Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Celebrity Naturist of the Year 2015: Spencer Tunick

The Celebrity Naturist of the Year is a person who might never have visited a nude beach or a naturist resort.
But that's not the point. The point is that through his or her actions or words, he either actively or unwittingly helped promote the cause of naturism, i.e. non-sexual social nudity.
For the first time since I started announcing these awards, the winner of the Celebrity Naturist of the Year Award is a man: Spencer Tunick, the photographer famous for his mass nude ensembles of people, standing or lying anywhere in a landscape from the Dead Sea to a glacier to the Sydney Opera House.
Standing around naked on a street is not naturism in it self, but Tunick's work has helped to popularize non-sexual nudity. It has helped other people - "textiles," in the naturist language - see nudity as something natural, ordinary, common, acceptable, artistic and beautiful.
We were all born naked, and Spencer Tunick's work has brought the humanity and naturalness of nudity closer to daily life.
While naturists prefer to live together on beaches, in resorts and hotels separate from textiles, Spencer Tunick has brought us closer to a world where it doesn't matter whether you wear clothes or not in your daily life. Thanks to his work, you can imagine a world, a city, an environment, where some people were clothes and some do not, all living together without surprise or shock at each other.
The 48-year-old New Yorker (49-year-old, if you're reading this in 2016) can be compared to the Go Topless or Free the Nipple movement started by Lina Esco, a previous Celebrity Naturist of the Year. Not a naturist either, but a person generalizing the innocence of public nudity and breaking the link, still present in too many minds, that nudity equals sex.
A naturist who lives away from naturist resorts and nude beaches can still get a flavor of the lifestyle by volunteering for a Spencer Tunick shoot. That's on my bucket list.

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Sunday, December 27, 2015

Real Naturist of the Year 2015: Vritomartis Naturist Resort, Crete

I've only been to the Greek island of Crete once in my life, decades ago, probably four of them. That means you understand I have never been to the Vritomartis Naturist Resort on that island.
Yet, I must admire them for their pluck and courage. They're hyperactive on the Internet, with a blog, on Facebook, on Twitter.
They have a photography contest. They organize nude hiking expeditions in the mountains. They organize nude cruises in the Mediterranean off Crete. They welcome nude weddings.
As I said, I have never been there, but even I'm ever again in the neighborhood, their online activities and the excellent pictures on their website are enough to draw me in.
It must be quite a feat to have started a naturist resort on the south coast of Crete, the side of the island furthest away from the airports and from the crowds of the north coast. When I visited Crete decades ago, I never even saw the south coast, and I didn't venture further east than Agios Nikolaos.
My Real Naturist of the Year award is just a title. It doesn't include any financial rewards, there is no fancy piece of art that gets handed out and there is no ceremony. At the end of the year, I just name somebody or something, a resort, a person, an association, that has been active in the spread of real, true naturism.
Having been active this year on Facebook, I came to the conclusion that the Vritomartis Naturist Resort, despite or maybe because of its apparently isolated location, is one of the most active resorts, not just on behalf of itself, but also on behalf of naturism in general. That's why it deserves to be named the Real Naturist of the Year 2015.

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Friday, December 11, 2015

How nude was 2015?

2015 is almost history.
As far as naturism is concerned, it was an average year.
A year of victories and defeats, with activists all over the world as always busy to try and save nude beaches from going textile, to try and open new nude beaches and to try and prevent existing naturist resorts from abandoning us.
To my shock, the Terra Cotta Inn in Palm Springs, California - easily one of the highest-profile naturist resorts on the Internet - was sold, ending its life in naturist history. On the other hand, a country like Thailand, where naturism is theoretically banned, saw more and more activity, with more naturist hotels likely to open. New Zealand has been busily preparing to organize what must be the most remote International Naturist Federation congress ever.
Most of the news regarding non-sexual social nudity this year has come from outside, or at least, from the fringe of naturism.
The World Naked Bike Ride took place again worldwide, there were several 'incidents' highlighting the right of mothers to breastfeed in public, with the end of the year approaching, there is a ream of nude calendars appearing, and if you followed me here, or on Facebook, or on twitter, you know that I paid a lot of attention to the Free the Nipple or Go Topless movement.
There is a lot we naturists could learn from the breakthrough of the gay rights movement, and the topless equality campaigners are learning that lesson, packaging their aims as a human right and a symbol of gender equality. While naturism and topless equality are not the same, they are close, so any victory or breakthrough for the latter will benefit the former. The topless movement is also about non-sexual social nudity, and also allows all bodies, deemed beautiful or otherwise, to be given equal treatment.
That brings us to the picture above, Australian supermodel Miranda Kerr naked on the cover of her country's latest edition of Harper's Bazaar magazine. I don't know if she's a naturist or not, but some people will say she only serves as a sex symbol, and will perpetuate the notion, often found with online males, that only beautiful people should go naked. I beg to differ, I think that any example of non-sexual nudity promotes the notion that nudity is just our natural state.
As to my nude year in 2015, I never made it outside Taiwan and I never attended any naturist activities. My only spate of naturism happened every day from around midnight to 7 a.m., because I sleep naked every night.
I'll see you again before 2016, as I have to select the winners of my Real Naturist of the Year and Celebrity Naturist of the Year for 2015.
Until then, wishing you a naturist December month.