Monday, September 04, 2017

We'll always have Paris ... at least until October 15






A world where you don't have to wear clothes.
It's hot today, the sun is out, you don't have any clothing ready, and you don't really need any because it's not cold, so you step out the door and walk to the baker's, the grocer's, the supermarket, or even your work, without any clothes on.
Science fiction? I have often thought of writing such a story myself, a novel or a screenplay set in a world where being naked anywhere anytime is absolutely normal and acceptable. Or it could be the other way around, a world oppressed by excessive clothing where a handful of rebels and innovators take the lead to change the ruling mentality and 'free the masses.'
In the meantime, in the real world, there are small steps that help us in that direction. The worldwide naturist movement, the opening of naturist beaches and free beaches in more and more countries, naturism in parks in Germany, the topfreedom or Free the Nipple movement.
Paris, the capital of one of the most naturist-friendly countries in the world, is finally following the example of German cities like Munich.
A park area in the Bois de Vincennes has opened daily for use by naturists. As an experiment, it will only function in that role until October 15.
Naturism in the open air  in Paris in September and October, I hear you say? Sure, most of that time might be rather chilly, so they should have launched the project in spring and keep it going all through summer.
But it's a start, and if it works out well, if there are enough true naturists, if there are no incidents with harassment or fake nudists, then the experiment will become an example, and hopefully next year already, be expanded, both in time and space. One of the problems of naturism is often that you have to find really remote places, such as isolated beaches at the end of unmarked rocky paths, before you can enjoy the practice.
Inaugurating naturist spaces in or near major cities is a positive move forward, so I wish the Bois de Vincennes tryout  all the best.
Actually, earlier this year, another European capital, Brussels in Belgium, also faced a proposal to open an urban naturist space, but it went the other way from Paris.
Naturist beaches are already a feature of all European countries, the top equality movement is making headway in the United States, so why not join forces and campaign for more non-sexual nudity in society, not just at the edges?
(Photo courtesy of ANP, the Paris Naturists Association).

Labels: , , , ,

Friday, June 09, 2017

Naked Wheels and the Return of Lady God1va

June hails  the advent of summer, of the summer holidays,  at least in the northern  half of our Earth. That's why it  is also a popular time to start taking  those clothes off and launch naturist and half-naked events. One of those is the 6th edition of Natcon, starting today, as the most popular naturist event in Asia, based in Thailand.
Not purely naturist, but gaining popularity worldwide, is the World Naked Bike Ride, with several locations around the world this Saturday, including London.
The event is not just nudity for its own sake, it’s a protest against energy overconsumption and against ‘car culture.’
As to myself, I am a naturist and I love cars, visiting the Taipei Motor Show every year. I have nothing against cars, but I am of course against people who think they don’t have to respect other road users just because they drive a car, a certain type or brand of car. All road users, including cyclists, should respect the rules and the rights of other road users, especially the weakest among us, the pedestrians.
In the margin of the World Naked Bike Ride, it is nice to hear again from a naturist activist, the British woman who used to be known as @ladygod1va and whom I chose as my Real Naturist of the Year 2016. She was banned for life from Twitter, even though there was no reason to do so. She has always been a true naturist, even though on Twitter you find many fake naturists who post pictures that have nothing to do with naturism, yet they never get banned.
You can find Lady God1va’s latest message at https://ladygod1va.wordpress.com/2017/06/04/london-wnbr-10-june-2017/ and the World Naked Bike Ride at http://wiki.worldnakedbikeride.org/
Each location seems to have its own separate page with routes and times, so browse around online and get naked on wheels.

(Photo by Paul-in-London from Wikimedia Commons)

