Thursday, September 27, 2007

53 and Naked

Hong Kong entertainer Angie Chiu grabbed headlines on Taiwanese TV this week by posing naked for a magazine cover.
What is the fuss all about? Chiu is 53, an age deemed too old for nudity by many mainstream media. The fact that anyone of any age can pose naked for a good cause deserves praise in any naturist's eyes, because naturism is just about that: accepting everyone has a separate body, and there should be no discrimination based on what is generally accepted as 'beautiful' or 'ugly' in any society. The ideal of beauty has varied across the ages, and indeed still varies today across national and cultural boundaries.
All Hong Kong's Chiu is doing is using her body to promote a worthwhile cause: the fight against breast cancer, one of the gravest threats to women across the world. She is appearing on the cover of a Chinese-language magazine for the cause, along with other Asian entertainers, including Taiwanese socialite Pace Wu. While all women are posing naked, the pictures are set strategically so no nipples will be seen.
Another nude picture controversy meanwhile has been raging in Italy's fashion city of Milan, where a young woman suffering from anorexia nervosa has been gracing billboards across town. Some have criticized the pictures as ugly, but then that was the point: showing that being crazy over losing weight and conforming to certain fashion wizards' misguided ideas of what is beautiful for a model is downright dangerous.
Both cases in my blog today only confirm that naturism is the right way to go: you should accept your own body and others' as right, no matter what labels others want to pin on it. Never sacrifice your health for the sake of conforming to others' ideals of beauty.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Into Autumn

What I expected to happen, did. After the passage of typhoon Wipha and a couple of more rainy days and unstable weather, the glorious sunlight has returned to Taiwan.

We've had a couple of tropical days with 32 degrees heat, but now it looks like the weather settled into a new routine: 25 degrees centigrade by night - so no airconditioning needed - and up to 30 degrees by day. Perfect weather for naturists, and right now I am back into home naturism again.

The past four days marked the extended Mid-Autumn Festival here in Taiwan, when people prepare barbeques on the pavement in front of their home or place or work. This year, there's also been a strong increase in the number of fireworks displays, especially along the Tamshui River north of Taipei.

The picture above was taken from the red fort, Fort San Domingo, in Tamshui, with the river and the Kuanyin Mountain in the dark background. Since Taiwan has no official naturist beaches, my holiday pursuits were limited to traditional viewings of the moon during visits to the ceramics city of Yingge, the classical Chinese Lin family gardens in Banqiao, and the red fort.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Nude Run for the United Nations

I never thought I would have to draw Taiwan politics into this blog, but a local blogger has done it for me.
On the web site of the major Taiwanese daily newspaper the China Times, Chao Mu-sung suggests Taiwanese should hold a mass naked run to support the island's bid to join the United Nations.
You have to understand that UN membership for Taiwan is just about the hottest political topic of the year on the island, which was thrown out of the UN in 1971 when its enemy, communist China, joined. China of course is radically opposed to Taiwan joining and there is little chance that the wealthy democratic island's bid will succeed.
Still, for 15 years, Taiwanese governments have held a number of activities and public relations campaigns to underline their desire for UN membership. The latest plan is to hold a referendum next year, but blogger Chao has a brighter idea.
He writes that on October 10 - Taiwan's national day, which features colorful parades through downtown Taipei - the President should lead political and military leaders, and at least the participants in the military parade, if not the public, in a nude run.
That's the most efficient way to capture the world's attention, Chao says, tongue half in cheek. We agree. It would take the issue way out of international politics - a topic more and more restricted to pundits and journalists - and take it to another dimension, drawing attention by having pictures of mass public nudity.
However, I wouldn't count on too much happening on October 10. You wouldn't expect the president of a country which still bans public non-sexual nudity, even at resorts or beaches, to take up Chao's suggestion. Maybe they should invite Spencer Tunick to stage a rehearsal and prepare the ground.
Before I forget, if you and your computer read Chinese, here is the address for Chao's blog:

Monday, September 17, 2007

The Last Week of Summer

This week is supposed to be the last week of summer, or the last week of the naturist season if you want, but today already looks a lot like autumn here in Taiwan.
But that's only because a typhoon is passing through. For the next three days, we have lots of rain and wind, and temperatures at relatively 'low' levels between 20 and 25 degrees centigrade.
But I'm sure that once Typhoon Wipha has raged away to China, the 30-31 temperatures will return, and I will be able to resume my home naturism habits. Even this morning, before the rain started, it was quite tolerable to walk around the apartment naked with all the windows open.
Of course, I always take care not to walk to close to those windows, but if I keep inside, nobody is likely to see me. And that's what home naturism is all about. If you regularly visit international naturist web sites, you know that several court cases have ended in victories for home naturists. Yes, walking around naked in your own house or garden is legal in most countries, as long as you don't act unnaturally. Naked gardening, naked swimming in your home pool, naked hammering to repair your home, it's all being done all over the world, and in most places, few people take offense.
Unfortunately, home naturism for me is the only legal way, because Taiwan doesn't allow naturist beaches and resorts. You already know how one attempt at a naturist weekend ended. No news yet about any prosecutions or other new developments in the case, but I'll do my best to follow it up.
Wherever you are, I hope your naturist summer is not over either, and the winter doesn't take too long.