To the delight of hikers around the across the globe – and to the surprise of others! – June 21st is Naked Hiking Day.
The summer solstice has been observed for centuries in a variety of ways. However, Naked Hiking Day is a relatively new event. Though – should you be brave enough to approach one – advocates of nude hiking will tell you that it’s been practised since the dawn of time.
The date which falls on the northern hemisphere’s longest day (one presumes for maximum tanning opportunity) is marked by hikers donning their boots, packs and not much else before heading to the hills.
While it’s fairly common in Europe and the United States, the event is thought to have its origins on the Pacific Crest Trail. Known as the PCT for short, the trail stretches 4270 kilometres from the Mexican Border to Canada and generally takes the best part of five months to complete.
As Outside magazine’s Ian Tuttle headed to a portion of the track in California, he observed the track was “swarming” with long distance hikers – walking as nature intended.
Swimsuits will be optional at a public swim event next month being organized by Calgary Nude Recreation.
Scheduled for July 7, the event is open only to group members and their guests. Attendees must pre-register and the location is not being released publicly.
Organizer Naked Jeff, who declined to give his real last name, said they’re hoping to attract “like-minded people” to the event.
“The numbers we aren’t so concerned about, we’d rather have a good group of people,” he told CTV News Calgary.
“Nudity is a really big deal in our culture and we’re working on that and we recognize that a lot of people kind of need to see it for themselves. They visualize what they think it might be and it’s usually not very accurate compared to reality.”
Jeff said the group aims to push “body positive values.”
“We’re encouraging people to be shameless about themselves in their truest form, basically, acceptance of other people and being friendly,” he said.
“It’s respecting people regardless of what they are or are not wearing, which is really needed in our culture.”
Facebook has agreed to meet with activists calling for a change to the social media platform’s standards, which ban professional nude photography, following a protest staged outside the company’s New York City headquarters.
In collaboration with the National Coalition Against Censorship for their #WeTheNipple campaign, and women’s rights group Grab Them By The Ballot, artist SpencerTunick took photos of dozens of nude models during a Sunday morning demonstration outside the Astor Place subway station in Manhattan.
Several photos show the naked men and women holding nipple signs in the air while lying on the ground.
The women were shielding their own nipples with images of male nipples that Tunick called ‘donated nipples’.
Facebook told CNN it had been in talks with NCAC before the demonstration, but it had now ‘agreed to meet with the National Coalition Against Censorship and other stakeholders.’
‘Our conversations with the National Coalition Against Censorship preceded last weekend’s demonstration, and will continue on long after,’ a spokesperson said. ‘It’s important for us to hear directly from different communities who use Facebook and Instagram.’
At sunrise on Sunday, June 2, 2019, 125 people posed nude in front of Facebook and Instagram’s New York City headquarters at Astor Place to challenge social media censorship. In collaboration with the National Coalition Against Censorship, artist Spencer Tunick created a photographic artwork as part of their #WeTheNipple campaign.
The campaign calls for a change in the polices of both social media platforms to allow photographic artistic nudity. NCAC has written an open letter to Facebook, which owns Instagram, asking them to commit to supporting artists, rather than silencing them. NCAC has asked Facebook to convene a group of stakeholders in the arts to develop new guidelines for artistic content.
Participants in Sunday’s art action covered their nipples with stickers of photographed male nipples, to highlight the rigid—and anachronistic—gender inequality in existing nudity policies. The nipple photographs used to make the stickers were generously donated by Bravo’s Andy Cohen, artist Andres Serrano, actor-photographer Adam Goldberg, Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith, Whitney Biennial featured artist Paul Mpagi Sepuya and Tunick himself.
Nearly 200 skinny dippers braved chilly sea temperatures as they stripped off and bared all for charity.
The event, in aid of the mental health charity Mind, was held at Summerleaze Beach in Bude on Sunday morning.
