Friday, December 30, 2016

Celebrity Naturist of the Year 2016: Heidi Klum

(Photo Heidi Klum by Norman Jean Roy for Allure Magazine)
Sounds familiar? Yes, Heidi Klum was my Celebrity Naturist of the Year 2011 and received a mention as a runner-up back in late 2014.
She's still a naturist after all those years ... because she's still open about the lifestyle, which for millions of Germans like her is not some kind of exotic minority quirk that has to be hidden in the shadows, but just an ordinary habit, like collecting stamps or cycling or playing tennis.
As a model and as presenter of the fashion designer show Project Runway, one could accuse Heidi Klum of hypocrisy. If she's a naturist, why is she promoting clothes? Shouldn't she be doing the opposite, condemning clothes and telling everybody to throw off the tyranny of textile and design?
A world without clothing would be a wonderful thing - especially if you got to live in a country where temperatures are elevated enough year round - I'm thinking of parts of Thailand here.
Unfortunately, most people still live in environments where that is not possible - often for merely climatic reasons, but also because turning up at work or going out eating naked is not accepted in most parts of the world.
There are people working on changing that - I'm thinking of my Real Naturist of the Year 2016, Lady God1va, who went naked at a hotel in Thailand, or the Free the Nipple people, the Go Topless activists, the people behind naked restaurant projects like London's The Bunyadi, the World Naked Bike Riders, and so on.
Yes, Heidi Klum is not a total 100 percent naturist, but thanks to her comments in interviews, she shows that naturism is not the outrageous hobby of a small minority, but is a practice that should be acceptable to every and any "body."
A Heidi Klum interview with Miami's Ocean Drive magazine:
Heidi Klum's only partial nude photo shoot for Allure in 2012:
More Heidi Klum, from Allure and from the Young Naturists of America website:

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Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Real Naturist of the Year 2016: Lady God1va

(Photo credited to @nigelwill2001 by Lady God1va, World Naked Bike Ride 2012).

Each time around this year, I name someone who has promoted the cause of naturism as my Real Naturist of the Year. Unfortunately, this is just an honorific, there is no fancy artistic statuette, no impressive sum of money.
Past awards have gone to founders and owners of naturist hotels and resorts, and even to a country association.
This year, I am naming a person who has been promoting the cause of naturism on- and offline for many years.
Known as @LadyGod1va on Twitter, she has not only tweeted and blogged about the cause for naturism, she has also been active in organizing World Naked Bike Rides in London and has promoted the cause during an appearance at The Fourth Plinth, a public speech project on Trafalgar Square in 2009. As said here before, while WNBR is not a specifically naturist action but an environmental protest against the dominance of motorized traffic, its use of public nudity helps to promote the notion of the naked body as non-sexual and public.
Lady God1va has also played a crucial role in the naturist movement because she is a woman and a non-Caucasian, two categories that need to be persuaded to join naturism.
It was after I was already looking into her as my main candidate to become the Real Naturist of the Year 2016 that I found out she had been banned from Twitter, due to an avatar that was reportedly "too naked." I never saw the picture, but due to her naturist convictions, I am certain that there was nothing offensive about it. Social online media such as Facebook and Twitter claim to be the new vanguard, but their views on nudity are still hopelessly out of date and simply wrong.
Choosing Lady God1va as my Real Naturist of the Year 2016 is not just an award and a recognition of her years of work, but also a plea for more tolerance. Yes, you, Twitter, bring @LadyGod1va back.
Her blogs, which date back some time, are at and
Lady God1va about her appearance on The Fourth Plinth:

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Monday, December 12, 2016

2017: Nude Calendar Ahead

Another year is nearly over, which means it's time for me to look around to see whom I will name Real Naturist of the Year and Celebrity Naturist of the Year near the end of this month. It also means that the world is getting ready to buy calendars, and a rising proportion of those are nude calendars.
For several years, the phenomenon has been expanding, and since naturism is about the acceptance of all bodies, including naked ones, the trend is to be applauded.
A group of elderly women in Great Britain might not have started the trend, but they certainly succeeded in giving it a boost when their handiwork became the subject of a successful movie. Until then, most nude calendars had been thought of as pornography, or at least as things you would hang in a garage but not in your home.
Despite Italian tiremaker Pirelli's decision to move away from nudity in its calendars, the trend to link nude calendars with good causes has persisted and is growing.
What inspired me to return to my blog after a long absence, was actually spotting an article on a Belgian newspaper site this morning about a Dutch woman, Marisa Papen, who was banned from Instagram for posting too many nude pictures of herself. As a result, she decided to head for safer shores: publish a nude calendar of herself, with the proceeds going to a worthwhile cause, in this case the protection of the oceans against the avalanche of plastic rubbish.
She called her project  and we can only wish her - and the pollution fighters - success.
Nudity might be a way to seek the spotlight for causes or to promote one's own fame, but if it promotes acceptance of non-sexual public nudity, why not.
While I'm not in the business of drawing up a list of best nude or naturist events of the past year, I can still note that several other nude phenomena have been doing well. The World Naked Bike Rides, the World Naked Gardening Day, World Topless Day, all seem to be growing in provoking interest. The International Naturist Federation held its World Congress in New Zealand, and I do hope naturist beaches around the world will expand. Here in Asia, the Naturist Association of Thailand has expanded, and is helping to find investors in a new resort, showing that naturism in Asia is possible.
While in some parts of the world, there is cause to worry about the regression of tolerance for nudity and naturism in the face of religion, on the whole I am still optimistic that naturism can expand, if it promotes itself as non-sexual, wholesome, and open for men, women and children. Maybe the global naturist movement can learn from the successes of the gay rights movement around the world, but that's fodder for another blog post.

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