Wednesday, January 01, 2020

Celebrity Naturist of the Year 2019: Helen Mirren

Photo by Gage Skidmore: Dame Helen Mirren at ComicCon 2010.

Over the years, I picked many a celebrity known for a penchant for nudity, sometimes only at home, sometimes in celebrity photo shoots, sometimes because of real naturist experiences, from Eva Mendes and Rosario Dawson to Emily Ratajkowski.
This year, I chose an award-winning actress who actually publicly said she enjoyed naturism, i.e. non-sexual social nudity, or as she put it, being naked in public together with people of all kinds, gender, age, race. Because that's what naturism is all about: feeling good about yourself, feeling good with the sun shining on your skin or the water flowing around your body. That's why the term 'naturism' is even better than the term 'nudism,' it expresses the natural state we're in without clothes, the way we were born, the way we are one with the nature around us.
Celebrities who are naturists might not have 'outed' themselves, due to social pressures and the age-old reproaches of 'but what will the children think?', an excuse which has been used about just anything from dancing to art.
So, yes, it is getting difficult for me to keep finding celebrities who have a positive perception on naturism and nudity in general, rather than celebrities who like to bare part of their body just for cosmetics ads and lots of cash.
Dame Helen Mirren won a British Naturist of the Year Award back in 2004, so with her, I know I'm on safe ground. I recently also enjoyed her acting in the movie The Good Liar, which reminds you why she won awards, not just for naturism, but also for acting.
My hope is that in the years to come, we'll have more actors, celebrities, singers, and role models in society coming out to give a positive image to naturism and defend the right to non-sexual social nudity anywhere in the world.
Due to her openness and to her real naturist experiences, British actress Helen Mirren is my Celebrity Naturist of the Year 2019.
A whole slide show of Helen Mirren's career can be found here.

Friday, December 27, 2019

Real Naturist of the Year: Festival Nudista Zipolite

Image courtesy of organizers Festival Nudista Zipolite 2020.

Living in Taiwan, I know how difficult to create a naturist movement out of nothing. When you mention naturism to someone, a majority of people might not understand what it is, while the rest looks at you in revulsion because they know what it is either.
That's why I admire people who can stomp a naturist movement out of nothing and still be successful at it. The prime example of such is the Naturist Association of Thailand, a previous winner of my Real Naturist of the Year award, which in a relatively short time went from nowhere to being the largest naturist group in Asia, with several hotels and resorts launching to address the need for more naturism.
I now turn my attention away from Asia and to another part of the world that maybe, has not been known for large-scale naturism: Latin America. I am happy to say that there too, things are changing, in a positive way.
Mexico has had one official naturist beach for 3 years now: Zipolite, in the well-known state of Oaxaca on the country's west coast. It's not as popular or developed as the household names of Acapulco, Puerto Vallarta or Cancun, which might make it more difficult to reach and less easy to book hotel rooms as they fill up faster.
But Zipolite is now more than just a beach. To add to its naturist image, people have organized a full-blown annual festival which takes over the town in late January - early February. According to the media, the participants and visitors to the event have grown from a couple of hundred to several thousand, making it one of the largest nude and naturist events in the world.
What I personally approve it, is that the festival is not locked away behind the gates and walls of a private naturist resort, which of course has its own positives and negatives. The positive is that naturist values can be seen by everyone, and that outsiders who might have been hesitant before could be converted to non-sexual social nudity - naturism - by witnessing the event. The only potential negative I can see is of course that it draws people not interested in wholesome nudity, but that's why the festival is well-guarded and policed.
Because of the role the event plays in advocating naturism in Mexico, Latin America and beyond, this blog names the Festival Nudista Zipolite the winner of the Real Naturist of the Year Award for 2019.
The event has a Facebook page at
If you're interested in the 2020 edition, from January 31 to February 3, another Real Naturist of the Year Award winner, the duo Naked Wanderings, will attend and report about the event. You can find their advice and comments for Zipolite at
There are also several hotels operating on at least a clothing-optional basis in the area, such as the Hotel Nude:

Labels: , , , ,

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Facebook, the nipple, and the 17th century