Organiser Ruth Hunt was inspired by the work of the North East skinny dip – an established annual event now in its seventh year which has raised over £40,000 for Mind.
Teacher Ruth said she spends time simply listening to children who come to her with their troubles and sees first-hand how the pressures of modern day life are affecting the well-being of children and young people as well as adults.
Contrary to popular belief, Mother’s Day was not invented by a worldwide conspiracy of florists and confectioners. It grew from the desire of one Anna Jarvis to honour the memory of her own mother, and was first celebrated in 1908 although it was not proclaimed an American national holiday until 1914, thereafter spreading around the world to be celebrated generally on the second Sunday in May.
World Naked Gardening Day, on the other hand, is celebrated on the first Saturday of May and is the creation (naturally) of two men, Mark Storey and Jacob Gabriel, who founded the Body Freedom Collaborative in 2005 to promote a day for gardening au naturel. Boys will be boys, but this intended prank took off when it was endorsed by various nudist organizations. This year we evidently celebrated the fourteenth annual Naked Gardening Day. I am tempted to assume that it is being secretly promoted by sunscreen and insect repellent producers.
Eastbourne Naturist Swim Club and ‘The Renaissance Nude’ I happened to see an article online about Paris naturists arranging a visit to a modern art gallery – the Palais de Tokyo. It made the news not the least because 30,000 people wanted to get tickets to be naked in the art gallery. Although this was a private event and only 161 people were able to attend it was notable for being so newsworthy.
A friend of mine suggested we try the Royal Academy and specifically the exhibition ‘The Renaissance Nude’. I wasn’t sure this would have great appeal and I thought that pictures that were 500 years old might be difficult to relate to. After all many naturists believe that staring at others (dressed or not) is rude and we engage in eye to eye contact much more that non-naturists and that gives new naturists a comforting experience as they are given the confidence that people are interested in their personalities rather than their looks.
So actually we are viewing the pictures, much as a non-naturist might, to find out what people really look like, except that we know when we see an idealised representation that is unrealistic. This period from around 1400 turns out to be very interesting and the reasons for painting nudes then was often quite different from the current, often commercial, standpoint.
I wrote to them and a group visit was quite easily arranged, although we would be segregated as usual from the public having to attend after normal opening hours. The Royal Academy provided online ticket arrangements and organised a low key media release.
62 naturists visited and we were provided with a room to undress, the cloakroom stayed open, a photographer from Getty Images made some pictures and we all proceeded naked up the grand staircase and then up some glass stairs to the top gallery. Here we had the exhibition to ourselves for two hours. We were able to purchase audio guides and the main shop stayed open. There are also quite a few free galleries available to see and although there were several members of staff in the building who were not officiating with us, there were no signs of awkwardness. The staff who looked after us were very welcoming and at ease. Any trepidation that there might have been from the RA’s very first naturist visit soon evaporated and by the end we were discussing a repeat visit and we are keen to do so.
Some of us were privileged to attend a private viewing of an exhibition, The Renaissance Nude organised by the J Paul Getty Museum in association with the Royal Academy of Arts. The latter housed the chosen works of Renaissance masters (and mistresses) within its Burlington House headquarters in London. But there was a difference; everyone who attended the exhibition were themselves naked.
I have visited the RA in London many times over the last 35 years: but usually to attend their Summer Exhibition. This annual event has been one of the highlights of the artistic year in England now for over 250 years. The grand courtyard entrance, marble foyer and steps to the galleries are as familiar as my own home, but then step into that space without clothing then the feeling is unsettling and dreamlike. Yes, indeed, it was like that anxiety dream we all have.
My fellow Naturists drifted up the steps, past the friendly but nevertheless frozen faced security staff on our way to the main gallery. As we entered the subdued lighted rooms, the purpose of our visit began. Which was what exactly?
