making do in leftover spaces – nude exhibit by catherine shields

Making-do in leftover spaces by Catherine Shields features a series of photo media works set in “ordinary” landscapes, alongside railway lines and corridors, throughout regional Victoria.

“Most of the time we just travel through these spaces on the train and we glance at these spaces and that’s what intrigued me to begin with,” Shields said.

In many of the images Shields had included her naked body in the scene, as a way of reclaiming the space.

“I felt thwarted by a particular obstacle like the cyclone fencing and the track and freeway and could see that I couldn’t go any further,” Shields said.

She described positioning her naked body in the scene as an act of defiance “to being stopped”.

Being a women she said there were often expectations including self-regulation and a wariness to enter certain spaces because of a feeling of vulnerability.

“So taking off my clothes was like a way of compensating for that, and an act of defiance in occupying these spaces” Shields said.

Read full article: ABC Central Victoria

barely in the family

Two weeks ago, my mother, aunt, brother and I went up to Manhattan for the day. As we ventured through Times Square, we came across a group of bare chested women body painted in red, white and blue who permitted tourists to stand with them and take a picture. I paused in my steps and, after a few deep breaths, shared that I wanted to take a bare chested picture with the women.

IMG_3383This would be my first time telling my brother and aunt about my bare-chested and clothes free life. My mom was over the moon and shouted ecstatically, “My daughter’s a naturist and she’s going to take a topless picture with these women!” in the middle of Times Square as she snatched my phone to capture the moment. It was heart-warming to see her excitement.

I pranced over to the women and informed them of my request, and they expressed some excitement given that I, too, would be standing bare chested, enjoying the right to be. The moment I freed my chest, the breeze brought a refreshing breath to my skin, and I felt like I was in my element. My mom was bouncing about with glee, and the rest of the world around me seemed to pause for that moment.

The thing is, just an hour prior while we were Grand Central Terminal, a random man had tried to attack me. I was fully clothed in a baggy outfit at that point. Fast forward to Times Square when I stood bare chested having a pivotal moment with my mother witnessing my public expression of my right with my aunt and brother nearby. I felt so pure, and my mom saw me as so organic and natural, yet, the second I bore my chest, others’ cameras went up, and some men kept lingering prying eyes on me even as walked away with my family. It’s interesting being a woman.

This experience, then, led to a rich discussion with my folks. I had been quite nervous prior to connecting with my family, because I didn’t know how my aunt and brother would react. They took in the things I shared about my clothes free life as well as my mom’s anecdotes from when we went to Hippie Hollow together last year. As it turned out, they were very happy that I felt comfortable enough to be myself around them. They also stated that it made sense, because this is how all humans were born, and that it’s our perversions in society that have created so many issues.

IMG_3382Subsequent conversations with my family about this experience opened up something else for me. This past Monday, my mom shared with me that my grandfather used to do paintings of nude people until the church scorned him for it. So he stopped and settled for working in a warehouse his whole life. I never knew he 1) painted and 2) that he saw the human body as pure art.

There is often the question around race and whether clothes freedom is foreign to other ethnicities and races. Is clothes freedom, for instance, something that black people just don’t do? I used to think that. But then Earl D, curator and Editor-in-Chief of, did the series back in February on the history of clothes freedom in the black community, all the way back to Africa, and I thought to myself, “Wow, my heritage is clothes free.”

What really brought it home for me was to find out that it have been living and breathing in my family even now, albeit suppressed. I’ve had similar discussions with another black woman where, upon reflection, she realized that there was a member in her family who simply enjoyed being clothes free. Then she realized that she actually did it, too, at home, and enjoyed it as well. So, on first mention, clothes freedom seemed like foreign concepts to us, but when we sat back and thought about it or had further discussions with people, we’d see that this actually is part of who we are, and there is a deep historical connection there. This is something is going to explore through a new podcast show “Bare Black & Brown,” so keep a lookout for that.


I am still reflecting on that experience in New York. It was an interesting intersection of being a woman, being black and being with family. As a woman, it reminded me that my body is often seen as something to regulate to control the behavior of others, and the state of dress actually seems to have nothing to do with it. In my life, I have been attacked or almost attacked in both states. So often I read cavalier remarks from folks in the clothes free community about how being naked comes to men more naturally and how women just need to be more confident. But the truth is that it’s just not easy or safe living in this world as a woman (and othered classes) period. And, whether it’s clothed people blaming our state of undress as inviting attacks, or some clothes free people blaming our state of dress (e.g. sarongs, etc.) for causing arousal / erection and welcoming advances, it’s the woman to blame for others’ behaviors in both cases. Really, I just want to be without it meaning anything.

