Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Nude Awakening: The Benefits of Getting Naked

There's a lot more to the nudist/naturist lifestyle than the negative stereotypes. And the movement is seeing a youth revival.

November 20, 2012

The following article first appeared in Bitch Magazine.

Consider the nudist.

In American pop culture, nudists conjure up a strange set of images. None of them are very positive, let alone humanistically celebratory of our physical form. As conventional wisdom has it, nudists are the people you least want to see naked, and their mainstream portrayal is generally played for laughs, if not gags. The title essay in David Sedaris's book Naked, for instance, details the author’s foray into the world of “nude recreation” with descriptions of bug-bitten limbs, dimples on the wrong kind of cheeks, sweaty genitals, and toilet paper stuck to reddened rears. The clothes- free lifestyle may sound sexy, but as Sedaris discovers, it’s anything but.

Perhaps as common a perception is that nudists are naive exhibitionists, and, again, this portrayal in media and popular culture is an emphatic punch line. From an episode of 1970s sitcom Love American Style in which a groom-to- be reluctantly accompanies his bride to the nudist colony where she grew up (“When you said “nudist,” I thought you said “Buddhist”!) to the 2011 film Wanderlust, which features a largely clueless band of hippies at a stranded- in-time backwoods commune, nudists are too often painted as people who, at best, simply don't get other people's discomfort—or, at worst, pressure them into awkward co-nakedness.

Full piece

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Nudists vow to defy anti-nudity law in San Francisco

Nudists vow to reject order from ‘bunch of uptight Americans’ to cover up but city officials cautiously optimistic ban will pass

San Francisco nudists said on Monday they would continue to walk the streets naked regardless of a proposed law that would order them to cover up.

City authorities are meeting on Tuesday to decide on a new anti-nudity law that is being supported by residents and business owners in the city’s Castro district.

The law would make it an offence for anyone over the age of five to “expose his or her genitals, perineum or anal region on any public street, sidewalk, street median, parklet or plaza”.

Lloyd Fishbach, left, who was standing naked at the corner of Castro and Market, said it should be his choice to dress as he wants, where he wants.

“There is always someone who is not going to like what you are doing,” he said. “I live in the Castro and I’ve been doing this since first grade. This is just a bunch of uptight Americans. But I’ll still keep doing it and if I see the cops coming I will run and hide.”

Natalie Mandeau and her friend Dany, pictured below, said they travelled from Berlin when they heard of the proposed ban on nudity in San Francisco.

Dany said: “If America bans this it would be a shame. San Francisco is one of the only places in the world where you can experience real American freedom.”

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