On the surface, it must have seemed like a bit of a wheeze for the gallery. “Let’s put on a show about how nudes were portrayed in the 15th and 16th Centuries and then get a bunch of 21st Century nude people to look at the art works.” And for the Naturists themselves? Well, any opportunity to get naked and promote naturism as a reasonable and mainstream activity is always welcomed. But then we have the obvious problem: what connection is there really between the two? It might just as well have been an exhibition of steam engines. We might all have been dressed as Firemen.
This Saturday, May 4, marks the 15th annual World Naked Gardening Day, during which people all around the world trim their hedges and prune the bushes … all in the name of being one with nature in the buff.
World Naked Gardening Day (WNGD) was founded and organized by Mark Storey from Nude and Natural magazine and permaculturalist Jacob Gabriel as a project of the Body Freedom Collaborative (BFC). In its early days, Storey had a vision of BFC engaging in “guerrilla pranksterism” such as hopping out of a van or showing up spontaneously in an urban environment and engaging in guerrilla gardening, which is the act of people who garden in areas where they don’t have legal rights to cultivate. (Abandoned lots, private property, neglected areas, etc.)
Despite spending very little money to promote the concept, over time WNGD has “grown,” and they’ve collaborated with groups such as the Naturist Society, the Naturist Action Committee, the American Association for Nude Recreation, and Clothes Free International. They claim it’s a fun way to promote wholesome and unashamed acceptance of the human body in a way that’s meant to be funny, lighthearted, and non-political.
Why garden naked? From WNGD.org:
“First of all, it’s fun! Second only to swimming, gardening is at the top of the list of family-friendly activities people are most ready to consider doing nude. Moreover, our culture needs to move toward a healthy sense of both body acceptance and our relation to the natural environment. Gardening naked is not only a simple joy, it reminds us — even if only for those few sunkissed minutes — that we can be honest with who we are as humans and as part of this planet.”
Some years ago you could barely, (no pun intended) watch a sporting event without seeing a streaker and the Crucible was no exception. Where have they all gone?
One of the most prolific streakers of all time Mark Roberts made two appearances at the World Snooker Finals at the Crucible, once at the Graham Dott and Ronnie O’Sullivan game in 2004, and again in 2008 when Ali Carter played Ronnie.
After a few good years of notoriety, during which he was banned from every football ground in the UK, he hung up his boots which were often the only things he wore!
Streakers apart, people do love to take off their clothes, with nudism and naturism definitely alive and well. And it can be closer than you think!
A farm in Doncaster is holding the annual ‘Nudestock’ event in May which is certified by the British Camping and Caravanning Club. However, the week-long event is well managed, doesn’t hurt anyone or cause any trouble with local people, and really if that’s what floats your boat! The theme this year is ‘Space’ to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Lunar Landing, although I seem to remember the astronauts wearing quite a lot on the way of protective clothing, which would have been quite useful given that one of the sporting activities is darts! Ouch!
It is a chance for naturists to socialise with other like-minded people and is a real family affair. Other activities include yoga, body painting and Scottish dancing and there is live entertainment.
In ancient times, even before the classical era, for example, during the Cretan Minoan civilization, athletic exercise was an important part of everyday life. In fact, the Greeks credited several mythological figures with athletic achievements, and the male gods (especially Apollo and Heracles , sponsors of the sport) were commonly represented as athletes. While Greek sculpture often showed men completely naked, a new concept appeared for women, "venus pudica" (or partially nude), see " Nike of Samothrace ".
Nudity in sports was very common, with almost all sports performed naked. As a tradition it was probably introduced for the first time in the city-state of Sparta, during the late archaic period.
The civilization of ancient Greece (Hellas), during the archaic period, had an athletic and cultic aesthetic of nudity that typically included adult men and adolescents, but sometimes also children, women and girls. The love for beauty also included the human body, beyond love for nature, philosophy, the arts, etc. The Greek word gym means " a place to train naked ." Male athletes competed naked, but most of the city-states of the time did not allow female participants or even spectators at those events, with Sparta being a notable exception.
