Updated: Jan 26
Lately, we have been happy to see the hashtags #normalizenudism and #normalizenaturism going around social media. These hashtags are a great way of spreading the message that nudism is good for body, mind and soul. (Don't believe nudisn is healthy? Well, science says it is.)
Being naked in front of other people promotes and encourages a level of self-acceptance that is nothing but healthy. At the same time, being around naked bodies that have not been photoshopped into human caricatures helps us to better appreciate our own bodies. There is, therefore, benefit to being naked around other naked people.
It, therefore, makes sense that more people have been asking what they can do, beyond sharing hashtags, to help promote nudism/naturism. Here is our short-list:
Lobby Your Local Government for Nude Beaches & Other Naked Places
OK. We get it. This is a hard one for most people. That's why we put it first. And, no, we are not actually talking about showing up naked at your City Council meeting. We do, however, advocate for using our democratic form of government to stand up for freedom, self-expression and all of the other personal and social benefits that public nakedness has to offer. Ideally, this should be done in coordination with local nudist clubs. There is safety in numbers, after all. And, it does not need to include any form of naked civil disobedience, though there is certainly a time and place for that. This can be as easy as sending emails, making phone calls or setting up private meetings with elected officials to ask for safe, designated places where people can gather together naked. Be prepared to talk about the non-sexual benefits of nudity/nakedness.
Bottom line is this: many of our social problems stem from all of the ways we have been taught to separate ourselves from each other. Those who want to shed that separateness should have safe public spaces for doing so. And, those who want to help heal some of our social problems can find meaning and purpose in helping to change social norms for the better.
Come Out to Your Family and Friends
The best way for people to lean that nudism/naturism is normal is to get to know nudists, or to realize that they have known them for a long time. Again, this is not necessarily easy to do. Most of us have a natural fear of rejection that keeps us from sharing ourselves openly and honestly. But, here is the deal: There is power in being vulnerable. And, the freedom and power of vulnerability is part of the healing power of nudism. Being OK enough with yourself to be OK with however they respond IS powerful. Their response will likely be driven by their own issues of shame and have nothing whatsoever to do with you. To help them adjust to the new information, we recommend that you wear clothing when you tell them!
Take a Stand Against Anti-Nudity Policies
Organizations like Facebook have been under growing pressure to ease their restrictions on nudity, which growing numbers of people are calling "dangerous" and "unhealthy." Nudists can and should add their voices to these causes. The best ways to do this are to let the offending companies know how you feel about their policies, and then taking your business elsewhere. Just say no to social networks that tell you that your body is shameful.
Support Nudist Networks and Businesses
Join a nudist club. Take a nudist vacation. Attend or host a naked event. Join an online community (like ours). Share your favorite naked places. These are just some of the things you can do to begin connecting with others and to show your support for nudism.
Supporting those who share your beliefs is the best way to feel connected. And, lets face it, in a world that likes to shame nudism, again, there is safety in numbers.
Stop Shaming Others
We are constantly amazed by the number of nudists who use their nudist social media to shame others. "People who post porn will be BLOCKED," or "No voyeurs or perverts," read some of their profiles.
Yes, nudism is not about sex. At the same time, body-shaming IS sex-shaming. They are derived from the same place and serve the same purposes. And, just like we all have bodies we need not be ashamed of, we are all sexual creatures and we should not be ashamed of that, either. So, while nudism is not about sex, ending sex-shaming would most certainly put an end to body-shaming. Nudists, of all people, should understand this. We should all strive to love and embrace our bodies more, that can - and should - include embracing the sexual and non-sexual aspects of our bodies.
Share your First Time Stories
Most people have multiple strong feelings about being naked in front of other people. We have been programmed since we were very young that being naked is bad and shameful. At the same time, it feels great and its kind of exciting. This strange mix of shame, excitement and fear is a natural part of the experience but the feelings are also so strong they keep many people from trying nudism. When we tell our first-time stories we help people understand and reconcile their own feelings, which goes a long way toward #normalizingnudism. Naked & Unashamed has set up a special section of our forum to help people to share their first time stories. Check it out and share your story!
Have other suggestions? Post in the comments or share on Twitter and tag @nakedunashamed2