Here’s another update on the San Francisco situation. It is an email received today from George Davis, who originally started the Body Freedom movement there, and is still campaigning against the City Ordinance which made public nudity illegal. Though George started the campaign, it was largely taken over by Gypsy Taub, and the two headed it together for some years. Sadly a personal spat between the two happened last year and they are now campaigning separately ( does this scenario sound familiar?). If I get a report of how George’s speech goes I’ll post it here:
The International Naturist Federation (INF) has published an open letter to all member organisations and naturists about the naturist campsite, La Grande Cosse. The English translation is sadly, not the best. Anyway, you can read it for yourself. I also attach copies in French, German and Dutch.
The naturist campsite, formerly owned by Franceloc – according to the INF – could be turned into a textile one by the new owners without offering any evidence for this statement. However, NAG has been independently contacted from French naturists in the last few days asking for advice.
Located in Saint Pierre la Mer in the Languedoc-Roussillon, it is an isolated family camping site near the Mediterranean Sea, with a vast sandy beach that is 100% naturist. If you have stayed at the campsite, or just visited, and appreciate this unique resource, please sign the petition on the mesopinions website or click the hyperlink in the INF letter. At the time of writing there were 898 signatures. Many more may make the owners of La Grande Cosse think again if they do have plans to remove its naturist status.
Thank you for signing, and please, feel free to share this post.
PS: NAG is not a member of the INF.
Following the recent bans on French coastal resorts of the Burkini, as too Islamic, fellow campaigner Duncan Heenan was moved to defend the right of muslim women to wear the garment in a letter to The Times of London. Duncan’s words echo those of the late Jo Cox MP: let’s concentrate on what unites us, rather than on what divides us.
The Editor, ‘Letters’, The Times
Burkini wearers find ‘unlikely’ allies in naturists. Though being naked is legal on most UK beaches, it is often treated as if it is not. Though I would never wear a burkini, I defend the right to do so; and I hope wearers would defend the right of others to go naked. We should all be tolerant of each others perceived eccentricities so long as they are harmless, which both burkinis and nudity are.
Director, Naturist Action Group
Isle of Wight
I confirm that this letter has been sent for exclusive publication in The Times, and has not been sent anywhere else.
‘Here Comes The Sun’
At the time of writing the hottest day of the year so far is just behind us. Even so, local and regional news outlets up and down the country, the likes of: Torquay Herald Express (21/07/2016), The Scottish Daily Herald (20/07/2016), Wales Online (20/07/2016) and Essex Chronicle (20/07/2016) all asked, “Where are our local nude beaches?”
Let’s not get carried away now, it is ‘the silly season’ after all. It might suggest though, a door slightly ajar for further acceptance of open space naturism in this country, whether it is beach or countryside. Yet, just because the “door is ajar” doesn’t mean open space naturism is going to be given to us on the plate, we still need to persuade them in charge that it is a good idea, one that will benefit the local community? Sadly, the UK lacks the grassroot organisations – those local enough to matter to councillors that run the beaches or country parks – to achieve it.
All In The Past
It is not a publication that I associate with actual hard news, but the Daily Star (20/07/2016) published some old photographs that they allege to be of the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel. The photos have been dated from either 1950s or 60s, but as the paper acknowledged, the future Mrs Merkel was not born until 1954 so she was not 16 until 1970.
The Daily Star contacted the Chancellor’s office in Berlin for comment but, not surprisingly, none came. I left a question of my own on the letters’ page for the paper: What is the public interest in this (allegedly) piece of news. If I get an answer, I’ll let you know.
If you’re a fan of reality TV, in Australia you have Real Housewives Of Sydney to look forward to early in 2017. And before you ask, I’m not a fan.
However, the Daily Mail (22/07/2016) has picked up that the thirteen-year old son of one of show’s participants, Victoria Rees, has banned his mother from walking around the house nude. When asked if she was a nudist (naturist, whatever), Rees denied that she was, adding: “But you know what it’s like at home.”
We all find our parents embarrassing at 13, but interestingly neither the newspaper nor Rees herself put the reason for the nudity ban down to her teenage son’s own embarrassment.
Still, a question for the parents out there: Is there a point when naturist parents should consider the feelings of their teenage children?
“The Skinny Dip”
Would you believe that skinny-dipping has its own show? Oh yes it does! You can watch it on Amazon Prime, if you are the type that goes for premium Internet TV that is.
Reviewed by Decider.com (14/07/2016) it tells us that the show – if you can call it that – originated in 2008 and typically shows the attempts of its host, Canadian Eve Kelly, to persuade people in whatever country she has landed in to join her for a skinny dip. There is no actual nudity in the show, lots of backsides and side boobs instead, all in the last three minutes or so, so from a naturist perspective this is disappointing.
