It has further inspired me to embark on a more purposeful journey of raising awareness about, and encouraging, body positivity. As a thirty year old, I have witnessed the rapid rise of social media and, with that, the pressures that a ‘filtered age’ have placed upon body image. An age where the beauty industry sells us our definition of ‘beautiful’ through the narrowed and distorted lens of the media, and where consumerism prevails and profit is the goal; it is a breeding ground for mass consumerism, greed, materialism, narcissism, divide and loathing. We must be the pioneers to step in and steer it in a direction which ushers in acceptance, self-love, positivity and union. So I believe that, now more than ever, it is of utmost importance to grow into our most authentic state and have the talk about body positivity.
I believe that being defined by our bodies is what creates the unhealthy relationship between the mind and body in the first place. Most of the time, we become defined by our bodies rather unconsciously, from the moment we enter into this world in this form. Whether it’s because of cultural upbringing, societal conditioning, systematic patriarchal norms, personal experiences or pop culture, we are conditioned to see ourselves in a way that puts us at odds with our bodies. From unhealthy obsession to complete disconnect, being defined by the physical form can manifest itself in various ways. Narcissism, self-loathing and low self-esteem are prime expressions of this manifestation, and all of which tend to be rooted in superficiality and impermanence.
Here’s how I got naked in front of strangers: First, I drove down U.S. Highway 285 to the North Turkey Creek Road turn-off, where I followed globs of evergreens to a snaking dirt road that led to Littleton’s Mountain Air Ranch, the nation’s second-oldest nudist resort.
I entered a key code to raise the gate, headed to my room, stripped down, nervously walked to the clubhouse and voila — naked in front of strangers.
Now why I got naked in front of strangers, that’s a little harder to explain.
The Mountain Air Ranch bills itself as a family nudist resort. It was founded in 1935 for the purpose of Social Nudity, which means that you can be naked in a relatively public setting without infringing upon the privacy of others who don’t want to see your bits. Today it’s home to 20 full-time residents and more than 500 year-round members, many of whom stay on the grounds in RVs and pop-ups. There are rooms for rent, though, like the one in the tri-level, 80s-era, suburban-style home I rented one night in April.
This is not something I normally do. I’ve never been to a nudist resort, and my anxiety over partaking was as high as yours probably is thinking about getting naked in public. Still, I wanted to do it. I’ve always been curious about this lifestyle, envious of the care-free attitudes that I assumed nudists possessed. As a constantly-worrying neurotic, that sort of liberation appealed to me, the way that we grown-ups romanticize and covet the innocence of childhood.
I have a confession to make: I quite like getting around with my gear off.
To clarify, I’m only clothes-free within the confines of my own home. You won’t find me baring all on a nudist beach, or playing mixed doubles in the buff at a naturist camp, or at the World Naked Bike Ride in Sydney.
I haven’t always had a penchant for being a nudie-rudie; in fact, growing up I was quite the prude when it came to being in the ‘altogether’.
Of course, like any self-respecting toddler I used to LOVE nappy-free time and not wearing anything at all, apart from my Dad’s tennis shoes.
Maybe it was a British thing, and maybe it was because it was too cold in my homeland to be sans clothes.
At school I was always the one who would wait for the one cubicle that had a door to put my PE gear on rather than getting changed in the communal area.
The first episode of 'controversial' new reality show Naked Beach aired on Thursday night. I’ve put controversial in inverted commas because Greggs' sausage rolls have caused more fuss than this flogged-to-death format is likely to generate.
So what’s it all about then? I could say it’s Love Island with love handles, Big Brother with baps, or maybe just Oglebox (apologies) but that would be doing the makers of Naked Beach a disservice because it’s actually a very serious show – nay, a noble 'quest' to make us all feel better about our bodies.
A serious show requires serious people and that's where the fully clothed (boo!) social psychologist Dr Keon West of Goldsmiths University comes in. Dr West's genuinely interesting and insightful studies (including "Naked and Unashamed: Investigations and Applications of the Effects of Naturist Activities on Body Image, Self Esteem and Life Satisfaction") show that people’s body image, self-esteem and life satisfaction could be vastly improved by seeing more "normal, naked bodies and spending more time with our own naked bodies". Naked Beach puts this to the test with the ambitious aim to "help fix the nation’s body confidence issues".
