Thursday, December 27, 2018

Celebrity Naturist of the Year 2018: Emily Ratajkowski

     Emily Ratajkowski in Allure magazine.

It's becoming more difficult every year to find someone to name as Celebrity Naturist of the Year. While it's easier to find, say, celebrities who admit they are gay, or they play a certain sport, somehow, admitting or publicizing you're a naturist is not that fashionable or remarkable.
So the circle from which to 'recruit' a Celebrity Naturist of the Year is getting tighter each year: Dame Helen Mirren, Eva Mendes, Heidi Klum, Rosario Dawson, Kate Moss, we know they all like to be naked and it's not just to shock or because fashion brands and magazines pay them to take their clothes off.
But with this year's pick, there is at least a Wikipedia entry to go with: she 'visited nude beaches in Europe with her family during her youth.'
So we know British-born American model/actress Emily Ratajkowski was a naturist at a very young age, thanks to her parents. While as in many cases, fame might now bar her from seeking out public naturist beaches, she is still a symbol of body freedom.
As said many times before, one can be critical of stars like Ratajkowski because it's 'easy' for them to go naked since they are 'beautiful,' and their nudity does not help people with body image issues to venture on to nude beaches.
There are the stereotype reactions under media articles about nude events saying that not-so-beautiful people should stay covered and that somehow nudity should be reserved for supermodels.
Naturism goes against all those prejudices, as it is not about showing off, but about feeling right in your skin. Naturism is about going nude when you feel like going nude, and a naturist's ideal world would be one where you can just go naked anywhere and any time you feel you'll like it. For some people, it will mean putting on some clothes if they feel chilly, for others it will be never having to put clothes on again.
Going back to Emily Ratajkowski, she can personify the feeling of comfort that comes with body freedom, the nudity of the skin under the sunlight and in the water.
A couple of months ago, this blog already mentioned her due to her Botticelli pose. There is no need to repeat all we wrote then again today, but let's just say that I think that celebrities like Emily Ratajkowski and Kate Moss, to name just few, do make nudity more acceptable by often appearing naked or near-naked in the media and online.
Therefore, and due to the naturist elements in her upbringing, Emily Ratajkowski deserves to be my Celebrity Naturist of the Year 2018.
                                          Photo by Patrick Demarchelier.

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Real Naturists of The Year 2018: Association des Naturistes de Paris

France and naturism have gone well together for a long time.
Even as long as 50 years ago, when naturism was not so well known and little seen, many people knew that in France, there were islands and remote beaches where you could throw off all your clothes and swim and sunbathe nude without having to pay a price for it. Then Brigitte Bardot came along, the Cannes Film Festival, and taking your clothes off in France became a glamorous thing to do.
Over the past decades, naturism in France has attracted thousands of people from all over the world, not just to remote beaches, but to huge resorts as well, though its identification with the Cote d'Azur and the Mediterranean has largely remained.
All of that is changing again now. Naturism is moving inland, or more precisely, into the cities, and into the mass urbanization of one of Europe's and the world's largest cities, Paris.
Because of the impressive list of activities to turn naturism into an urban phenomenon, we name the 'Association des Naturistes de Paris' (ANP) the Real Naturists of the Year 2018.
If you look at their events' page, you will note more than just the usual swimming outings or nude sports contests, but you will also find items that made the world news just a few months ago.
Cases in point are the opening of a naturist space at the Bois de Vincennes, giving naturists in the region as well as tourists an opportunity to relax in a safe atmosphere, and the nude visit to the Palais de Tokyo arts museum. Both made headlines around the world.
In addition, the ANP has also been frequenting the nude restaurant O'Naturel, part of an expanding trend of restaurants around the world where guests can take everything off and enjoy good food without having to worry about their privacy.
Nude theater and outings as far as Belgium are also part of their agenda, and we're sure that over the following years, we will hear more in the mainstream media about their endeavors.
For their efforts to promote what we should call 'urban naturism,' the Association des Naturistes de Paris are the Real Naturists of the Year 2018.