The biggest disappointment though, was a statement made by the reviewer herself. ‘The title is also pretty misleading. Skinny dipping has come to represent something inherently sexual in our culture, but there’s nothing at all exploitative about the nudity in The Skinny Dip.’ When did the inherently naughty skinny-dip because you are swimming with no clothes on become a euphemism for sex or something sexual? Has the reviewer misunderstood the concept entirely? At least she admitted that Eve Kelly is breaking barriers, adding: ‘It’s almost liberating. Everyone’s so free and naked! Eve herself never acknowledges the fact that her show is breaking down this minor barrier [about nudity on TV]; in fact, she doesn’t even seem to be aware of it.’
As Amazon Prime is a subscription service, you would think it was possible to have a post watershed show that features actual skinny-dipping? Originating on cable TV, The Skinny Dip ran for just one season, so perhaps the main purpose of the show was to make Eve Kelly a minor celebrity ready to go on to bigger and better things, rather than the skinny-dipping itself. But that’s pure conjecture of course.
Bored by the Naked Protester?
Nudity is being used in protests quite widely these days, the World Naked Bike Ride to name just one and many have wondered if it is leading to the greater acceptance of the naked body itself?
However you voted in the recent EU referendum, this will be a result that will be debated for many a month yet but some took extreme measures to register their objection to the outcome. Like Victoria Bateman for instance, who attended a two-hour faculty meeting nude, with “Brexit leaves Britain Naked” written over her breasts and stomach. According to The Independent (02/07/2016) the 30 other economists at the meeting completely failed to remark on Dr Bateman’s nudity.
The article went on to tell us that Dr Bateman has previous for public nudity, for in 2014 she posed for artist Anthony Connelly in a painting that went on display at the Mall Galleries. At the time, Dr Bateman told The Guardian that she wanted to challenge the association between the [naked] body and sex.
Back to the protest, however, if a woman can sit naked for two hours in protest and no one else in the room remarks upon it, I have to ask, are the days of the naked protest numbered? There is a saying: familiarity breeds contempt. Is the nude protester so familiar now, people are contemptuous of the nudity. Dare I say even bored by it? Is it time for protesters of all stripes to think of a different strategy to gain the desired publicity. By extension, however, can we say simple, public social nudity is more acceptable now than it ever was in the past?
Thief Picked Wrong Phone to Steal
It’s an old dodge; one used countless times in films old and new. Someone is peddling something or other, a magazine say, among a crowd and they fall to the ground. The peddler then not only picks up the magazines but whatever they have conveniently covered. The peddler-come-thief walks off and no one is the wiser.
That’s how it’s supposed to go, but an article on the BBC News website (29/07/2016) told us that it doesn’t always go according to plan. Mikaela Kellner was sunbathing with friends in a Stockholm park when she spotted a man hanging around nearby, acting suspiciously. The magazines he was selling fell to the ground. He picked them up and walked off, so far so good, but it wasn’t long before a friend noticed their mobile phone was missing and off-duty police officer Mikaela sprang into action. With no time to get dressed, she chased down her man still in her bikini, along with another friend, also an off-duty police officer. Sadly the article didn’t mention if it was a he or a she. Still the point is made.
A picture of the arrest posted to Instagram got 9,000 plus likes in two days. Why I mention it here, however, is because of the remark Mikaela Kellner made to Aftonbladet that she would have acted the same way even if she had been naked. Presumably that was an unprompted remark, so was she trying to tell us something. That her duty as a police officer comes first, regardless of what she’s wearing or not. Or that she saw nothing wrong with public social nudity and she really wanted to sunbath in the park, naked. I guess we shall never know.
Talking of Cameras
Just a quick reminder that next spring will see the launch of H&E Naturist/NAG Photo 2017 competition, and if you are south of the Equator this is a good time to plan that photo trip to describe Living Naturism. Actually, now is a good time to plan if you’re north of it too. More details will be published as they are confirmed. Don’t forget to share and spread the word.
First Reviews: Naked Attraction
Last month I mentioned that Channel 4 was planning a “summer of nudity” with a
A Message from Gypsy Taub.
Dear Body Freedom lovers,
You are all invited to our very first Nude Summer of Love Parade in honor of Jerry Garcia. August 1st is his birthday and August 9th is the day he died.
Please join us to celebrate the hippie movement and all the liberation that it brought to America and to the rest of the world.