Simon Sansome, 37, who runs campaigning group Ability Access, posted an ‘empowering’ image of Vicky Balch, 23, as an example of bravery.
The activist, from Leicester, slammed Facebook’s action as ‘discrimination’ and said he was left ‘appalled’ by the decision.
The image in question shows Vicky, 21 at the time, in a nude shot focusing on her amputated leg, which was shared almost three years ago.
Simon, who suffered spinal damage after a rugby accident four years ago and now uses a wheelchair, recorded a call with a member of Facebook’s marketing team.
The operator is believed to have said: ‘Anything that’s disturbing isn’t allowed on Facebook.
‘You have to understand, I’m sure some people find it disturbing to see pictures of disabled people. I don’t, but some might.
‘I have never come across a page that promotes disability.’
At last, we have an actual research study about naturism and its positive effects on body image and happiness!
The research was published online in the Journal of Happiness Studies on January 21st, 2017. It set out to investigate the “possible psychological benefits of naturism.” As the author notes, naturists have long been making claims about how naturism improves self-esteem, body image, happiness and has many other benefits.
But as the situation indicates, “very little empirical research has investigated these benefits or any plausible explanations for them.” This is sadly true. You’d think in an industry as big as this one, some organization would’ve funded this type of research by now.
The paper cites the few relevant studies that were conducted in the past 55+ years. There are a number of studies that show how naturism or nudity benefits children.
Marilyn Story’s research from the 80’s found that nudist kids had a more positive body image than non-nudist kids.
In their 1988 study, Lewis and Janda found a correlation between childhood exposure to non sexual nudity and increased self-esteem as well as comfort with sexuality in adulthood.
Everything You Know About Obesity Is Wrong For decades, the medical community has ignored mountains of evidence to wage a cruel and futile war on fat people, poisoning public perception and ruining millions of lives.
It’s time for a new paradigm.
From the 16th century to the 19th, scurvy killed around 2 million sailors, more than warfare, shipwrecks and syphilis combined. It was an ugly, smelly death, too, beginning with rattling teeth and ending with a body so rotted out from the inside that its victims could literally be startled to death by a loud noise. Just as horrifying as the disease itself, though, is that for most of those 300 years, medical experts knew how to prevent it and simply failed to.
In the 1600s, some sea captains distributed lemons, limes and oranges to sailors, driven by the belief that a daily dose of citrus fruit would stave off scurvy’s progress. The British Navy, wary of the cost of expanding the treatment, turned to malt wort, a mashed and cooked byproduct of barley which had the advantage of being cheaper but the disadvantage of doing nothing whatsoever to cure scurvy. In 1747, a British doctor named James Lind conducted an experiment where he gave one group of sailors citrus slices and the others vinegar or seawater or cider. The results couldn’t have been clearer. The crewmen who ate fruit improved so quickly that they were able to help care for the others as they languished. Lind published his findings, but died before anyone got around to implementing them nearly 50 years later.
This kind of myopia repeats throughout history. Seat belts were invented long before the automobile but weren’t mandatory in cars until the 1960s. The first confirmed death from asbestos exposure was recorded in 1906, but the U.S. didn’t start banning the substance until 1973. Every discovery in public health, no matter how significant, must compete with the traditions, assumptions and financial incentives of the society implementing it.
Hey friends, good naked morning on this lovely Sunday. Yeah, normally I blog on a Saturday morning, but I was workin’ all day yesterday—almost passed out. For the beginning of fall, these past few days have felt like how July and August should have felt if only we didn’t have such a cold summer. We hadn’t really had a 90-degree day up here in my area of Northern Michigan until really this weekend, THE FIRST WEEKEND OF FALL! I was down filming a local festival, and yesterday I was filming their queens’ pageant which was a good 2 hours out in the scorching sun and I’m in my sweaty polo—my bottle of water I’d been drinking all morning gone, both of my cameras’ batteries were on the verge of dying…and so was I. The pageant started at 10, and didn’t get over ‘til about 12:30, and I felt so sorry for those girls who had to brave the heat changing behind the tarp curtain in the small bandshell. Luckily when it was all over, the concessions were nearby and I got some pizza for lunch and best of all…an ice cold bottle of water! I started feeling a lot better afterwards.
