Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Nude Beaches

It's summer time, particularly hot summer time, so the media need extra copy to fill their web sites and pages. One simple ploy is to come up with lists: the best this and the top that.
It's nice to find that naturism can also be the subject of such a practice. Belgian Dutch-language newspaper De Standaard, one of the top papers in Belgium, did just that. It presented a top-10 of the best nude beaches in Europe. Unfortunately, the list featured not just nude beaches, and certainly not the best.
First, let's make clear what a nude beach is. It's a beach where all people can enjoy the sun and the water while not wearing any clothes. However, the newspaper mixed up beaches, naturist resort and mixed beaches.
Showing up the unfamiliarity of its editors with naturism, it also went for the most famous places with the general public, including some locations real naturists would stay away from.
The choice of Cap d'Agde, a huge naturist town in the south of France, as its number one immediately revealed the paper's lack of expertise and touched off a furious debate among readers. First of all, the place is not a beach, it's a huge town. Secondly, it has grown infamous for some goings-on of a sexual nature that are completely incompatible with true naturism. In other words, the paper completely misfired.
Another poor example is the choice of Paradise and Super Paradise beaches on the Greek island of Mykonos. Again, two famous beaches, famous because non-naturists know about it, and too many of them go there just to watch naturists, not to enjoy naturists themselves.
The 'best nude beaches in Europe' should only include beaches with the following characteristics: they are nice and comfortable, relatively easy to reach, and provide a quiet environment for all men, women and children who want to spend their day on the beach completely naked from morning until evening. Naturists should not have the feeling that too many people are just on the beach to watch others naked and not be naked themselves.
A real nude beach is also not a resort. It is not locked off from the outside world, it does not require a membership card. Don't misunderstand me, I am in favor of all-naturist and naturists-only resorts, but they don't belong in a list of nude 'beaches.' The beginning naturist will want to find a real 'nude beach' first before he or she tries a resort.
One of the resorts on the newspaper list is Valalta in the Croatian town of Rovinj close to Italy. Again, it is not a beach, it's a complete resort with camping and rooms. My disappointment with Valalta was that some parts were only accessible if you wore clothes, i.e. the main restaurant and the supermarket. It was annoying to have to change in and out of clothes all the time if you wanted to go from one to the other. Again, it was a nice place, and I certainly would recommend it to naturists for a stay of more than a week, but it is not a 'nude beach,' it's a resort.
I read the article in De Standaard and I just had to write this piece because of my dissatisfaction with the whole list. Nevertheless, if it moves people to try out naturism, good for them, only I would try other places than most of the ones they recommend. Even small beaches in the nearby Netherlands can be more fun than those mentioned on the list.
Anyway, thanks to De Standaard for naming naturism as a holiday option and for the above picture.

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Saturday, August 14, 2010

Nakedness is Empowering

The statement is not from a naturist, but from a celebrity, model-actress-producer Halle Berry, who by the way celebrates her 44th birthday today.
She has never been known as performing nude scenes in movies, or as being a naturist, so she's unlikely to join the ranks of the Celebrity Naturists of the Year we 'appoint' each December-January. Eva Mendes, Rosario Dawson and Hilary Swank all publicly acknowledged they like doing natural every-day things in the nude.
Halle Berry says she feels empowered when she's naked. In an article I found at the web site, she says she loves the naked female form. She's become closer to acceptance of nudity as she's getting older, she says. If the world wouldn't persecute her, she would be taking nude pictures every day of the week.
We are certainly not going to persecute her, because we welcome non-sexual nudity as one of the most powerful expressions of beauty on earth. Naturists believe you don't have to be as smashingly attractive as Halle Berry to be nude, to enjoy life in the nude and be respected as a human being.
As naturists, we welcome all celebrities and ordinary people who want to be naked because it is the most natural thing to be. Nudity in a sexual context, nudity to shock and outrage, is not naturism and will never get respect. Unfortunately, outsiders do not understand enough that there is a difference between provoking shock and natural nudity. Naturism is education about the beauty of the body.
For the full text of the article, visit

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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The World Heatwave

37 degrees Celsius in Taipei. 41 in Seville. 38 in Moscow. It's the world heatwave, so what do you do to fight the heat? Stay out of the sun is one solution, though in places like Taiwan, that doesn't help you much. The heat in the shade is as intense as in the sunlight.
The only other obvious method is: take your clothes off.
Even one of the most authoritative newspapers in the world, the New York Times, noticed the possibility of that solution. Writer Sloane Crosley noted the rising popularity of more public nudity in a heatwave, but concluded it would only last one summer. He also contrasted conservative dress codes in the United States to a more liberal approach in Europe. I imagine that Europe is so used to cold temperatures, that any sunshine feels like summer and therefore should be enjoyed to its fullest.
Read the New York Times article here:
While we're browsing the U.S. media, Fox has the reputation of being an arch-conservative media company, in other words, they are the last place you would expect to mention naturism and put it in a positive light. The article linked below gives tips to someone visiting a nude beach for the first time, and they're very useful, in particular for readers from parts of the world, like Asia, where naturist beaches are virtually non-existent.
Read, enjoy and learn:
Our former Celebrity Naturist of the Year, U.S. actress Eva Mendes, gives an interview to W Magazine, in which she also briefly touches on issues relating to nudity, if not naturism.
Read the full interview here:
In close, we promise you not to be too long in bringing our next post here. Why? The International Naturist Federation is holding its once-every-two-years world congress next month in Italy, and we already have some information about the topics. Come back here soon for an introduction.

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