Thursday, June 19, 2008

Naked Doesn't Matter

You see the title of this posting so you think this blog has suddenly gone anti-naturist and 'textile,' right?
Wrong. I'm referring to an informal poll on one of Taiwan's largest forums for foreign residents, Forumosa.
One poster put up an opinion poll asking if respondents minded being seen naked, and guess what: 30 out of 52 respondents said they didn't mind, and many of them went on to post comments on their experiences skinny-dipping and visiting naturist beaches overseas, and about sleeping nude, walking around their home in Taiwan without clothes, and even about making short trips outside the home nude.
Half of the 12 women taking part in the poll so far also said it was no big deal being seen naked, and of those 4 were foreigners, 2 were Taiwanese citizens.
So the conclusion? If people think nudity is normal, then it means that naturism is gaining more acceptance. After all, naturism is about social nudity, about doing things in the nude like swimming, sunbathing, or just working around the house and garden.
The responses to the Forumosa poll show that values in North America, Europe and Australia-New Zealand, where most 'forumosans' hail from, are naturist-friendly.
You can find the poll and the posters' responses at:

Friday, June 13, 2008

Women's Magazines

Guess which kind of magazine this picture comes from?

No, it's not one of those sleazy but famous US publications. Is it a men's publication, a men's magazine?

Wrong again, this picture comes straight out of the pages of ... a woman's magazine. And not just an obscure one either, but 'Feeling,' one of the most popular women's monthlies in the European country of Belgium.

No Taiwanese and probably very few other Asian magazines would 'dare' publish such a picture, because it would provoke censorship and punishment from the authorities, and reproach from at least part of the media. 'Corrupting the children' would be the usual expression to be expected from that side.

But in Europe this kind of picture is rather normal and accepted in the media. Because Europeans are far more familiar with nudity in their environment - topless sunbathing on beaches is more the norm than an exception. And because those pictures are only acceptable in the right environment: a naked woman will not be found in an advert for cars or motorbikes - at least I hope not - but is rather the rule in ads for underwear or soap and the like.

This particular picture in 'Feeling' forms part of a report on how women should get different parts of their body firmer and healthier. The picture has an accompanying text about what women should do about their breasts. So having a picture of breasts with an article about breasts is only the normal thing to find.

More and more European women of any age and weight group are proud of their body, and so should they. It's more than time for Asian women and men to wake up to the beauty of the human body, and that's one of the missions this blog is about.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Naturists on US TV Fiction

Naturists and nudity sometimes make the world news, mostly when there has been a naked anti-war protest or when Spencer Tunick is shooting another of his mass nude scenes in a major world city.

However, mainstream television fiction has been a rare venue to show naturism. One recent exception was shown in several Asian countries including Taiwan today. The latest episode of US TV detective series "Monk" was broadcast by Star World.

The episode, titled "Mr. Monk and the Naked Man," deals with a woman who was found murdered on a nude beach. The main character, played by Tony Shalhoub, is afraid of nearly everything from dust to nudity, so he immediately blames the local naturist activist for the murder and spouts all the stereotypes and silly theories about nudists you could expect.

The good thing about the episode is that the detective turns out to be completely wrong. In the end, he even apologizes to the naturist and ends up in a reluctant embrace, as you can see in the picture. Naturists are not automatically bad people after all.

Another good element is that the detective's assistant, the blonde woman in the first picture, admits that she too was once a naturist, because she went nude on a beach in Greece. Good people can be naturists, too.

Of course, on a mainstream show like Monk, you cannot expect to actually see full nudity. The naturists on the beach all seem to be carrying heavy objects with them, from oversize ghetto blasters to surfboards. An interior scene, when beach activists are meeting, is conveniently shot from within a closet, with the wooden lattice hiding the 'naughty bits.'

So, this might not be full naturist television, but at least it portrays naturism in a friendly light, and proves suspicions and crazy theories to be wrong. "Monk" is too lightweight to be my cup of tea - I'm more into "Lost," whose lead actor Matthew Fox coincidentally is into skinny dipping in real life if not on the series - but for many viewers in the U.S. and now in Asia, it might have been the first sympathetic portrayal of naturism they have ever seen. And that alone is worth a mention.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Bike Yes, Beach No

Good news and bad news from the global naturist front, according to a report in today's edition of the Liberty Times, a prominent Taiwanese newspaper.
First it mentions the success of the latest edition of the World Naked Bike Ride in favor of energy conservation, which it illustrates with pictures by the international wire agencies taken in Copenhagen, Mexico City and Washington, D.C. Needless to say, Asian cities didn't feature on the bike ride's program because social nudity in any form is still largely unacceptable in Asian countries, even for a good cause.
The bad news got the headline though, "California Beach Bans Nude Swimming," which is of course a reference to the popular San Onofre Beach. One of the places to read more about this story as it is developing, is in the pages of the forums at The Liberty Times article mentions that the local authorities have started warning bathers there that naturism will be banned beginning September 1. The reason is that too many non-naturists have started abusing the beach by doing things that each respectable naturist resort or beach bans. Naturism is non-sexual nudity and should stay that way, but lack of supervision has now endangered the survival of naturism in one popular place.
The naturist movement is right to be both angry and dismayed both over those people who abused their freedoms by their unacceptable behavior, and over the authorities deciding to ban naturism altogether instead of intensifying policing against sexual behavior. The true naturist turns out the loser.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

World Naturist Days

Both days of next weekend, June 7 and 8, are listed in my calendar as World Naturist Day.

Unfortunately, where I am, there's not much I can do about that. But in your part of the world, you could express your support for naturism by visiting a nearby official naturist beach, or a naturist resort.

Worldwide there must be lots of activities organized by naturists, and the most efficient and praiseworthy ones must be open-door days at naturist terrains and resorts. This way, naturists can open their doors to outsiders and introduce them to the lifestyle.

There are still too many misunderstandings and prejudices about naturism, and by opening up their doors, naturists can show outsiders that spending leisure time naked can be fun. Naturism is all about enjoying the outdoors, being in close contact with nature, and being active with sports. It's more than just lying in the sun naked working on that perfect tan. It's also about life and nature: swimming, playing volleyball, basketball, tennis, golf in the nude under the sunshine, in the middle of nature but also respectful for the environment.

If you've never visited a naturist center, this weekend is the time to do it. Just search for the closest naturist resort on the Internet, and contact them to ask what kind of activities they have for World Naturist Day. Visit, and you'll find a perfect lifestyle.

Monday, June 02, 2008

The Taiwanese Book on Naturism

Before I left on holiday for Europe, I posted several reports about this new book that had been published in Taiwan on a naturist topic - "Naked - Ten Years of Dialogue with my Body" by Pan Ying-hua.

Well, now that I'm back, I finally got around to ordering the book - which is not available in any mainstream book stores around Taipei - and I received it over the weekend.

The book describes in word and picture the experiences of the author, a woman who lives in the sparsely populated but beautiful southeastern region of Taidong.

The book chronicles her travels, her friends, her favorite places. She mentions how she discovered back in 1996 that women on Spain's beaches didn't wear bikini tops. She also lists her visits to her favorite spots for nude swimming - including the place in the pictures on this page, near the popular hot springs resort of Chihpen.

Now that I have received the book, I'll start reading it. This is the second book I have found this year that is related to naturism, and I'll tell you about the other one in one of my posts soon.