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Saturday, November 03, 2018

Writing the Naturist Book

Just as I am pondering the wisdom of writing naturist fiction, there come my Real Naturists of the Year 2017, Nick and Lins from Belgium, with a book about their own naturist history, and how they build their successful image as worldwide Naked Wanderers.
The book, Alles Uit!, is so far only available in a Dutch-language version. The title means 'Everything Off!', meaning your clothes of course.
I hope Belgian readers - who at the moment must be flocking to the annual book fair in Antwerp - are more open to the idea of naturist books than those in other parts of the world.
Even Taiwan, where naturism is still banned, there have been some books published about nudity and naturism, though most were not given widespread publicity. The most recent of them was available at the Songyan branch of Taiwan's own luxury book chain Eslite, a major advantage even though it was wrapped in plastic with an age warning stuck on.
The naturist books I'm thinking about right now are novels - the same detective or spy novels you can find at any book store in the world, even at airports - but with naturist characters. Imagine a Jack Reacher or a DCI Banks or Bosch who is a naturist - and you'll  know what I mean.
Not an outrageously all-nudist book, not a book saying nudists are funny and laughable, but a true novel, of serious or popular fiction, where at least one of the protagonists is a real naturist.
That should be my New Year's resolution for 2019, write a 'naturist novel' which will not end up in some distant hidden specialty corner of just one book store here and there, but which could be up there among the bestsellers! Easier said than done, I know.
In the meantime, as a large part of the world is heading into winter, you can check out Nick and Lins, their Naked Wanderings, and their new book 'Alles Uit!' at their website.

Saturday, June 09, 2018

On the day hundreds, or even thousands, of people are preparing to cycle through the streets of major cities, including London, naked for the World Naked Bike Ride, we also want to throw a light on a development in the world of naturism.
Our Real Naturists of the Year 2017, Belgian couple Nick and Lins, are already famous for their blog Naked Wanderings, relating their naturist trips around the world, which recently also hit Thailand.
While moving around California and Mexico, they still found time to launch a new initiative: NUDE, or the Nudist's Ultimate Destination Explorer.
Both owners of naturist 'areas' - could be hotels, B&Bs, campgrounds, anything that once used to be known by the oddly historical term of 'colonies' - and their visitors can register and offer suggestions, descriptions, comments on one website -
The aim looks like being a kind of online version of world naturism guides - a list of naturist accomodations and areas around the world including relevant details, about location and transportation, whether "clothing optional" is allowed, and other useful information for a potential visitor.
In my personal experience, there are always surprises: at some naturist resorts, the restaurant is textile - which means you have to go back to your room and dress or undress before and after each meal - in my humble opinion, an annoying waste of time. Some naturist hotels also allow visitors from outside to live as a naturist during the day for a fee, which is useful if say, you already have your own place in the neighborhood but no official naturist beaches, which can happen in places like Thailand.
All in all, any initiative like NUDE deserves our encouragement.
If you are cycling today in one of the many World Naked Bike Rides, good luck to you, but you can also think one step further - and plan a total nakation, a weekend, or a week, or two, when you don't have to be concerned about wearing clothes at all.

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Friday, May 04, 2018

Off to the Garden of Eden

Photo Courtesy of JayManCan aka JayManGrow (Wikimedia Commons)

Adam and Eve were the original world naked gardeners, so why not follow their example?
In large parts of the world, spring is about to erupt. Even Britain is predicting 27 degrees this weekend, Taiwan is heading across the 30 degrees, and countries which are leaving summer behind hopefully still enjoy an autumn balmy enough for some nude sprucing.
The eternal problem of course is what kind of garden people have. I myself don't have a garden worth that name. Living high up in a building, there are plants on the floors of the balconies. I might venture out there in my natural state, but it won't take long before either the neighbors or the police who are regulating traffic several floors lower might get an eyeful of what I'm up to.
I  used to live in the countryside, which was much more friendly to naked gardening, at least from the size and vision angles. The garden was huge, and a considerable part of it was lined by walls of 2 meters and higher, not allowing any neighbors or passersby to see what was going on inside.
That of course is the ideal place to spend the first Saturday of each May, World Naked Gardening Day. You don't have to worry about any non-naturist or sensitive neighbors or passersby, you just do your thing, and not just on May 5 this year, but every warm day.
I'll probably never again own a patch of garden where I can enjoy truly 100 percent naked gardening, though I've always dreamed of living in a totally naturist community, where I never have to wear any clothes any day, except when it's too cold, but then, I would pick a spot in a warmer climate anyway.
To all those lucky enough or brave enough to spend a true World Naked Gardening Day, my best wishes. If you're not gardening and happen to be in Paris, with tickets already booked, this Saturday also marks the naked tour of the Palais de Tokyo Museum.