(photo courtesy of

Peter Paul Rubens was an enormously successful Flemish painter who lived at the end of the 16th and the first half of the 17th century. Like all men, he was fascinated by women. At the time, the ideal of beauty was slightly different from what we know today. Shapes were rounder, fuller, up to a level that in our image-obsessed society, we might call obese.
Flash forward to the 21st century. The age of freedom. Freedom from religious restrictions, freedom from absolutist monarchs, from the tyranny of one class over the other.
Yet, Rubens's paintings of full-bodied nude women were not banned in the 17th century. They were banned in the 21st. By Facebook.
I'm  not joking, but over the past few years, Belgians were outraged that the paintings of one of their greatest artists were banned, from Facebook, because they were showing too much skin. 17th century skin.
It is outrageous and silly at the same time that in a modern age, an age where Brigitte Bardot and Kim Kardashian are icons, when nudity in advertising and movies and at parties is all around us, that a place like Facebook should still hang on to Victorian concepts of nudity.
As the protesters in the picture - and they are breast cancer activists, not strippers or porn stars - rightly pointed out, the human body is nothing to be ashamed of, and should not be kept hidden at all costs.
Yes, there is a place and a style for everything, and nudity can be disrespectful in some instances. But overall, the nipple is an innocent part of the body.
Forty years ago, people went topless on Mediterranean beaches, a fashion which later expanded and became completely normal in the rest of Europe. Slowly, US courts are coming around to approving more generous rules in favor of topless women.
As a naturist, I hope I can see the day when nudity is acceptable anywhere in the world, anytime, any place. I know I'm being overoptimistic, because in some parts of the world, people still get killed for far less, but the trend toward more tolerance for nudity should be applauded.
And that's why every inch of progress counts: from a woman daring to go topless on a beach in a country where it is not yet allowed, to the breast cancer victims speaking out and actually being heard by Facebook, to the Free the Nipple campaigners. None of them might be naturists, but they all help with our common aim: making social non-sexual nudity acceptable around the world.

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Celebrity Naturist of the Year 2018: Emily Ratajkowski

     Emily Ratajkowski in Allure magazine.

It's becoming more difficult every year to find someone to name as Celebrity Naturist of the Year. While it's easier to find, say, celebrities who admit they are gay, or they play a certain sport, somehow, admitting or publicizing you're a naturist is not that fashionable or remarkable.
So the circle from which to 'recruit' a Celebrity Naturist of the Year is getting tighter each year: Dame Helen Mirren, Eva Mendes, Heidi Klum, Rosario Dawson, Kate Moss, we know they all like to be naked and it's not just to shock or because fashion brands and magazines pay them to take their clothes off.
But with this year's pick, there is at least a Wikipedia entry to go with: she 'visited nude beaches in Europe with her family during her youth.'
So we know British-born American model/actress Emily Ratajkowski was a naturist at a very young age, thanks to her parents. While as in many cases, fame might now bar her from seeking out public naturist beaches, she is still a symbol of body freedom.
As said many times before, one can be critical of stars like Ratajkowski because it's 'easy' for them to go naked since they are 'beautiful,' and their nudity does not help people with body image issues to venture on to nude beaches.
There are the stereotype reactions under media articles about nude events saying that not-so-beautiful people should stay covered and that somehow nudity should be reserved for supermodels.
Naturism goes against all those prejudices, as it is not about showing off, but about feeling right in your skin. Naturism is about going nude when you feel like going nude, and a naturist's ideal world would be one where you can just go naked anywhere and any time you feel you'll like it. For some people, it will mean putting on some clothes if they feel chilly, for others it will be never having to put clothes on again.
Going back to Emily Ratajkowski, she can personify the feeling of comfort that comes with body freedom, the nudity of the skin under the sunlight and in the water.
A couple of months ago, this blog already mentioned her due to her Botticelli pose. There is no need to repeat all we wrote then again today, but let's just say that I think that celebrities like Emily Ratajkowski and Kate Moss, to name just few, do make nudity more acceptable by often appearing naked or near-naked in the media and online.
Therefore, and due to the naturist elements in her upbringing, Emily Ratajkowski deserves to be my Celebrity Naturist of the Year 2018.
                                          Photo by Patrick Demarchelier.

