see your story snaps anymore.
  • If you have your privacy set to Custom they shouldn’t be able to see your story snaps anymore.

I hope this was helpful and please comment if you have questions, or hit me up on Twitter or SnapChat: t3dus

wow: going out there

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.

Why? Read more

"more than pics" in other contexts

Today’s Wednesday post looks at thoughts shared on a podcast episode regarding the importance of experience vs. pictures for the transgender community.

I recently listened to the podcast Another Round, Episode 14 “Multitudity” with guest Tiq Milan during which Milan spoke to a number of issues facing the transgender community in terms of advocacy, advertising and strategy. One thing Milan noted is the importance of experience over pictures when it comes to supporting the trans community:

Host: I know you talk a lot about the narrative of trans people, but also the visuals of these cable packages, where the B role is a lot of the body, like the focus, especially for trans people is, “We need images of bodies,” stuff, and that’s the primary focus. Do you consult in any way about not just the narratives but also the visuals?

Milan: All the time, all the time.

Host: What do you see often and like what are you trying telling them not to do

Milan: A lot of times, I’ll go into a place, like a magazine or a TV studio, and what they want to do is show a lot of the physical trans just putting on their makeup or putting on their wigs and things like that. And what I’m telling them is that we have to talk about the experience, the lived experience, not so much the body politics. The trans experience looks different for everybody, so people’s bodies are going to look different in their trans-ness. So to look at one body and say “this is how trans bodies are supposed to look” isolates so many people. 

As a counterpoint, there is a difference between an individual sharing one’s own experience accompanied by images of self versus what someone else chooses to as a representation of subject. For example, in this same podcast episode, the hosts and guests mentioned how powerful it was to witness people’s participation in Trans Visibility Day on Tumblr by sharing themselves. However, when they talked about how “trans” topics are packaged and promoted, the imagery chosen to sell those shows and products were very ineffective.

“But I would like to think that I’m compelling not just because of the way I look. That I have something intelligent, smart, insightful, even moving to say.” – Laverne Cox

clothesfreelife.com recently launched its More Than Pics campaign to support outlets that treat clothes freedom, naturism and nudism by doing more than blog pictures, and other individuals and groups have also articulated that they will no longer reblog random pictures for promotion. Whenever some challenge the effectiveness of reblogging random images, others still argue that the images help promote the cause. While everyone is entitled to their opinions, there is wisdom in observing trends and conversations taking place in other contexts. The podcast episode referenced in this post, while not themed around clothes freedom, naturism or nudism, spoke to the same issue of pics vs. experience. The trans community is finding shares of lived experiences to be much more valuable and encouraging than random promotional images.

I feel similarly when I think about my experience and observations as a woman in the clothes free community. I and women I follow post our own individual images with commentary about our clothes free yoga, cooking, reading, fitness, work, etc. In this context, we are documenting our own lives, with our own words, on our own terms. This is quite different from the posed images of women that accounts fish from the internet and brand “naturist” to sell the philosophy product.

The responses to the pictures are also very telling. So many people, without knowing anything about the models in the picture, claim the model to be free, exposed, brave. But the reality is that the model’s lack of clothing does not tell us anything about who they are, what they value, or what’s going on in their lives. And those accounts don’t ask; they slap a naturist/nudist label on it and tell people to repost. A review of who “likes” the pic reveals that it is usually men and few to zero women. It’s alarming how so many think the posed images are authentic and natural, forgetting that the person is a model posing for a shot. There is no story, and yet the images are promoted as authentic representations of naturism / nudism.

Then, of course, I and others respond, “OK, but we don’t see ourselves reflected in that.” I don’t mean that as just a comment on physical features; I am literally never crawling through desert sands on my knees or reclining in the middle of a road waiting for a camera to take my picture. Those fantasies don’t communicate any kind of healing, powerful lived experience. They don’t illustrate what it’s like to use clothes free living as a way to reconnect to nature or become more honest with self and others.  If someone snapped a pic of me and tossed it around the internet without my own voice, you’d never know that, for me, clothes free living is helping heal eating disorders and listen more keenly to my body’s health needs.