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Thursday, May 03, 2018

Everybody Can Be Botticelli's Venus

Photo from Emily Ratajkowski's Instagram account @emrata

I've said it many times before on this blog, especially around the time I announce my Celebrity Naturist of the Year. Just because a famous person likes posing nude or issuing nude pictures to the world, does not mean they are naturists.
For most celebrities, we just don't know whether their preference for nudity only exists in front of the camera or extends into their daily lives. As celebrities, they are unlikely to appear at nude beaches with Jack and Jill Naturist, but will prefer a more private environment, at a villa or on a yacht near an isolated beach.
Emily Ratajkowski is a case in point. She became famous for wandering topless in the Blurred Lines pop video, condemned by many  as an example of pure sexism. Since then, she has been frequently posting topless or 'near-naked' pictures of herself on her Instagram, ensuring they get picked up by the world media.
Is she a true naturist? Difficult to tell. Eva Mendes, Heidi Klum and Rosario Dawson - to name but a few of my past Celebrity Naturists of the Year - are known to hang around naked in their homes or on the beach. If you look at the past Instagram offerings by @emrata, you must come to the conclusion, that at least when she's at home or at a villa with pool, Emily Ratajkowski enjoys it too.
Of course, there is the issue of looks and fame. The all-too-frequent reaction to nudity is that it's allright if the person in case is good to look at, but if they somehow don't conform to general ideals of beauty, they should remain dressed.
This is where naturism comes in. At a naturist resort, on a nude beach, it doesn't matter whether you look like Emily Ratajkowski or not. Everyone is free to enjoy the sunshine and the water on his or her skin, and doesn't have to worry about what other people will think. Not only social class distinctions disappear with the clothes, but notions of beauty as well.
In the naturist world, everybody can become Botticelli's Venus, just like Emily Ratajkowski.
Maybe that's an idea for a new photo album, people of varying body types posing for The Birth of Venus. Anyway, whether she's a naturist or not, I personally feel Emily Ratajkowski - and other nude-friendly celebrities like her - are promoting the idea that nudity is OK, nudity is relaxation and nature.
Kim Kardashian also went 'one step further' with her most recent nude post, according to the media:

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Sunday, December 31, 2017

Celebrity Naturist of the Year 2017: Kate Moss

British supermodel Kate Moss is the Celebrity Naturist of the Year 2017.
Before I hear you shouting 'what?,' let me explain again that the  Celebrity Naturist might not be a true naturist who hangs out at the campsite each month or who regularly holidays at one of the well-known naturist resorts or nude beaches, but someone who is famous and who has - willingly or not - contributed to the wider acceptance of nudity.
Of course, your first reaction might be that Kate Moss is too sexual, too commercial and too unlike other 'real' persons to be considered for this honor.
Yet, despite all her ads for fashion, her sexiness and sometimes provocativeness, the negative aspects of her lifestyle, one still can't help but feel that Kate Moss sees nudity as something natural and free, and not just as a pose to get in to help sell some clothes, perfumes or magazines.
Yes, she is beautiful and shaped unlike 99 percent of other people, but does that mean that she thinks other people can't go nude?
Her relaxed attitude to nudity, and the frequent holiday shots of her topless or less, show that she is more than just a model.
Like Australia's Elle MacPherson, Kate Moss makes you feel she sees nudity as a normal aspect of life, of humanity.
If because of her, one woman anywhere else feels that yes, she too can do things without clothes, whether sunbathing, swimming, sitting at home naked, wandering around the house or garden naked, then Kate Moss deserves her title of Celebrity Naturist of the Year 2017.
As we are looking toward 2018, one would only hope that more celebrities are brave enough to come out and say they are naturists, just like over the past few years many have 'outed' themselves as gay.
(Photo above by Rankin.)