While connected to the current heat wave in sweltering Europe and to changes in attitude about the body, polls show that a rising popularity of nudism in many countries of the world is also linked to Covid-19 confinement.
Naturists associations have been noting the interest in nudism and increases in their membership during the coronavirus pandemic — and the media is paying attention:
“You Can Leave Your Mask On: Nudists Wear Just One Item in Covid Times,” the Wall Street Journal headlines a recent story. The take in Vice: “The Ongoing Battle to Convince Nudists to Wear Face Masks,” while The Telegraph runs with “Clothes off, masks on: America’s nudist resorts reopen.” France 24 reports that “Nudists adapt to Covid times,” as CTVNews reports on “Getting naked in quarantine: Interest peaks in nudist lifestyle.”
In other words, nudism has become a thing.
The renewed interest in shedding clothes as people flock to beaches, mountains, nature trails and resorts in this hot summer has been linked to the hunger to experience a new sense of freedom as we emerge from months of lockdowns or, as Vice explains,“some go nude to eliminate materialistic barriers.”
Nudism on the rise
The fact is that naturists associations from Britain, France, Italy and the United States, among others, are reporting increases in membership over recent months — by as much as 31% between May and July in the case of Ireland, for example, as reported by Newstalk.
“The number of new people joining us has almost tripled since the beginning of the U.K. lockdown at the end of March,” British Naturism’s commercial manager, Andrew Welch, told CNN.
“Now that more people are working from home, Welch believes that “fewer people are worried about what to wear – or haven’t bothered with clothes at all.” British Naturism has registered over 370 new members since the pandemic began.
For Laurent Luft, president of the Association des Naturistes de Paris (ANP), a very active nudists’ group operating since 1953, the rise of interest in nudism could be due to the fact that “when you’re feeling confined and closed in…taking your clothes off becomes a way to free yourself a little. So, even in our tiny little Parisian apartments, with no gardens and sometimes no balcony or anything, we still have that possibility.”
Naturism goes virtual
As is the case for the travel and tourism industry, with trips largely curtailed and vacation resorts across the world suffering from cancellations, nudists’ destinations are no exception. No different than their clothed counterparts, naturist travelers have had to cancel holidays and business owners are struggling with the financial implications.
It helps that over the past few months of lockdown and like many other organizations, nudists associations have shifted to virtual platforms to offer novel approaches including nude yoga, gym classes, cooking seminars and creative competitions such as the World Naked Gardening Day photo contest.
The French Naturist Federation has been hosting live streams and posed at-home challenges for their members during lockdown — events including staging nature photoshoots and organizing a competition for the best naked gardening pictures, among other activities, with a clear condition: Members should comply with face masks.
Original publication 12 August, 2020
Posted on NatCorn 2nd February 2021
Reference to an article does not infer endorsement of any views expressed.