In response to my previous blog “Reintroduce a Healthy Naturist Revolution”, AllNudist wrote:
“Yes, I suppose it would be nice if all nudist/naturists were Beautiful People but alas, most tend to just be people who are willing to accept others while asking to be accepted for themselves. Without them there wouldn't be many nudist/naturist venues left.
"By definition, naturists are physically active, eat healthy food, avoid unhealthy habits, seek mental and spiritual advancement, and encourage others to understand so they also live in true health."
Excuse me but, by who's definition? Try as I might I have been unable to find that definition anywhere except as a personal opinion, usually put forth by bloggers pushing health, yoga, T.M. or such other personal life choices they have made for themselves. To me this sounds like one Democrat telling us what all Democrats should believe in order to be called a Democrat. Or Republican, or Christian, etc.You are certainly entitled to express your own opinion but it's disingenuous to suggest that some 'higher source' decrees it to be so, let alone that it's required to be considered a true 'naturist'.Good posting, makes people think!”
I want to thank AllNudist for this comment because it gives me a reason to expand my thoughts about naturism and health.
First, I realize that naturism is not just for the “beautiful” people. (I certainly don’t fit that category.) In fact, one of the first things people learn from naturism relates to “Positive Body Image” – every body is different, yet beautiful. But positive body image should just be a starting point, a foundation for improvement. What does body image have to do with not working to improve the health of your own body? Understanding body image, should naturists just accept their current health status, lie back and bask in the sun, never exercise, take up any bad habit that comes along, and kill themselves through gluttony? I think not. Naturism should inspire us to better physical, mental, and spiritual health.
Consider the history of naturism. It began in Germany in the 1920’s as a “health” movement. In 1922 a young Berlin gymnastics teacher, Adolf Koch, opened the Adolf Koch Institute, with a program that included weekend nude hikes, indoor nude exercises during the week, and proper nutrition. This focus on “health” helped it quickly expand to become the Stadtbad, a huge public gymnasium with a swimming pool and bath house. Men, women, and children mingled nude. “Health” classes consisted of two to three thousand people of all ages. Soon there were branches in other German towns and cities and the movement spread quickly to other countries, crossing to the U.S. within a few years, again with an emphasis on “health”..
In fact, the French, where the term “naturism” originated, emphasized “health” more than nakedness.
So from its beginning, naturism was a “health” movement. Neglecting the physical, mental, and spiritual health aspect of naturism is the change, not trying to re-emphasize health in naturism.
Perhaps I over-reached by use the word “wrong” instead of “unhealthy”. Wrong may sound too judgmental.
It’s “unhealthy” for naturists to just laze around a pool or on a beach in the sun to the exclusion of swimming and freehiking and nude gardening and similar healthy activities. Naturism is not just sunbathing – far from it.
It’s “unhealthy” for naturists eat such unhealthy foods. A restaurant at a resort should serve much more than burgers and fries and sugar-crammed sodas. Naturists are healthy eaters.
It’s “unhealthy” for naturists to gather together to drink and smoke as if getting naked somehow encourages these obviously unhealthy practices. On the contrary, naturism discourages these nasty habits.
It's “unhealthy” for naturists to neglect mental and spiritual stimulation, and hide from others. Demonstrating that they are different, not "sheeple", by stepping outside the constraints of society and culture, and rejecting the negative effects of "textilism" and sexual perversion, naturists should be seekers after all truth and leaders and teachers and missionaries.
I accept that all of these healthy behaviors and attitudes are important to “real” naturism, and that neglecting them has been an unhealthy change to the practice of naturism. It’s time again to re-emphasize “health” in naturism.