Thursday, May 21, 2009

Air Nude Zealand

No, this is not one of those stories where an airline agrees to fly all its passengers naked to their destination, a naturist resort in an exotic country. You already know about those annual naked flights from Texas down to Mexico, and about the plans by a German travel agency for a domestic naturist flight.
Air New Zealand is having none of that, but what they are doing is using nudity - or at least the concept of nudity in an ad called Nothing to Hide. The ad is a justified direct attack on those airlines who think that 'cheap' should mean making the passenger pay for all essential services, such as food, luggage check-in, or even going to the toilet, as one European airline is doing.
But to return to our favorite subject, nudity: the Air New Zealand ad features several crew members - male and female - performing their daily tasks naked, but not quite, because they are wearing body paint representing their uniforms.
The ad shows a couple of men loading the luggage on to the plane, a woman flight attending distributing beverages on board, and another male duo walking through the airport - all wearing only the painted uniforms.
To be fair, some media descriptions using the word 'raunchy' have been completely off the mark. There's nothing raunchy about the ads at all, because they carefully avoid showing any of what the British used to call 'the naughty bits,' not even in their painted state.
The ad is playful, but hardly a breakthrough, since I can remember ads that go much further in the showing of non-sexual nudity.
All in all, congratulations though to Air New Zealand for doing something with nudity and for consumers' rights.
You can watch the ad and the 'making of' report at the Air New Zealand web site at

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Friday, May 01, 2009

Singapore Nude Walk: The Verdict

A young couple who walked naked through a busy touristy neighborhood of Singapore heard the verdict of the country's judiciary this week: 2,000 Singapore dollars each, or 1,330 US dollars.
According to Singapore's legislation, nude walking in public is regarded as 'obscene,' but then apparently, the country, known for its draconian public order regulations which helped it make one of the most livable, cleanest and safest places in Asia, also outlaws walking naked ... at home! I'm wondering if they're really sending over people to check whether you put on your clothes when you walk from the bathroom to your living room.
What did our two perpetrators do? The 21-year-old Swedish male student and his 24-year-old Singaporean female friend - who according to reports is an excellent student - decided to look for a thrill, so they took off all their clothes and had a 15-minute walkabout.
What was obscene about that? Unexpected, yes, shocking, probably, for conservative people who have never been to a beach in the west. But their behavior was not sexual, not provocative, they never tried to challenge anybody. They just went for a short walk in a hot country.
Maybe the nude walk would have been more appropriate on a beach, or it could've been a nude swim in the sea or at a hotel swimming pool, but still, you don't want to punish people so severely for what the two young people did.
If I had been the judge, I would have fined them a symbolic 1 dollar, Singaporean in this case. And told lawmakers that nude bathing is respected in many parts of the world, and that Singapore could set the tone and allow nude bathing on some beaches or at some swimming pools during certain hours.
Singapore is already hard at work converting its past image of a dull place to a rich cultural hub for Southeast Asia, and introducing the sound practice of naturism to the region would only add to its reputation as a social vanguard.
For the full article from the Singaporean press, go to

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