News from NAG – May 2017
Win a Holiday!
Following last month’s brief announcement, we are launching Photo Competition 2017 on the 1 May. It will stay open until 22 September, so plenty of time to get your camera out.
Apart from donations, the entry fees for the photo competition are our main source of income. Will you please help us to help you? Please enter the competition and encourage others to do so too! As with previous years the theme is Living Naturism. This can be anything that expresses your naturism best, while doing housework, while playing sport or just exercising, or sharing a mug of coffee and a joke.
This is the third time we have run this biennial event with the aid of H&E Naturist, and we are extremely pleased to be teaming up with Astbury Formentera again, who have kindly donated accommodation for two for one week, worth up to £1000.
Mental Health & Nudity
This is from a post on our website. Along with BN, NAG is willing to work with different academics to improve our understanding of the connection between our general well-being and nudity, including mental health. The latest is Dr Marina Rachitskiy of London Regent University, who is supervising students studying for their BSc. They are seeking information on people’s upbringing and how it effects their general mental health and behaviour. It is not strictly naturist, but if you were brought up in naturist or clothes optional lifestyle, it might have a significant baring on your present day health. This is what the study is for. You must be over 18 to take part in the survey and your informed consent is required, and takes roughly 10 minutes to complete.
How to loose $2m
We have mentioned before in this column that Queensland is the only Australian State that does not allow nude sunbathing on its beaches. Even so, Noosa’s Alexandria Beach was home to the annual Nude Olympics, a social event rather than a sporting one more reminiscent of your school sports day. Organised by Australian Naturist Federation, it has decided that it no longer wants to be seen encouraging illegal activity in the State and are seeking to move the event to New South Wales instead. Quoting the ANF President Greg Snow from Sunshine Coast Daily, the Brisbane Times said the event was worth A$2m to the local economy, which will now move elsewhere. The article also stated that State Ministers for tourism and police has also questioned the policy of not letting councils to consider and permit nudist beaches.
Time for a rethink?
Nudity and the Germans
The German’s love of nudity is a myth, or so says a YouGov survey brought to us by The Local. It says that despite foreigners impressions, the German people are not all that keen on being naked in the sauna. Roughly half (56%) of those questioned thought there should be rules about being dressed in the hot, sweaty sauna while about a quarter thought clothing was not appropriate. Not surprisingly, it was mostly men who held out for nudity in the sauna. Less than half (48%) of women thought nudity was necessary, while almost a third thought they should be allowed to cover up.
As disappointing as this survey might be, it is not out of line with other, similar surveys we have heard about and why should the Germans be any different from the rest of us? Many moons ago, your chairman was speaking to a Finnish person, where the sauna was invented, who said traditionally nudity was part of the whole experience. Could it be, the Germans are just as affected as the rest of us about the sexualisation of our bodies! Isn’t it about time naturists started to fight back?
Discrimination against the nude
NAG has already published a review of the Channel 4 documentary: The Great British Skinny Dip, but journalist and blogger Jillian Page took her cues from the common themes in reviews published by British newspapers: The Sun and The Telegraph, among others for her Reflections on life in the Global village. Almost everywhere, naturist groups have compared the journey they are yet to make with the one the LGBT community has already travelled and are travelling, and took encouragement without suggesting that naturists have suffered the worst aspects of discrimination. Yet, as Page describes, naturists like the featured Christine have suffered discrimination, forced into early retirement after being ‘outed’ as someone who participates in non-sexual social nudity.
Among the synonyms for discrimination in my thesaurus are: injustice, intolerance and prejudice. Are these things the result of Christine’s naturism or because of the perception held by non-naturists of what naturism is? It has to be said that virtually all naturist organisations are extraordinarily bad at explaining naturism. That might be because we don’t really know ourselves. We have consistently avoided knowing. Apart from our nudity, what is our common beliefs and/or opinions? After more than a century, is it not time we did know?
In her conclusion, Page said that those who thought nudity should be allowed in most public locations are ‘dreaming’ and in your chairman’s opinion, she is correct. There is always an appropriate time and place for doing something and walking down the road naked to your local supermarket is perhaps not one of them (unless it’s in a nudist resort). I depart from Page though in that I believe we can remove the fear and misunderstanding of non-naturists by being able to explain our lifestyle better.