“We are looking for justice for so many trans people across this country. And by focusing on bodies, we don’t focus on the lived realities of that oppression and that discrimination.” -Laverne Cox in response to Katie Couric’s question about society’s preoccupation with trans people’s genitals

In the same way that the images cable companies use to sell trans don’t resonate with the trans community, the random images nudists use to promote nudism are not very effective at reaching people who don’t already know about it. Just as the trans community wants to hear more about lived experiences, life shares are what resonate deeply with those who engage clothes freedom, and even those who do not. When I share the ways in which clothes freedom helps relieve my anxiety when I get to be in nature, how focused I feel working clothes free, how it helps me listen to my body more, they get that in a way that they never would by scrolling through 100 random naked pics of posed strangers on Tumblr.

Random promotional pics just aren’t cutting it, not only in the clothes free community, but in many other contexts at large. People all over are saying that they want more than pics, that they want something lived and breathed.

People want soul.

 

periscope to institute moderation by jury of peers

Editor’s note: This is an interesting development, given the struggles mentioned by various folks in the clothes free / naturist / nudist community. Many have expressed frustration regarding Facebook’s and Instagram’s inconsistent and narrow policies concerning nudity, noting the many times they have been banned from the platforms. The idea of instituting moderation through a jury of peers provides a different approach.

For those who have stepped into the land of Periscope, there is the concern about comments from the crowd, especially for the clothes free community. I have seen some inappropriate abusive comments from Periscope users even on a clothesfreelife.com Periscope cast. Although there are already some measures in Periscope to address commenting, this new feature sounds like another interesting option.

Rather going by a small and distant group’s opinions from the top, those directly connected with the context and material get to make the call. Of course, there is a hope that the majority of those watching, say, a naturist live cast, are actually those who get the non sexual approach to nudity. Otherwise, if the audience skews mostly towards those who think similarly to the trolls, then a different mechanism for comment control might be better.


From the article:

Are you being a trolling slimeball on Periscope?

Get ready to face a flash mob jury of your peers who can shut you down in a matter of seconds.

Periscope, Twitter’s livestreaming app, on Tuesday announced that it was handing over comment moderation to users.

This is a marked break from the status quo, where platforms such as Twitter and Facebook take it upon themselves to be comment cops, determining what content breaks their policies. They have “report” buttons, but the platform’s moderation process can take a while.

Besides the time lag, Periscope says, the people best suited to deem whether somebody’s out of line are those in the conversation.

From the announcement:

People in a broadcast are best suited to determine what’s okay and what’s not. Context matters  –  for example, a comment that might be okay in a comedy broadcast might not be okay somewhere else.

Read full article: Naked Security

Ghanaian star asks guys to stop sending her nude pictures

Budding talented dancehall artiste known in real life as Priscilla Opoku Kwarteng aka Ebony Reigns has pleaded with guys to stop sending her nude pictures.

The unsung nominee told Blagogee.com, she has pictures of guys flaunting different kinds of their manhood sent to her via social media platforms.

According to her “I have received dozens of guys sending me nude pictures on my social media handles (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) the possibility of these pictures whenever I go on social media is 99%.”

Read more: Ghana Web

Editor’s Note: Observed that some of the comments blame her, stating that she is essentially “asking for it.” One comment literally tells her to “shut up.” Others instruct her to publish them. While blocking is absolutely an option, the victim-blaming and absence of any responsibility / accountability regarding the senders of the pictures cannot and should not be ignored. In addition, blocking individuals still does not change the greater issue of large groups thinking it’s OK to send these kinds of pictures.

wow: women are not marketing objects

A short and sweet reflection for Women on Wednesdays today.

As much as the clothes free / naturist / nudist community talks about how these movements aren’t just about naked bodies, I still see large numbers of retweets of nameless, story-less images.

The following tweet came through my feed today via someone’s retweeting activities:

https://twitter.com/lovenudists/status/733293013896691713

 

For me, these kinds of tweets are exactly why the movement is not making great headway. British Naturism is hosting “Women in Naturism” in one week, and yet people are still trying to draw women into naturism by using the same marketing techniques that the rest of society employs to sell their ideas and products.