The origins of nudity in ancient Greek sports are the subject of a legend about the athlete Orsipo de Megara . There are several myths regarding these origins; in one, Orsipo loses his clothes during the race for the stadium of the XV Olympic Games in 720 BC, which gives him an advantage and wins. Other athletes emulate it and fashion is born.
Sandra Ballard has negotiated a performance, for a naturist-only audience, on Friday 9 August 2019 in Oxford, of the play Redcoatsby the well-known travelling Mikron Theatre.
“Mikron’s radiant Redcoats will guide you through 80 years of Butlins splendour with their trademark mix of fun, pathos and songs. Join us as we delve into holiday huts, bonny babies and knobbly knees with guest appearances from Marlene Dietrich, Gracie Fields and Laurel and Hardy.”
This special performance will be at Toad Oxford Artisan Distillery, Old Depot, South Park, Cheney Lane, Oxford OX3 7QJ. Don’t forget to bring a towel to sit on!
Arrive on Friday 9 August at 6.30pm for tasting a gin or two, before the play starts at 7.30pm. Tickets for the play are £15.50 each and can be purchased from the BN website. Book early to avoid disappointment!
Naked in the city Naked in public, supposedly can be seen as an act of madness, free, a disdain of decency.
But for the lenses of artists like Spencer Tunick , Pablo Saborido and Erica Simone (in the photograph above), however, the attitude gains new meanings: stripping naked in the urban space can also be a way to strip the urban space itself.
The king paraded in his carriage, showing the population his new and magnificent visible clothing, according to the supposed tailors who produced it, only for the most intelligent people. And all those who attended the stop, elegant as they were, made a point of praising the fabric, the cut, the colors of the clothing of the clothes except a child who, noticing the obvious and screaming , the king is naked! He made the people understand what he was actually seeing: a naked king.
For different reasons - social, political, cultural, economic - the distinction between what is public and what is private becomes increasingly complicated. Few people know, today, what belongs to each other's terrain. At the same time cause, consequence and "solution" of urban conflicts, the construction of closed shopping centers and condominiums, for example, ended up transforming the city into a place full of walls and surveillance cameras and empty of encounters and visibility. We are so locked in ourselves that others or the other are somewhat invisible in our day to day.
And it is precisely the meeting or the direct contact, without any barrier between men and women of the city that the American Spencer Tunick promotes by registering crowds of naked people in various parts of the world.
Spencer Tunick in Valencia – April 2019 I have taken part in Spencer Tunick’s art installations before & I love both the experience & the resulting art, so when I heard he was coming to Valencia I didn’t hesitate to book some cheap Ryanair flights direct from my home in Ireland.
Through previous installations and the Spencer Valencia dedicated Facebook page I met with some friends old & new including two other friends from Ireland for a meal the night before. There was a real international flavor to our group with people from Russia, Norway, the Netherlands, the UK, Brazil & Ireland all having a good time with no politics at all. There was much speculation about what Spencer had planned and several of us had spotted a few cherry pickers (raised platforms) around the city but as usual none of us really knew what Spencer had planned.
The morning of the installation we met in Centre del Carme Cultura Contemporània Carrer Museu, a museum in the centre of Valencia at 5 am. We gathered outside and the air of anticipation was palpable and even for people like me who’d taken part before it was hard to resist being swept up in the buzz. There was much nervous chatter and introductions, I got chatting to a Spanish girl who was alone so I introduced her to my friends so she felt part of a group.
Finally the door opened to the museum & we were filtered through a small entrance way where we had to hand in our model release forms before proceeding into a large courtyard with a walkway around it; here the men & women were separated with the men being brought into a second separate courtyard with a similar walkway around, there was more waiting and nervous chatter.
After a relatively short wait Spencer came in and with the help of a male & female model Spencer demonstrated the poses he wanted us to do during the various installations he had in mind.