Ever been to a nude beach in Toronto? If the thought of being stark naked in front of another human being, who is not your partner or a member of your immediate family, makes you feel extremely uncomfortable, I feel you.
I went top-free for 30 seconds on a nude beach in France once, and it was exhilarating, but also kind of scary. Some people (like myself) are taught at a young age to cover up. Showing too much skin could be seen as an invitation for unwanted attention, advances or judgment.
As the bikini top came off easily that day, the feeling that I should be ashamed, or worried, came on strong.
Was everybody looking at me? Was I being judged? Objectified?
I wish I could go back to that place and time (not just because it was a fabulous trip), but because I would like to pat my younger self gently on the head, and tell her that, “literally no one cares.”
What is it about being nude that can feel so overwhelmingly daunting for some, yet for others, it’s no big deal? In fact, for many people, it’s empowering.
That’s where Greg Snow comes in. He’s the president of the Federation of Canadian Naturists, a not-for-profit organization that promotes the naked lifestyle, and says that it has done wonders for his confidence.
Snow has also been a permanent resident at Bare Oaks for more than a decade. The family-friendly naturist park, that was the setting of a Brendan Canning music video four years ago, is located just north of Newmarket.
The gymno-camp has been open since the 70s (though there was a 17-year stretch of non-nude use, from 1984 to 2001).
Aside from Bare Oaks, (and events like the World Naked Bike Ride, or the Pride Parade) there aren’t many public places in the GTA where it is deemed appropriate to don only your birthday suit.
Original publication 1 October, 2020
Posted on NatCorn 21st October 2020
Reference to an article does not infer endorsement of any views expressed.