Sunday, June 24, 2012

Uncomfortable in our skin: the body-image report

I loved this article so much, I decided to edit out a few thoughts. Ken Uncomfortable in our skin: the body-image report - Eva Wiseman "Body image is a subjective experience of appearance. It's an accumulation of a lifetime's associations, neuroses and desires, projected on to our upper arms, our thighs. At five, children begin to understand other people's judgement of them. At seven they're beginning to show body dissatisfaction. As adults 90% of British women feel body-image anxiety. And it doesn't wane – many women in their 80s are still anxious about the way their bodies look which . . . can even affect their treatment in hospital, when their health choices are influenced by aesthetics. Many young women say they are too self-aware to exercise; many say they drink to feel comfortable with the way they look; 50% of girls smoke to suppress their appetite – is it too strong to suggest that these things, these anxieties, are slowly killing them? . . . [the] current "airbrushing" culture leads to huge self-esteem problems – half of all 16- to 21-year-old women would consider cosmetic surgery and in the past 15 years eating disorders have doubled. . . The long-term effects, the piling on of pressures one by one, like a dangerous Jenga tower, means women's – and increasingly men's, 69% of whom "often" wish they looked like someone else – lives are being damaged, not by the way they look but by the way they feel about the way they look. . . Rates of depression in women and girls doubled between 2000 and 2010; the more women self-objectify, the more likely they are to be depressed. . . The pressure, the girls agree, is not, in fact, to be skinny – instead it's to look sexy. "Hot." . . . until now, everybody has talked about thinness and control, rather than changing your body to attract a boy. . . Both the cosmetic surgery and the cosmeceutical industries (anti-ageing products) are growing, fast. It's these industries, along with the fashion houses, the diet companies, the food conglomerates which own the diet companies, the exercise and fitness industry, and the pharmaceutical and cosmetic surgery industries that combine, perhaps inadvertently, to create a climate in which girls and women come to feel that their bodies are not OK. . . "I do think we should be prosecuting the diet industry for false advertising. If dieting worked, you'd only have to do it once. There is evidence that diets may in fact contribute to fat storage and that, in giving a sense that food is 'dangerous', create conditions for rebellion, which eventually makes people fatter than they were to start with." (Ormand) . . . "Eating becomes a means of communication . . . We're socialised to be negative about our bodies . . . fat talk . . . everyday conversation that reinforces the 'thin ideal' and contributes to our dissatisfaction. Like: 'You look great – have you lost weight?' Or, on being offered a bun: 'Ooh, I really shouldn't.' After three minutes of fat talk there's evidence that our body dissatisfaction increases significantly. Naming this – fat talk – makes much sense to me." (Dr Phillippa Diedrichs) . . . We hate how we look because of our new, complicated visual culture, because of a fashion industry that has not adapted, a media that forensically analyses women's bodies and saturates our culture with body-change stories. Because of the rise of cognitive eating, the increasing abilities and accessibility of cosmetic surgery. Because to be feminine, today, means to hate your body."

Friday, June 15, 2012

Born or Made a Nudist?