Then, as a black person, initially looking at all the discussions about naturism, nudism and clothes free living, there usually isn’t much discussion about the history of it in othered cultures. It felt like I was engaging in cultural appropriation when I first started my clothes free journey, until I realized that there are many of us who do it, that there is a rich historical connection, and that it has also been in my family in some form through my grandfather, who just turned 80. This is mine to own.

There is much left for me to unpack after that trip. Ahh, the joys of luggage.

Losing your clothes just might help you find yourself

The Naked Truth

Ask most women to strip down in public and you’ll get a look of horror, probably accompanied by a deep shudder. Notoriously hard on ourselves, we don’t embrace our bodies as temples for our spirits; we fight them for their flaws.

 >Not so for three Okanagan women who happily dare to bare it all—in front of complete strangers. They’re not exhibitionists and there’s nothing sexual going on when the clothes come off. For these nudists, it’s a sort of shedding—a removal of the protective layer that hides the bumps and bulges, varicose veins and slightly saggy breasts, lumpy legs and puckered parts. The opposite of angst, getting naked they say, is entirely freeing.

read more – Source Okanagan Woman

body image movement film "embrace" world premier

What if.jpg

Taryn Brumfitt, Australia-based activist and founder of the Body Image Movement, will be celebrating the world premier of the documentary Embrace at the 2016 Sydney Film Festival.

“When body image activist Taryn Brumfitt posted an unconventional before-and-after photograph in 2013, it was seen by more than 100 million worldwide and sparked an international media frenzy. In her forceful debut, Brumfitt continues her crusade exploring the global issue of body loathing. She travels the world to interview an impressive range of women about their attitudes to their bodies, including: Mia Freedman, the youngest ever editor of the Australian edition of Cosmopolitan; Emmy Award-winning television presenter Ricki Lake; Adelaide researcher Professor Marika Tiggemann; UK talk show host/photographer Amanda de Cadenet; body image blogger Jes Baker (a.k.a. The Militant Baker); and motivational speaker Turia Pitt.”

Sydney Film Festival

“We’re on a quest to redefine and rewrite the ideals of beauty. Body Image Movement’s job is to harness and facilitate positive body image activism by encouraging women to be more accepting of who they are, to use positive language regarding their bodies and others, and to prioritise health before beauty. Our goal is to reach as many women as possible around the world and speak to them about how we can learn to fully embrace and love our bodies.”

Body Image Movement

Showings on June 12th and June 16th, 2016. Tickets available at:

Follow the Body Image Movement:


Sección de libros: La mujer desnuda, de Desmond Morris -the naked woman

The book is an overview of the female body from hair to toe, but it would be a book more if not start by a section that seems to me very important: evolution. Because just being aware that the female body is the result of a complex evolutionary process makes sense this work.For example, Why humans, unlike other apes, we occupied the entire planet? What distinguishes us humans from other species? The answer is neoteny, a characteristic that makes human keep juvenile characters into adulthood. And neoteny is the first thing that distinguishes men and women: men are slightly more childish behavior, women in their anatomy …But there are many other curious questions: why women have overly long hair, or have virtually no hair out of his head, armpits or genitals? For what reason we have that portion of skin visible above our eyes we call front, which have no other apes? Because Orientals have called epicanto, a fold of skin on the upper eyelid? Because female female are the only ones that keep the size of their breasts, even if they are not breastfeeding, like the buttocks? Because the size of the female buttocks is declining, but still larger than the male? Because the typical drawing heart of lovers drawing more reminiscent of a female buttocks own heart?

Source: Sección de libros: La mujer desnuda, de Desmond Morris

curator’s note: original post in spanish

naked women sell "naked" athletic shoes

Naked, the Copenhagen-based sneaker boutique for women, has joined forces once again with Reebok, with this latest go-round revolving around the Classic Club C “Daze.” Decked in tonal white, the minimalist sneaker features a calf hair upper for a uniquely sophisticated look

Post by @thedropnyc.


Questions from a newbie naturist

Joining the clothes free community has been overwhelming, but in a good way. I’ve been welcomed with open arms and words of encouragement. With that being said, I have so many questions.