Right on the edge of the park there in Atlanta is the Thunder Bay River, and I was so tempted to jump in for a swim—especially after I got a notification from one of my [textile] friends from a Christian ministry I belong to, he was working all day but took a break to take a cool swim in the river. I was practically green with envy…I so wanted to do the same, but I couldn’t because I was still on the job! Plus I didn’t have my suit…wish I could’ve just swam nude, but knowing the surroundings and how professional I had to be, I JUST COULDN’T!
You know when you’re nervous about public speaking and your friends advise you to “imagine the audience in their underwear?” Well, that’s exactly what I did when I performed stand-up recently at one of the most fear-inducing shows I’ve ever done … except in this scenario there was no “imagining” and there was no “underwear.” My audience was full on real and full on nude.
Yup. They were completely, totally, utterly butt naked. The dress code was semi-formal “birthday suits” and the guest list included penises, boobs, and vaginas galore. I told jokes for twenty minutes to a bunch of bare booties, although I was less focused on their bare booties and more focused on my own. See, I was equally garmentless.
Yup. I was completely, totally, utterly, bare-butt naked. At this point you’re probably wondering HOW? WHY? HUH? WHAT? WHY? WHY? WHY? Excellent questions and ones I’ve been asked by multiple people, including my mother, but her inquiries were more along the lines of “Oh my god, Jess, why?? Do you need to borrow some money?” and “Please, how much money do you need to borrow?” I explained to her that I didn’t disrobe out of a desperate need for quick cash. I said yes to the gig because I wanted to do it, because it was a unique opportunity, and because it was an experience I knew I wasn’t going to forget anytime soon.
Early in the 16th century, Fra Bartolomeo painted an altarpiece of St Sebastian for the church of San Marco in Florence. Though stuck full of arrows, the martyr was, according to Vasari, distinctly good-looking in this picture: ‘sweet in countenance, and likewise executed with corresponding beauty of person’. By and by the friars of San Marco discovered through the confessional that this image was giving rise to ‘light and evil thoughts’ among women in the congregation.
It was removed and eventually sold to the King of France (who was presumably less bothered by that sort of thing). So even during the heyday of Michelangelo and Raphael depictions of human bodies without any clothes were not necessarily all about art. This is one of the themes of The Renaissance Nude, a truly marvellous exhibition at the Royal Academy.
This show is packed with lovely things to look at. There are beautiful bodies aplenty, and the roster of artists includes many of the great names in painting and sculpture — Dürer, Titian, Raphael, Signorelli, Memling. As a visitor, that’s really all you need to know.
Este estos años donde todos necesitan traer lo mejor de sí mismos, estamos abogando activamente por que nuestra especie exista en este hermoso planeta. ¿Podemos ser justos? ¿Podemos practicar la libertad juntos? ¿Podemos redescubrir una relación correcta entre nosotros, incluso entre los humanos y la tierra? ¿Podemos recordar lo que es estar vivos el uno con el otro, más allá del sufrimiento y la supervivencia?
Yo creo que sí, contra toda evidencia que indique lo contrario. Creo que sí porque he tenido tantas experiencias de vulnerabilidad, momentos en los que vi que todos luchamos con la pertenencia, con encontrar un hogar, con ser honestos, con adaptarnos, con satisfacer nuestras necesidades y con cultivar la seguridad. Con ser nosotros mismos sin disculpas, no de una manera defensiva, no de manera performativa, solo… nosotros.
Mi difunta camarada Charity Hicks dijo que esto era “desnudarse”. Ella dijo que cuando entramos a las reuniones y espacios de movimiento entre nosotros, necesitamos dejar de fingir, manipular y vender, y desnudarnos. Cuando ella lo decía, algunos de nosotros nos sonrojábamos y otros decían “¡Ase!” Otros todavía encontrarían una manera de escapar del espacio por completo.
