Park Authority says No.
Last month I mentioned a council in Tasmania that was prepared to hear a proposal by the Tasmanian Nudist Group to create a clothes optional beach because of the advantages to the local economy.
And yet, 12,000 miles away – according to Southern Daily Echo (23/09/2016) – the New Forest Park Authority has dismissed an application from Avondale Sun Club to expand their offer to non-members. They asked to be allowed overnight stays for up to three caravans and 15 tents at weekends and special events. The reason they gave was that it would ‘require a full change of planning permission’.
I wonder what Avondale’s argument was, when they went to the New Forest Park Authority? Was it “Please let us have overnight says for 26 weekends a year.” (Tugging forelocks.) Or was it, “We want to be allowed to have overnight stays at weekends because it will attract (enter number here) tourists to the New Forest per year and we know naturists will put £(enter figure here) into the local economy.” What do you think would be more persuasive?
Anthony Horowitz Interview
In an interview published in the Radio Times (09/10/2016), essentially about his new BBC TV series New Blood, writer Anthony Horowitz was asked by an audience member at the Cheltenham Literature Festival, if he was a naturist and he replied: ‘Yes I am.’
The reason why he was asked that question was because naturism is a theme featured in Horowitz’s new novel, Magpie Murders. I feel an itch to buy a book.
Berlin, Paris, London?
According to MailOnline (23/09/2016) the Green Party in Paris is proposing an Englischer Garten-style area for Parisian naturists.
In France, open space naturism is illegal and anyone caught could be fined €15,000 or given a 12 month prison sentence. So taking a naked stroll along a footpath in open country, or stripping off on an undesignated beach could land you in some seriously hot water. Paris nudists groups, however, have complained about overcrowding at the facilities they do have in the city, so this proposal by the Green Party is most certainly welcomed.
The designated space has not been announced, but speculation has suggested Daumesnil Lake in Bois de Vincennes, on the eastern side of Paris. The French government also plans to turn this lakeside area into a public swimming zone by 2019.
In the summer just gone, London hosted a pop-up restaurant – Bunyadi – that boasted a waiting list of 46,000 potential customers. Does that not suggest to City of London Managers that a similar Englischer Garten-style zone could be an asset to Londoners in the city’s extremely large open spaces?
Making a Break Through with Nude Yoga
An interesting article by JoAnne Viviano for The Columbus Dispatch (13/09/2016) about naked (nude) yoga has come my way and seems to have relevance for naturism.
The article quotes Amy Paterson, who attends Dharma House, a Yoga studio in Columbus, Ohio: ‘Prior to this practice I, like most women, really struggled with a lot of body image issues and constantly feeling [that] my body is not good enough… I come to this practice and most of those thoughts have been pretty much eradicated from my daily life.’
While body image issues are not exclusively a woman’s one, lets face it; men are not constantly under attack in the same way, but men have body image issues too.
It is thought that naked yoga began in New York sometime in the 1960s, but Dharma House was opened at the beginning of 2016 and offers four nude yoga sessions per week. Owner Aaron King says nude yoga is more about body image and the first session he held opened the ‘flood-gates’, convincing him that it could benefit ‘so many people’.
King went on to tell of a woman with an eating disorder who broke down with tears of joy after a nude yoga session, telling him ‘I love my body, and this is the first time I’ve ever felt that way.’
He concluded: ‘[It is] not about nude yoga. It’s about breaking through so you can be you.’
Naturally, neither nude yoga nor naturism can the be the whole answer to someone’s mental well-being but anecdotal evidence suggests that it could at least be a part of it, as both can play their part in improving an individual’s own body image. Proving it though, is another matter.
More anecdotal evidence in the ability of social nudity to empower people comes in an article published by the US edition of Huffington Post (26/09/2016) describing the feelings of writer Dr Sandra LaMorgese, launching her book Switch: Time for a Change with a naked party. The book itself may not be to your taste, but it takes you through a story from struggle and defeat, to fulfilment, success and happiness for LaMorgese and her dominatrix alter ego.
Afterwards, a friend of LaMorgese asked if the women were ‘shaved down there’. A foolish euphemism but never mind, but she writes that she had to think about it and realised that she didn’t know. LaMorgese had simply forgot that she and her guests were naked.
‘Does nudity offend you?’ is the latest blog from the Australian-based Nude Movement, which is trying to create a global conversation about social nudity. The article is well written and describes an encounter with a police officer while out driving somewhere.
In this part of the globe, NAG was instrumental in getting the Police College to add training on the Crown Prosecution Service’s guidance about public social nudity to their range of short courses. Now, all we need to do, at a time when money is tight, is get Police Service’s around the country to let their officers to do it.