  1. imageFor those of you who are single, how do you date living a clothes free life? How do you even bring that up in a conversation with someone you are interested in dating? What if they aren’t down with it? What if they want you to stop posting nude photos?
  2. If you live with your parents, and obviously this is for the younger crowd, how do you go about telling them you want to be clothes free outside of your room? For instance, living with parents, and even though she birthed me, my mother can weirded out when I walk around in a tank top and boy shorts.
  3. If you plan to have children – I don’t, but I’m interested to know – how will you raise them? At home they don’t wear clothes and at school they do? Will you live in a clothes free community? Will you homeschool them?
  4. For those who have been clothes free for a while, how did you go about being clothes free for the first time in public? Cruise? Resort? Meet up? What was the criteria of the setting that you would feel the most comfortable? I ask because I’m having a hard time finding communities that are not 90% older males.
  5. How do you explain to your friends that you live clothes free? How do you handle it when they look at you weird or don’t accept it?
  6. Is there anything else I should know before being clothes free in public? Any last words of advice, suggestions, things to be concerned about? Any safety tips?

Thanks in advance for those who respond!

I’m living Clothes Free and here’s why

I have always had a hate relationship with clothes and I think it stems from being self-conscious about my body when I was younger. I always thought I was fat even though I wasn’t. When I got to high school and joined the dance team, I lost a lot of weight, but I still was not comfortable. I grew up where what you wore defined who you were as a person. Everything had to be name brand, matched and the latest style. I felt like no matter what I wore, I never fit in.

In my first year of college, I wore as little clothing as possible not because I wanted to be clothes free, but because I was seeking a certain type of male attention. I later found out that no matter what I wore, I would get the same attention. My college years involved a lot of soul-searching and self-discovery that did not reveal itself until a couple of years ago.

I have always hated standing in my closet searching for something to wear and figuring out if I would get praised or ridiculed. High school was rough when it came to that and when I started working, it became more of a struggle, especially if I was trying to impress a male coworker or show up a female one. When I started working in retail in 2011, I lost interest in what I wore. I was around clothes for two and a half years and I couldn’t stand the sig hr of them. Why do people care so much more about what they put on their body instead of their real body? People spent endless amounts of money on clothes and I was so confused.

imageSomething I have always done was sleep clothes free. Sleeping in clothes is the most uncomfortable thing ever and I don’t see how people can do it. That is probably why I can’t take cat naps in my car, at work or sleep when the kids are at music, computer or PE. I sleep  much better with no clothes and I feel like my body rejuvenates better.

Because I live with my mom, I can’t be clothes free outside of my room and the den where I practice my yoga. Given that I came out of her vagina, I feel that there should be no barriers. I mean it gets no more personal than that, but seeing how many African Americans have been Europeanized and grown accustom to certain things, she doesn’t see it as acceptable. I don’t even know how to bring it up to her. We haven’t always had the best or closest relationship, but I think until I move out, I’ll keep it to those two places.

This is more for the ladies, but I hate wearing bras. I always have and it’s mainly because I have large breasts. Every few months I used to get fitted for a bra and it was always something different. Finally, I went to a store in the Houston Galleria and it was a European lingerie store. I got fitted and found a bra that fit perfectly. The only problem was, it was a few hundred dollars for one bra. I was floored. I felt it was ridiculous to pay so much for something that I would only wear a few hours out of the day. Then there was the underwear.

imageI used to be an addict to Victoria’s Secret underwear, more specifically their Pink brand. My issues with that were the sizes were geared more towards the body of a Caucasian woman. An extra-large did not fit like an extra-large should. I settled with underwear from Walmart but no matter what kind of material, underwear have always given me irritated skin, among other issues. About a year and half ago I stopped wearing them all together. Only time I wear them is that time of the month.

So, why clothes free now?

Well, over the past couple of years, I have grown to love my body and the skin I’m in. I love my curves, love handles, and stretch marks, along with every other imperfection. My flaws show where I’ve been and how far I have come. When I practice yoga in clothes, I feel like I am not aware of my body or my position and posture. Wearing clothes 24/7 is draining and makes me feel depressed. Yes, clothes make me feel depressed because I am a very open person, and clothes make me feel like I’m hiding a part of me, the most beautiful part of me; my body.


Growing up looking in magazines at models and actresses being skinny and fit, it made me feel self-conscious. Now, with all of these full-figured women, curvy and beautiful and accepted, it has made me realize that I am beautiful and so is my body. People will still judge me, no matter what I wear. I will always be curvy and full-figured and I’m okay with that. I’m healthy, happy and grateful for all of my experiences and how they have made me who I am.

Last thing, being clothes free and blogging, has been the reason I have produced so much new, great content. I have seen an increase in post views and am driving more traffic. I believe that because I have a new-found confidence in myself, it shows through my writing.


Simply Moniqua