I was definitely born to be a nudist, and am not right if I pretend otherwise. How about you? Ken "From my earliest memories I have wanted to be nude. Never knew I was a nudist until my first social nude experience. I was born a nudist. It is part of who I am. How about you? Born or made?" – Armadillo "I was definitely born a nudist, it just took me many years to realize it. When I was growing up I always enjoyed being nude when I could but was always careful to be sure I was alone and always managed to avoid being caught. I daydreamed often about how it must feel to be completely nude outside and wished we lived in a rural area that might have given me a chance to try it when no one else was around. In retrospect, I think I may have been somewhat obsessed with the idea. Now that I participate in the lifestyle, my childhood yearnings make a lot more sense." - Perfect Tan "My wife has convinced me many, many years ago that nudists are "born." She says that those that have a "need" to be naked are born with a special gene. She likes being naked, she's been a willing participant but she says that her "liking" being naked is nothing compared to my desire and need to be naked. I don't think any differently about others who state, later in life, that they are "now" nudists. That they've found this lifestyle and enjoy being nude when possible but wonder if circumstances were different or they were given an ultimatum ... they would let it go. I don't think I could or can." – FireProf "I was born a nudist. Some of my earliest memories are being outside playing in the back yard naked. This was before I was 4 years old and all through my school years I loved being nude, I would get my butt paddled when young by my mom for going outside nude in front of the other kids. There was a little girl that lived a few houses from me that would have the same problems with her mother for going outside nude, always wondered what became of her as they moved away when I was 12. I was always nude when at home alone as my parents did not approve of being nude inside or outside the house. My later years in high school I met 2 girls that like to nude sunbathe and we would go into the woods by my house and get nude and lay in the sun and also swam in the creek that ran through it. My wife likes my being nude and since we met she has become a nudist also." - Caaptain Willie "I believe that because young children are rarely reluctant to run around and play naked and have to be taught that society frowns on public nudity, there can be little doubt that most, if not all, people are born nudists. I think it is unfortunate that adults teach young children that there is something fundamentally wrong with being seen naked. How can that possibly adversely affect anyone? How can anyone claim to be offended by the sight of a nude person? But I digress. I am definitely a born nudist. For as long as I can remember I have been more comfortable nude than clothed." - Bill Bowser "I think we're all born nudist and some learn body shame. Those who learn otherwise, learn to accept themselves and many become nudists for life." - Cheri

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Interesting Naturist Business Opportunity

'Nakations' offer a respite from clothes and stress Cynthia Johnston “DELUXE IN DEMAND - Nudists also appear to be seeking out a higher-end experience far removed from the more affordable rustic tent camping and family-oriented sing-alongs by the campfire of previous generations, experts say. Wanting to be able to have a cocktail, wanting to be able to join a petanque team or play tennis competitively, or something like that, there is a trend of people looking for more upscale resorts. Increasingly, those options are more available. As for the next nude travel frontier, there is no shortage of ideas for vacations nudists describe as a significant source of stress relief for them as they leave societal norms and expectations behind.” Any ideas about what naturists may want in the future? Sounds like an interesting business opportunity to me. Ken

What Can We Do?

“When I was a kid here in Utah we had a public pool and after swim team or anytime really we were always hanging out in the shower room naked. There were no dividers in the shower and it was all good. We would even have towel fights or other goofing off. Today it is a no go. I have had kids in gym and sports and no one showers in front of each other. It is a bit bizarre with how the world has progressed in other areas and the rise of a more predominant progressive mind set. And yet I am sure none of my kids have showered or maybe even seen the same gender naked. I think it is pretty ridiculous and so do all my friends and few of them are naturist or nudists. So the question is are they going to be freaked out or bothered if they ever see anyone shower naked or heaven forbid a nudist or freehiker. It feels like we have done a disservice to future generations.” – Threadsfree “I use our local gym here in Chico, California . . . My gym has a men's-only steam room, dry sauna, and jacuzzi, and large group shower in one room. I am astounded at the silliness of modern-day youth. I am 48 and grew up showering everyday in high school, required of course, with the gym teacher standing there handing out towels and making sure you showered and returned them. . . I see young men practically do gymnastics in their efforts to change their clothes without their bodies being seen. I saw a guy in the Jacuzzi with shirt and shorts. I see guys shower in shirt and shorts. I see guys who have worn boxers into the shower and then act embarrassed by their boxers "showing" so they hold a towel tightly around their midsection to "hide" their boxers. What the hell is life coming to in this country? I am honestly dismayed that this kind of behavior can even exist. Those of us who are simply being ourselves living in reality, natural, and comfortable, unwilling to pretend that we need to "hide" for some reason, are a dying species. I fear, honestly I fear, for the next generation when those of us over forty are dead and no one even remembers what body freedom is about. It's not just about body freedom. It's about freedom of loving, of believing things, of expressing one's feelings, of being an individual. From my point of view, these young people are growing so distant from reality on so many levels that they are becoming like the electronics they worship. . . I am interested in making a difference if there is anything we all think we could actually do to turn the tide back to a nature-based reality.” - Brian Anthony Kraemer

Friday, June 8, 2012

Nude Group Showers?