Hay tantas razones por las cuales las personas tienen miedo de desnudarse. El capitalismo nos dice una y otra vez que nuestro verdadero yo no es lo suficientemente bueno. Nos dicen que solo los ricos merecen estar bien y recibir atención. Que nuestros cuerpos no son hermosos porque estamos discapacitados, gordos, blancos o no agradables a un hombre, etc. etc. etc.
Quiero decir que las mismas prácticas que utilizamos para desnudarnos en el ámbito del sexo y la intimidad -la develación de la piel- pueden enseñarnos a llevar a nuestro yo sin arrepentimiento a cualquier espacio donde necesitemos desnudarnos. Continued…Read full original article…
Is getting naked the answer to our self esteem problems? As season 4 of the widely debated Naked Attraction takes to our screens, Leah Crossman comes to terms with the naked body and the huge amounts of positivity that we could all benefit from if we stripped off once in a while.
Naked attraction – take away the dating aspect and it is a wonderful display of naked bodies of all ages, shapes and sizes. Where most people feel awkward viewing such a thing on national television, I was fascinated. To see five real human bodies lined up next to each other, you understand how delightfully unique every single one of them is and it makes you realise that to have differences is not so different after all.
Self-confidence, particularly amongst young people, is something that we’re all lacking. This is understandable from a lifetime of unattainable body images being ingrained into us from the moment we signed up to Instagram. Tell us that it’s photoshopped however many times you want, but we will still try the latest fad diet to get that dream body. According to the Centre for Mental Health, one in 10 teenage girls say that they’re unhappy with their body and as our use of social media is only increasing, so are our body insecurities.
Keith Gordon from Naturism in Cornwall agreed: “The more people are used to seeing normal naked bodies and being seen themselves, the more they realise the natural beauty of human bodies without surgical enhancements or chemical introductions. This develops self-confidence and body confidence which leads to greater happiness and fewer distorted pouting photographs on social media.”
I’m not particularly overwhelmed with my body, I have the things I would change just like the next person and social media definitely doesn’t help with that. I long to have the bodies I see every day scrolling down my feed, but by doing that, I’m trying to live up to a body that doesn’t exist – is this because I never really see bodies that do exist?
For generations society has told us to cover up and partly, I think this is to blame for our self-esteem problems as for so long it has been seen as a bad thing to be naked. Older generations are more conservative and in fact, my own Grandma was pretty horrified by the show. She said it was obscene and there was no need for full frontal nudity. But for what reason? The only outcome from that mindset is us having no idea what our bodies should look like because we are never actually exposed to what a real body looks like. In search for this clarification, we have turned to Instagram, where our perception of the human body is distorted by camera angles, lighting and editing software used in excess. When we see a real body, or more importantly our own bodies, we label it as abnormal because it’s not the kind of body we’re used to seeing every day. Naked Attraction unknowingly addresses this struggle by showing us real and very different bodies.
Many have had a stab at this ‘naked taboo’ too. Take the Dove ‘Real Beauty’ campaign, a celebration of real women, in all kinds of variations and exactly the kind of naked, body positivity we need more of. It makes people feel confident in their own bodies to see how different every other body is, but it needs to be more prevalent.
Celebrity stylist, Gok Wan, also campaigned for body confidence to be a compulsory part of the PSHE curriculum in 2011. His work found devastating statistics such as, 70% of participants stated that they did not like what they saw in the mirror and 71% of participants said they felt self-conscious about their body in changing rooms. Unfortunately, just as this scheme was going to be passed, the general election happened and the campaign lost momentum.
I think Gok hit the nail on the head though, we should start with schools and strike youngsters as soon as they discover what an insecurity is. We should teach them that it’s normal to look different to one another and to love their bodies by looking past the photos they see on social media and tell themselves that those bodies aren’t real. Then as Keith from NatCorn mentioned, this would hopefully lead to less edited photographs online, which fuel this dangerous cycle of body issues and mental health problems.