Labels: , , , , ,

Saturday, May 06, 2017

Out in the garden

It's the first Saturday of May ... meaning it's also World Naked Gardening Day.
While I grew up in the countryside in an old house with a literally huge garden, I somehow never caught the gardening microbe.
Yes, I went into the garden to play hide-and-seek, to sit in the sunshine and read a book, to set up an Indian tent, to play with the cats, to pick strawberries and other berries whose English name I don't really know, but neither gardening nor naturism were ever an option.
I discovered naturism by traveling overseas, first of all to Croatia - which was then still known as Yugoslavia - and later to Sweden and the United States. Santa Barbara, California, had a stretch of ocean beach where nude bathing was allowed, but when I visited years later, it had disappeared.
Back to gardening: I chose to live in a densely populated urban society in Asia, where gardens are an unheard-of luxury.
Some people put pots of flowers on the top of their high-rise apartment tower, up on the 11th or the 24th or the 30th floor, or find a place for a potted plant inside their apartment, but that's about it. When you have 23 million people crammed in a space the size of the Netherlands, and half of it is occupied by tall mountains where nobody can or wants to live, it's easy to understand why housing prices in the cities are so high, and why most people can't afford to buy the European-style house with a garden.
But I still have a garden, only it's not a naturist-friendly one.
Back in Europe, there were lots of walls and trees which could have theoretically been useful if I had been able otherwise - read: if my relatives had been naturists too - to want to use parts of the garden for naturism.
But here in Taiwan, my 'garden' is a narrow balcony with almost top-to-bottom windows. If I stand naked in that 'garden,' people down in the street outside, including the police officers directing traffic during rush hour, will be able to witness my naturist endeavors.
So all I can do is pop over naked in the morning to open the windows up to morning air, and to pop back inside quickly - or take a picture first, as I did yesterday morning, in preparation for this blog post to mark World Naked Gardening Day.
With this, I wish everybody who does have a real garden or at least a patch of green where he or she can live as a naturist, even if it is only for a brief time, a productive day.
If you google the term World Naked Gardening Day, you are going to find lots of articles today. The main website of course is http://www.wngd.org

Labels: , , ,

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Naked with your colleagues?

Naturists usually go on holiday just like other people do, in a nuclear family setting: husband and wife with children, but what if non-naturists suddenly have to go on a naturist holiday with ... colleagues at work?
Belgian online magazine Charlie sent its staff - five women and two men - on just such a trip.
Editor-in-chief Jozefien describes how most of the bodies we see, especially women but now also men, are at least partly fake: advertising uses 'perfect' bodies, sometimes photoshopped, never natural, never the way you see your own body, the one you wake up with or take into the shower., which means people have a warped idea of what a natural human body looks like. The magazine's experiment wanted to change all that, she says.
Sexuologist Wim describes how a long time ago, people saw nothing wrong with nudity, while today, the quickest way to be thrown off Facebook is to post a picture of women's breasts.
The three women staff members interviewed in the 1:28 minute video about their experience say how they very quickly got used to being naked and seeing their colleagues naked. Only one of the three said she had enough and did not regret having to put her clothes back on at the end.
They say that usually - meaning, in advertising - all breasts are the same, but here, they saw all types of breasts, in a natural way. They also emphasized that everybody had to be naked.
At present, there are more and more "CO" or "clothing optional" resorts, where you are not forced to go all naked. The practice is designed to introduce those still alien to the idea of total social nudity to the concept. Especially women who are new to naturism might feel more comfortable if they can at first go topless and see how it goes, though the ideal is that they overcome their fears and join the naturists as soon as possible.
As to myself, a naturist for more than 35 years though limited by my geographical location in Taiwan, I can hardly imagine going on a naturist holiday with my colleagues, or even my relatives and friends. It's not that I'm too shy, it's just that I don't think they are up to it, or even understand the concept.
When Taiwanese go on holiday to "naturist-friendly" countries, say in Europe, they will visit historic monuments, famous scenery, and go shopping, but a stay at a beach is hardly ever on the schedule, partly due to time constraints, partly because Taiwanese and Asians in general are not as beach-oriented as westerners.
As a result, most Taiwanese have never been to a beach in Europe, so they are not aware that women can be and are topless on most beaches, let alone that there are so many naturist and free beaches around the continent, even in supposedly colder countries.
The Charlie Magazine article (in Dutch): https://www.charliemag.be/zin-in/billen-bloot/
The Charlie Magazine video (in Dutch): https://youtu.be/j4it26zKFrw

Labels: , , ,

Sunday, February 05, 2017

You don't have to be Kate Moss ...

Kate Moss, the British supermodel, has done it again. At the age of 43, she has appeared naked - well, in theory she's apparently 'wearing' - though it looks more like carrying - a designer piece. This time, it's the latest edition of W Magazine which has done the honors, putting Miss Moss up as one of five strong women, in the company of Jennifer Lopez, Taraji P. Henson of Empire and Hidden Figures fame, Versace chief Donatella Versace, and Jessica Chastain of Zero Dark Thirty, Interstellar, and other movies.
Critics might say Kate Moss's nudity is not pure naturism, because it only exists in function of fashion brands, which want us to wear their clothes, not to take them off and feel good in the nude.
Yet, for years, I have regarded the supermodel's nude stints as more than that. She has appeared nude or almost on beaches and yachts, making it look as if she is really comfortable with nudity, and I think she is.
The whole message I want to bring about is this: yes, Kate Moss is a supermodel, a beautiful woman who looks beautiful with or without clothes, but you don't have to be Kate Moss to feel good naked.
The naturist movement has always had some problem in attracting women to its cause. An imbalance in favor of men, women worried about that same imbalance making them feel vulnerable, women feeling they don't have the looks to venture out in the nude.
Tawdry and stupid comments by online males saying that naturist beaches are only populated by old people or that some women should never appear naked have only fueled the female reluctance to try naturism.
Only recently have campaigns against bodyshaming and in favor of so-called 'plus-size' models managed to start redressing the situation.
No, you don't have to look like Kate Moss to try out naturism, but you can just feel like Kate Moss: free in your own body, free to enjoy your body, free to go naked when you feel like it. Naturism is not about looks, it's about feeling free, right and comfortable.
The full article in W Magazine about Kate Moss's latest picture is here:
http://www.wmagazine.com/story/kate-moss-model-proudly-naked-at-42-going-strong-as-fashions-reigning-muse
Photo above by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott for W Magazine.