And the clothes free community, including those who call themselves experienced, long-time nudists, keeps re-tweeting these images.

The account that posted this image claims that sharing this picture is the way to get the word out about how wonderful nudism is. But when I look at this picture, all I’m reminded of are these advertisements from society:

burger king

cabana ad

business insider

jewelry

keep her where she belongs

It’s the same nameless woman object on every single image.

These advertisements are part of the same conversations we women have concerning body image and body acceptance. Is it no wonder, then, why some of us might not trust the clothes free community that claims to not obsess over bodies or care what people look like, when what’s touted as the best representation of nudism is the same woman held down at her breasts by a man’s be-jeweled hands? Is it any wonder why some of us might be hesitant to step into the community, particularly in gender-mixed social settings, when what we see are people taking our images to promote their ideas, rather than sharing themselves?

We claim to care about more than the body, but this body (in various gender forms, I should add, because I’ve seen the young over-muscled male ones used, too) is the one used to promote nudism without name, without story.

Many clothes free folks claim to be different, dare I say “above” the “textiles,” but at the end of the day, many use the same stuff to market their nudist ideas.

I had two tweets in response to all of this:

https://twitter.com/hontouniheart/status/735538538461200385

 

https://twitter.com/hontouniheart/status/735539548156010497

It is challenging for me as I connect with women here and there, to convince them that this is a safe space, that they can just be themselves and be respected and honored as human beings, when really, it looks to be more of the same of what we deal with everywhere else in life. These tactics will never work.

All of the women with whom I’ve connected online have always been more interested in what it is I have to say or write rather than my naked body. Whether through extensive Skype calls, text chats, letters or even just quick comment replies to Instagram, Flickr or Twitter posts, every last one of them has always been more interested in my words. Every single woman.

So the clothes free community needs to keep this in mind when trying to market naturism, nudism and clothes free life. If you want to reach women, don’t sell women to women. We’re interested in stories.

Honestly, the best way to promote naturism / nudism / and clothes freedom is to just be you.

Genesia Alves on our attitude towards nudity?

Editor’s note: A thought-provoking opinion piece by Genesia Alves on various attitudes about nudity, male and female nudity, and public vs. private. It was interesting to see that the author didn’t make nudity the item in question when it came to public vs. private. Rather, the critical question was really about whether to open vulnerable moments to scrutiny from absolute strangers online. She also raises a probing question about consent of children when it comes to being exposed to such feedback.

Excerpt:

A picture by Heather Whitten of her husband holding her fevered son close, under a shower was taken down by Facebook for being inappropriate, specifically with regards to nudity. Both the photograph and the censorship raked up a predictable furore. Facebook has often been accused of policing women’s bodies, specifically breasts, while ignoring more serious issues like threats of violence against women and hate speech.

But how we react to nudity, both public and private, is a combination of personal upbringing and the milieu. Traditionally, Indians really shouldn’t be bothered by nudity at all. Our tribals and ascetics are often unclothed. Only two months ago, at 8am on busy Linking Road in Mumbai, I saw two Jain men walk buck naked across the street surrounded by a small posse of chanting devotees. But in Facebook-speak, it’s complicated because for women, it is all about location. While the Slut March and the bikini are touted as signs of liberation in some big cities (okay, maybe two) in the less civilised parts of our country, nakedness is used as a tool to shame, to disempower, to punish women.

read more – Source: Scroll In

 

wow: my gaze, my terms, my story

For the final installment of today’s Women on Wednesdays offerings, I share some reflections on the gaze of the female nude.

Recently, I came across a piece in the Huffington Post “Who’s Afraid Of The Female Gaze?” This article covers a current exhibit at The Untitled Space gallery in New York called “In the Raw: The Female Gaze on the Nude”. This is a topic that has been on my mind since before I can remember, even prior to my clothes free life. However, when I stepped into clothes free living, the subject became of heightened importance to me.

Read more