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Real Naturists of The Year 2018: Association des Naturistes de Paris

France and naturism have gone well together for a long time.
Even as long as 50 years ago, when naturism was not so well known and little seen, many people knew that in France, there were islands and remote beaches where you could throw off all your clothes and swim and sunbathe nude without having to pay a price for it. Then Brigitte Bardot came along, the Cannes Film Festival, and taking your clothes off in France became a glamorous thing to do.
Over the past decades, naturism in France has attracted thousands of people from all over the world, not just to remote beaches, but to huge resorts as well, though its identification with the Cote d'Azur and the Mediterranean has largely remained.
All of that is changing again now. Naturism is moving inland, or more precisely, into the cities, and into the mass urbanization of one of Europe's and the world's largest cities, Paris.
Because of the impressive list of activities to turn naturism into an urban phenomenon, we name the 'Association des Naturistes de Paris' (ANP) the Real Naturists of the Year 2018.
If you look at their events' page, you will note more than just the usual swimming outings or nude sports contests, but you will also find items that made the world news just a few months ago.
Cases in point are the opening of a naturist space at the Bois de Vincennes, giving naturists in the region as well as tourists an opportunity to relax in a safe atmosphere, and the nude visit to the Palais de Tokyo arts museum. Both made headlines around the world.
In addition, the ANP has also been frequenting the nude restaurant O'Naturel, part of an expanding trend of restaurants around the world where guests can take everything off and enjoy good food without having to worry about their privacy.
Nude theater and outings as far as Belgium are also part of their agenda, and we're sure that over the following years, we will hear more in the mainstream media about their endeavors.
For their efforts to promote what we should call 'urban naturism,' the Association des Naturistes de Paris are the Real Naturists of the Year 2018.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Saturday, November 03, 2018

Writing the Naturist Book

Just as I am pondering the wisdom of writing naturist fiction, there come my Real Naturists of the Year 2017, Nick and Lins from Belgium, with a book about their own naturist history, and how they build their successful image as worldwide Naked Wanderers.
The book, Alles Uit!, is so far only available in a Dutch-language version. The title means 'Everything Off!', meaning your clothes of course.
I hope Belgian readers - who at the moment must be flocking to the annual book fair in Antwerp - are more open to the idea of naturist books than those in other parts of the world.
Even Taiwan, where naturism is still banned, there have been some books published about nudity and naturism, though most were not given widespread publicity. The most recent of them was available at the Songyan branch of Taiwan's own luxury book chain Eslite, a major advantage even though it was wrapped in plastic with an age warning stuck on.
The naturist books I'm thinking about right now are novels - the same detective or spy novels you can find at any book store in the world, even at airports - but with naturist characters. Imagine a Jack Reacher or a DCI Banks or Bosch who is a naturist - and you'll  know what I mean.
Not an outrageously all-nudist book, not a book saying nudists are funny and laughable, but a true novel, of serious or popular fiction, where at least one of the protagonists is a real naturist.
That should be my New Year's resolution for 2019, write a 'naturist novel' which will not end up in some distant hidden specialty corner of just one book store here and there, but which could be up there among the bestsellers! Easier said than done, I know.
In the meantime, as a large part of the world is heading into winter, you can check out Nick and Lins, their Naked Wanderings, and their new book 'Alles Uit!' at their website.

Saturday, June 09, 2018

On the day hundreds, or even thousands, of people are preparing to cycle through the streets of major cities, including London, naked for the World Naked Bike Ride, we also want to throw a light on a development in the world of naturism.
Our Real Naturists of the Year 2017, Belgian couple Nick and Lins, are already famous for their blog Naked Wanderings, relating their naturist trips around the world, which recently also hit Thailand.
While moving around California and Mexico, they still found time to launch a new initiative: NUDE, or the Nudist's Ultimate Destination Explorer.
Both owners of naturist 'areas' - could be hotels, B&Bs, campgrounds, anything that once used to be known by the oddly historical term of 'colonies' - and their visitors can register and offer suggestions, descriptions, comments on one website -
The aim looks like being a kind of online version of world naturism guides - a list of naturist accomodations and areas around the world including relevant details, about location and transportation, whether "clothing optional" is allowed, and other useful information for a potential visitor.
In my personal experience, there are always surprises: at some naturist resorts, the restaurant is textile - which means you have to go back to your room and dress or undress before and after each meal - in my humble opinion, an annoying waste of time. Some naturist hotels also allow visitors from outside to live as a naturist during the day for a fee, which is useful if say, you already have your own place in the neighborhood but no official naturist beaches, which can happen in places like Thailand.
All in all, any initiative like NUDE deserves our encouragement.
If you are cycling today in one of the many World Naked Bike Rides, good luck to you, but you can also think one step further - and plan a total nakation, a weekend, or a week, or two, when you don't have to be concerned about wearing clothes at all.

Labels: , , , , ,