Labels: , , , ,

Friday, December 30, 2016

Celebrity Naturist of the Year 2016: Heidi Klum

(Photo Heidi Klum by Norman Jean Roy for Allure Magazine)
Sounds familiar? Yes, Heidi Klum was my Celebrity Naturist of the Year 2011 http://thenudeguru.blogspot.tw/2012_01_01_archive.html and received a mention as a runner-up back in late 2014.
She's still a naturist after all those years ... because she's still open about the lifestyle, which for millions of Germans like her is not some kind of exotic minority quirk that has to be hidden in the shadows, but just an ordinary habit, like collecting stamps or cycling or playing tennis.
As a model and as presenter of the fashion designer show Project Runway, one could accuse Heidi Klum of hypocrisy. If she's a naturist, why is she promoting clothes? Shouldn't she be doing the opposite, condemning clothes and telling everybody to throw off the tyranny of textile and design?
A world without clothing would be a wonderful thing - especially if you got to live in a country where temperatures are elevated enough year round - I'm thinking of parts of Thailand here.
Unfortunately, most people still live in environments where that is not possible - often for merely climatic reasons, but also because turning up at work or going out eating naked is not accepted in most parts of the world.
There are people working on changing that - I'm thinking of my Real Naturist of the Year 2016, Lady God1va, who went naked at a hotel in Thailand, or the Free the Nipple people, the Go Topless activists, the people behind naked restaurant projects like London's The Bunyadi, the World Naked Bike Riders, and so on.
Yes, Heidi Klum is not a total 100 percent naturist, but thanks to her comments in interviews, she shows that naturism is not the outrageous hobby of a small minority, but is a practice that should be acceptable to every and any "body."
A Heidi Klum interview with Miami's Ocean Drive magazine:
https://oceandrive.com/heidi-klum-on-project-runway-her-lingerie-collection-why-she-loves-miami
Heidi Klum's only partial nude photo shoot for Allure in 2012:
http://www.allure.com/gallery/heidi-klum-2012
More Heidi Klum, from Allure and from the Young Naturists of America website:




Labels: , , , ,

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Real Naturist of the Year 2016: Lady God1va

(Photo credited to @nigelwill2001 by Lady God1va, World Naked Bike Ride 2012).

Each time around this year, I name someone who has promoted the cause of naturism as my Real Naturist of the Year. Unfortunately, this is just an honorific, there is no fancy artistic statuette, no impressive sum of money.
Past awards have gone to founders and owners of naturist hotels and resorts, and even to a country association.
This year, I am naming a person who has been promoting the cause of naturism on- and offline for many years.
Known as @LadyGod1va on Twitter, she has not only tweeted and blogged about the cause for naturism, she has also been active in organizing World Naked Bike Rides in London and has promoted the cause during an appearance at The Fourth Plinth, a public speech project on Trafalgar Square in 2009. As said here before, while WNBR is not a specifically naturist action but an environmental protest against the dominance of motorized traffic, its use of public nudity helps to promote the notion of the naked body as non-sexual and public.
Lady God1va has also played a crucial role in the naturist movement because she is a woman and a non-Caucasian, two categories that need to be persuaded to join naturism.
It was after I was already looking into her as my main candidate to become the Real Naturist of the Year 2016 that I found out she had been banned from Twitter, due to an avatar that was reportedly "too naked." I never saw the picture, but due to her naturist convictions, I am certain that there was nothing offensive about it. Social online media such as Facebook and Twitter claim to be the new vanguard, but their views on nudity are still hopelessly out of date and simply wrong.
Choosing Lady God1va as my Real Naturist of the Year 2016 is not just an award and a recognition of her years of work, but also a plea for more tolerance. Yes, you, Twitter, bring @LadyGod1va back.
Her blogs, which date back some time, are at http://ladygod1va.wordpress.com and http://ladygod1vadaily.wordpress.com
Lady God1va about her appearance on The Fourth Plinth: https://ladygod1va.wordpress.com/2009/10/05/the-plinth-hour/



Labels: , , , , ,