How do we ‘normalise naturism’ when so many of us are coy about our own nudity?
Let’s approach this problem from its origin. Naturists are coy because society has great difficulty separating nudity from sex. So, if we are naked we must be doing something sexual. And if we are naked in public we must be doing something sexual in public, which makes us perverts. We are surrounded by media that continually reinforces this message.
As a consequence of this risk, many naturists actively hide their naturism. We see this on social media where we post pictures of ourselves whilst hiding our faces, or worse (but even more common) ‘promote’ naturism by posting other people’s naturist pictures, almost always harvested from the internet without the subject’s consent (which itself requires another blog post).
But hiding naturism is not confined to social media. It happens in the real world too. We are close to a UK couple who are very keen naturists but will only ‘go naturist’ abroad, never in the UK. Why? Because they say they fear ‘being caught’.
And how many of us are open about our naturism with family and friends? Far too few it seems. And the reason, we hear, is the fear of how people who are not naturists might react. We once met an older couple who said that they could not tell their children they were naturists for fear that they would ‘never be allowed to see their grandchildren again’.
Even naturist clubs, with their fortress gates, thick hedging and ambiguous signage unintentionally hint at a secretive world beyond the norms of society.
But here’s the problem: The very act of hiding our naturism reinforces the erroneous message that naturism is somehow immoral. Many of us who actively promote ‘normalising naturism’ actually risk doing the opposite, because when someone stumbles across our social media profiles aimed at ‘normalising naturism’ and finds our faces pixilated, or turned from the camera, or never in the picture at all, the subliminal message is that being identified as a naturist carries risk, and that risk is interpreted as arising from the activity being somehow wrong.
Source: Twonaturists Blog
Original publication 11 April, 2021
Posted on NatCorn 2 weeks ago
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