Just as racism and homophobia exist to varying degrees around the world, so does bigotry against nudists. It might seem offensive to equate the two, but in countries like Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan, where women who refuse to cover their faces can be jailed, beaten and raped, the comparison seems more appropriate.* Unlike homosexuality, becoming a nudist is a choice, and yet that choice is a fundamental part of my identity. I see little difference between a person’s faith and a belief in the innocence of the human body. The fear that exists among transgendered people, the pressure to conform, to continually hide from scrutiny, are feelings many nudists can relate to.
Nudity harms no one, neither physically nor psychologically, and yet we are never FREE to live as we were born as nature intended. The reason is rooted in outdated taboos from a time when slavery was sanctioned by God, women were stoned for adultery, and homosexuals were put to death. Our Puritan roots have deeply entrenched in us a fear and hatred for the human body, but what continues to perpetuate this attitude, despite increasing secularism, is a consumer industry which profits from shame and making people feel unattractive.
To break the nudity taboo, something that perpetuates sexism, body hatred, and an unhealthy sex obsessed society, we need heroes. Every movement needs heroes when society’s mores are challenged. For too long, we have hidden behind the walls of our resorts, far removed from the public eye. In general, there has been no way for people to learn about us, and so we are left with ugly stereotypes and misconceptions. Fortunately, there are intrepid individuals who have found the courage to act upon the conviction that the human body is neither indecent nor shameful. Throughout the world, these naturist heroes prove that we don’t need to feel ashamed of our bodies, that to be naked is a beautiful thing.
typically don’t include owners of resorts on this list, specifically because I feel they can be detrimental to the movement. It suggests nudity should not be made public, but rather, hidden away in special places reserved for that purpose. Surely, if we are ever to attain freedom from shame, these resorts will be shutting their doors, right? But Stephane Deschenes, proprietor of Bare Oaks Family Naturist Park in Ontario, Canada, is one of the most outspoken advocates of the nudist movement, often using his business as a platform from which to introduce newcomers to the lifestyle, all the while proving how normal and healthy clothes-free living can be. On his podcast, The Naturist Living Show, Stephane brings a level-headed and in-depth approach to the subject. It really is a must listen! The other thing I like about Stephane, we both share a similar, philosophical outlook toward what he calls “ethical nudism.” For Stephane, nudism is more than just shedding your garments, but a way of seeing people without prejudice, which is why he has taken a hard stance against the “clothing-optional” trend, understanding how most of these venues, like Club Hedonism in Jamaica, turn into voyeur, exhibitionist, and swinger clubs, everything nudism is not. If you really want to understand what nudism is and isn’t, look no further than Stephane.
Source: Being and Nakedness
Original publication 19 January, 2021
Posted on NatCorn 3rd May 2021
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