Monday, November 26, 2007

Topless in Sweden

Sweden is one of the last countries on earth you would expect controversy surrounding topless women.
Over the past decade, topless sunbathing has become commonplace on beaches all over Europe, even in countries usually known as very conservative, such as Portugal, Spain, Italy or Greece. The Scandinavians, including the Swedes, were probably the first to go topless en masse on those beaches.
So why am I mentioning topless and Sweden in the same sentence here? Is there a problem?
Yes, there is. In the Swedish university town of Uppsala near Stockholm, the authorities running a local swimming pool decided to ban topless women from their establishment.
As a result, international media report that about 40 local ladies have been staging protests for the right to go topless inside just like men. I believe their protest is justified and women should be allowed to swim topless, since they can already do so in the open air on the beach.
Some places in Canada and I believe even the United States allow women complete 'top freedom,' i.e. ladies can go anywhere topless. Even though walking around topless in the middle of a shopping mall is unlikely to promote the cause of naturism, wider acceptance of male and female nudity at the appropriate places - beginning with beaches and swimming pools - is the right way to go.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Naturist of the Year

Each year around this time, speculation starts about who will be Man of the Year on the cover of Time Magazine. Or Person of the Year, or People of the Year, or in the past even Machine of the Year.
We also just had the announcements about the winners of the Nobel Prizes, with the official award ceremonies following later.
So wouldn't it be the right thing to do to have similar awards in our naturist world?
Obviously, the naturist world is rather restricted in size and reach, and many people don't want it be known that they are naturists.
Because of poor coverage in the mainstream media, it is also difficult for the public at large to find out what is happening in naturism, and who the people are who make things happen.
Therefore I propose that for the first time, we should have a Naturist of the Year Award right now before the end of 2007.
Just like other award events, we should receive nominations of worthy candidates, make a selection, and then if possible, present the award - let's say an art object representative of naturism - to the winner.
While such a ceremony takes time and money to organize, and 2007 might be too soon for its realization, I will announce on this blog, before the end of December 2007, my personal choice for Naturist of the Year.
In the meantime, I will look out for worthy candidates and let you know my findings. Stay tuned!