Whether you agree with being naked or not, it can’t be denied that Naked Attraction holds some educational value. The way I see it, the more we get naked, the more realistic our perception of what a real body looks like. We would learn to love and embrace ourselves, instead of resenting ourselves for actually having a normal human body. From having the confidence knocked out of me throughout my teens, to being filled with body positivity as I watched Naked Attraction was almost euphoric. If one episode of Naked Attraction has that kind of power, then isn’t it time to get your kit off?
Original work by: Leah Crossman, Falmouth University, Journalism
Cherie Lidbury was on her lunch break when she first tried nudism. It was the late ’80s, she was working in a sales job in Perth, and took herself down to a clothing-optional beach at Swanbourne, pulled there by the warm weather, cool water and her own curiosity.
“I sit down on the sand. There’s naked people laying around, and it’s like ‘I’ve got nothing to lose. No one knows me.’ So off I strip, in the water I go,” the 57-year-old told Mamamia.
Kat Campbell was 19 when she started nude modelling.
“As a teenager, I was definitely not comfortable in my own body at all. I was someone that was kind of bullied in school. So I just kind of retreated into myself. I had no body confidence. I didn’t think I was pretty,” she told Mamamia. “But modelling was different. I just had this feeling that I wanted to do it – I couldn’t explain why. It’s just something that makes me feel at peace and it gives me freedom.” Continued…Read full original article…
Texas naked lady – nude vlogger If you don’t know her yet, we would like to introduce you to the nude vlogger who calls herself the Texas naked lady. Our committed mission is sharing the stories of ordinary people who practice clothes free life. Other folks cover the celebrities of naturist travel and experience. We like to find the everyday folks who like to share their stories to inspire others to live everyday life clothes free. A few months ago were fortunate enough to come across the vlogs (video blogs) of the The Texas Naked Lady (Nicola) on Vimeo. We believe the vlogs are an expression of authentic clothes free life as experienced by a deaf woman. She shares her life working on crafts projects, swimming in her pool, planning activities of everyday life just clothes free. It isn’t often that we hear the “voice” of the hearing-impaired or deaf in naturist circles. We eagerly share our interview with Nicola who vlogs under the name of the Texas Naked Lady.
I am just a normal woman. A wife and mother and wanting to enjoy life to the fullest. I was born in England but moved to the US when I was about 10 (and am now a US citizen). I’ve gone to school and worked and raised my family. I love sewing and other crafts and always like to keep busy. My husband spoils me and supports me in everything I do and I try to do the same for him. He helps me learn English better and I teach him sign.
I started this Vlog to reach out to both deaf and hearing, naturist and nudist, and just anyone who will listen. I want to share my ideas and thoughts on topics that I feel are important, and just some of my daily life. Hopefully I can reach out to people and share my thoughts and let people see that I am a normal person. I want to let people see that being deaf or naked or anything else for that matter, is not wrong, just maybe different than what you are used to at the moment. Hopefully by listening and watching, they will become more comfortable with both and learn to be more accepting.
I have made a lot of videos when using sign language but not nude. Most of my messages to deaf friends are recorded videos (sign language). I made a few nude ones for family and friends just having fun, but this is my first time really public. I have always enjoyed the freedom of being nude. It is just so much more comfortable and free and open. I decided that I wanted to have more of that in my life and don’t mind sharing my experiences with others.
This is my first public Vlog or blog. I wanted to start one before but really didn’t know how or where. Most websites I knew had rules against nudity so would hardly be a good place to show my videos. Vimeo gave me the perfect place to start.
I hope that they will see me and see a part of my life. I hope that they learn about being deaf and to accept people for who they are, not for their first immediate differences. The same with nudism. Most people are so nervous about it until they actually get a chance to be with someone who talks about it openly. So many times we’ve had people join us skinny dipping and the first words out of their mouth is always “Oh I could never do that!”. Then they start asking questions and we just answer them. Before you know it off comes the bathing suits and their next questions is “When can we do this again?”. Continued…Read full original article…