The hippie movement started here, in San Francisco, and then it has and still continues to change the world. As we all know, body freedom, sexual freedom and freedom of choice and self-expression were very important aspects of that movement. Civil rights movement and massive rebellion against the oppression of the human race have also permanently changed our planet for the better. Today we take many of our freedoms for granted and often forget that it took a multi-generation worldwide movement to secure those rights and to make them a normal part of our daily lives.
Let’s get naked to honor and to celebrate the power of love and freedom! Let’s get naked to celebrate the beauty of an open heart and an open mind! Let’s celebrate the beauty of nature, of the human body and spirit!
The Summer of Love started in the 60s but it never has to end. It is up to us to keep it alive in our hearts and minds. It is up to us to continue this tradition of liberation of the human race through love, understanding and compassion. It is up to us to continue pushing the envelope and reaching for greater and greater freedom. It is up to us to never give up and never settle for mediocrity.
Please join us in our celebration of the new spirituality and the new world! It is up to us to create that world; it is up to us to manifest our dreams and to inspire others to dream.
Please come as bare as you dare and please feel free to wear flowers, to paint peace signs on your body and to bring signs or objects that reflect the spirit of the Summer of Love!
We will gather at Jane Warner Plaza (Castro, 17th Street and Market Street) at 11 am. The parade will begin at noon.
We still don’t have the permit from the SFPD so there may be changes to the date and to the parade route. But most likely it will remain the same.
Parade will start at 11 am (march will start at noon) from Jane Warner Plaza to Haight and Ashbury corner. We will take pics there and proceed to the park. Unfortunately, the park is under a different jurisdiction so we are not allowed to be nude there but we will still march to the park and then back to Jane Warner Plaza or you are welcome to stay at the park or a Haight and Ashbury. That area is great for nude activism, people are very supportive there.
After adding up all the donations that I received at the Pride Parade and through PayPal I almost have enough to cover this month’s legal fees. THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH!!! If you haven’t donated in a while please send us some donations towards our legal bill for August. You can PayPal it to gypsytaub AT gmail DOT com or email me for other arrangements.
I created a Facebook page for the parade. Please spread the word! This link should work from your Facebook account:
Jane Warner Plaza, North on Waller Street, North on Divisadero, West on Haight to Stanyan and back – East on Haight, South on Divisadero, South on Castro to Jane Warner Plaza.
We will stop at Haight and Ashbury corner to take pictures.
This route may change so please stay tuned for updates from mynakedtruth.
I hope to see you all there!
Later than intended, we are however, please to announce the publication of our second annual report that covers the period March 2015 to February 2016. It shows that we are moving forward, even if they are baby steps but look forward to taking some giant strides in the future.
Chairman, Naturist Action Group
This post will be of interest to those naturists living in and around London, UK. Fellow reprobate John Paine has listed activities that are scheduled to happen this summer. By all means share with other naturists in London.
Fellow reprobate, Chris Lamb had an interesting idea, which he would like to share with you. He’ll do it so much better than me anyway.
“When we vote in national and local elections we are exercising our fundamental democratic right to have a say on how, and by whom, we are governed. Voters have this right regardless of their religious beliefs or lifestyle, even if the voter’s appearance makes them obvious. A priest can vote in a cassock, a devout Muslim woman in a Burqa, while a punk can turn up in ripped and safety-pinned clothing, and heavily tattooed metal fans in black leather. If that is so, why can’t a naturist show his or her lifestyle?
“Having consulted the Handbook for Polling Station Staff that all polling clerks receive, I discovered there is nothing that compels voters to wear clothes while exercising their democratic right, while the polling clerks are duty bound to assist all registered voters to cast their votes, irrespective of how they choose to present themselves.
“So, on 5th May 2016, a warm day, I decided to put this discovery to the test and entered my local polling station naked. I waited for a minute or so while my name and address was checked and was handed my ballot papers without comment. Throughout the process, the polling clerks (male and female) behaved professionally, just as one would expect. I then left the polling station still naked. Neither the Presiding Officer nor the two clerks questioned my nudity, presumably because they realised that they had no authority to do so.
“On 23rd June, we have another opportunity to cast our vote, this time in the EU Referendum, so perhaps more of us might decide to cast a naked vote to demonstrate that we are free to identify ourselves as naturists when participating in the democratic process.”
Would you show your allegiance to naturism by entering the polling station naked, as Chris did? Tell us your thoughts by using the comments panel below.
The Management Collective for NAG met at Sun-Folk Society, near St Alban’s in April 2016. Naturally, we thank our hosts for putting up with us and you can read the minutes arising from the spring meeting now, by going to our website.