Saturday, August 22, 2015

Go Topless on August 23

Tomorrow, Sunday August 23, is Go Topless Day.
What started out as a local event in Venice, California, organized by a small religious cult could turn into one of the biggest international events of the naturist-friendly calendar. If it does, no little credit goes to people who have nothing to do with the event itself, such as Free the Nipple activist Lina Esco, Scout Willis and loads of other women who bravely protested the extreme censorship on social networks.
The Free the Nipple / Go Topless movement has a feminist and gender-related dimension which my own naturist movement does not have, but it is precisely this dimension which could give the approval of naturism or non-sexual social nudity a major push forward. The main reason is that the movement has learned from the successes and advances of the gay rights movements in order to present topless equality between men and women as the next frontier.
As a naturist, what I want is to be able to enjoy nudity in appropriate settings - no, I won't be walking nude outside when it's snowing or during a typhoon, but I would like to swim and sunbathe and garden nude if the weather is right. Naturism is an ageless and genderless movement which includes total respect between men and women, young and old, black and white. The absence of clothes also breaks down barriers between classes, because when you're not wearing clothes, nobody knows whether you're a carpenter, a tycoon or a police officer.
While walking around topless in a busy shopping street might not be to every naturist's liking, the acceptance of such a fact can only work in naturism's favor. Naturism and social nudity in a respectful context, without the intent of offending, as some protest groups do, but just as another fact of life, another choice of how to look. Some people wear suit and tie, some wear T-shirts, some could choose to wear nothing at all.
World Naked Gardening Day and World Naked Bike Ride have already drawn public attention to social nudity, now let Go Topless Day take the campaign one step further.
As a male living in Asia, I am unable to take part in any Go Topless Day activity, but I hope naturists will not hold back and give the movement the support it deserves. The end result can only bring more naturism closer. has a list of all August 23 activities, not just in the United States, but also in several other countries.

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

August 2015: Month of the Breast

Nudity isn't sexual.
That's one of the basic tenets of naturism. Naturists go naked, not because they want to be exhibitionists, not because they want sex, but because the naked state of the body is the most natural one, and the one most comfortable to swim, sun, and live in.
'Nudity isn't sexual' appears in the AP photo above, not with a story about naturism, but in a story about topless women - and men.
While not directly related to naturism, the topless equality movement - which says men and women should have equal rights to be topless in similar conditions - has been making giant strides over the past year, so much so that as a naturist, I have been devoting several stories to the topic.
The topless equality movement seems to have become the forefront of the non-sexual nudity movement, a twin sister of naturism.
The month of August this year seems to have turned into an outright celebration of toplessness. Just consider these events and incidents:
1. Three Canadian sisters surnamed Mohamed went cycling topless, but were stopped by police demanding they put more clothes on. Normal, many people might think, were it not that being topless is legal where the sisters cycled. The incident gave rise to last weekend's Bare With Us protest where the AP shot its photo.
2. On a less happy note, a woman who was sunbathing in a bikini - not even topless - in the French city of Reims was attacked by five reportedly Muslim women who called her indecent. If things like that can happen in the country that gave us Brigitte Bardot and Cap d'Agde, a warning bell must ring. Fortunately, many French women and men condemned the violence and took to the streets to defend women's rights.
3. The Big Latch On: a bizarre name to most of us, but it is the motto for World Breastfeeding Week, currently happening. In New York, young mothers staged a joint outside breastfeeding 'event' to underline women's right to feed their babies wherever and whenever those go hungry. Public breastfeeding has long been a topic of debate, but even so-called 'conservative' Asian societies are coming around.
4. The biggest topless-related event is coming later this month: World Go Topless Day. While concentrated in North America, the success of Lina Esco's 'Free the Nipple' movement, despite being unrelated to the Go Topless Day, has made so many people worldwide aware of the campaign for topless equality that the August 23 day is bound to be a resounding success.
While naturists believe in being fully naked socially rather than just topless and also do not approve of exhibitionism or needless provocation, I fully support the topless equality movement because it could signify a huge step forward in the acceptance of social, non-sexual nudity.
I believe naturists everywhere, men and women, can take part in Go Topless Day events and believe they did something for a good cause. I made modest financial contributions to the Free the Nipple movie and to a related Taiwanese sticker campaign. If I were living in a country where August 23 is marked as Go Topless Day, I would go and participate because I believe it will serve the cause of naturism.
Never before has a month so been dominated by news related to toplessness, so August 2015 really deserves the title of 'Month of the Breast.'

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