When I was in Jr. High in ultra-conservative Logan, Utah, we were "required" to swim naked during gym, and we got naked to shower as a group. Then an earthquake made the school unsafe. Maybe that's why swim suits started to be required, or may I'm just getting old. Ken Here are some thoughts from others about the changes that are occurring in this "modern" world. Anyone else have some thoughts about that? "I just started going to the gyms in the past 5 months and in 2 different gyms I was amazed at the number of men who will put on gym trunks in the locker room, then go to a shower stall to shower, then change back into their street clothes in the locker room. This makes no sense to me at all." - Clevenaturist "Started out taking gang showers from Jr. High all the way through High School. That continued during my stint in the service. Not a thing wrong with it. Just a bunch of guys getting clean and ready for the next class, rest of the day, etc. There was no harm and nobody made an issue of it. While at the gym later on in life, the shower stalls were open gang type as well. Nudity was common. Again, nobody made an issue out of it." - NudeM "I remember when I was growing up . . . being naked in a locker room was not only not an issue, but it was something you were supposed to do. You changed, walked naked to the showers . . . then walked again naked to the locker, and in between you could be chatting with a friend, or with a friend of your father´s. . . Every month we had to undergo a medical check up. The Dr. Office was in the locker room, so it was not unusual for men to be standing in line naked, waiting to see the Doctor. There was a season when the original doctor was off, and a female doctor subbed for him." - 788 "When I was in the Marines there was no privacy in the shower not even stalls without doors much less with. We removed our uniforms outside the showers in one large room, picked up your soap & washed. When you were finished you walked back to the bench where you left your clothes, dried off & dressed." - Pahjo "I'm 35 and when I had a gym membership . . . I stuck out because I wasn't ashamed to be naked in a locker room. I was a rarity for my age and generally you had to have white hair otherwise to be nude in the locker room. I once sat in the sauna with a fully dressed guy - probably aged 20. He had his full gym wear, socks, and sneakers! He left the steam room and left the gym without changing, into February cold." - Chris "Somebody made a decision to end showers, and high school has stunk to high heaven of sweat and Axe ever since." - Mark "I am amazed by how many young people my age go through great lengths to ensure no one sees them as they change or undress. Some wrap towels around themselves and some go as far as enterting a bathroom stall to change. I can only shake my head in disbelief at their stupidity. . . I attended an all boys high school ('96-'00), and no one dared to get naked in the locker room. After gym period, no one showered. . . . I recall my freshman year, it was hot outside and everyone was sweating and once we all went back to the locker room, you can smell the sweat. I had English afterwards with most of the students and the class room smelled reaal bad. The teacher cracked all the window and was angry at us for being inconsiderate and not showering. He had to cancel class because the smell was so bad. From what I heard, he brought it up to the attention of our principal and gym teacher but nothing changed. I also was on the track team and a football club in HS and even when we had games, no one showered. We changed back into our clothes and left. I think this is the same story for most young people and it has to be a major reason why they are so paranoid and shy about public nudity." - Croydon "My HS had a pool that was open to the public. . . After the swim, we would always take off our swim trunks and shower. Others would be in the showers too. I thought nothing of it. I remember one time as I was getting older, entering the showers and seeing kids my age with their swim suits still on. I remember debating whether I should have my suit on too. No one teased me or anything, but I wondering which was correct: on or off. That was the first of many debates when I had to choose between being like my peers or my family. If my family showered in our suits, there would have been no debate. When I was in HS, showers after gym were mandatory. Everyone did it nude. Since it was the norm, no one thought twice of it." - Kouak "A few years ago I was at a public beach and I went into the mens shower room to shower and change before going home. After I came out of the shower I was standing standing in the common area of the shower room toweling off and a man was holding up a towel sheilding me from his childrens view, both of who were boys, and he said in a very cross manner "Do you mind, there are children in here!", to which I replied, "no, I don't mind that they are here at all!" and continued on as I was. He "hurumphed" and hurried his kids out of the shower room so they would not be forced to see a naked person in the shower. It was all very crazy. I still can't understand what he thought was going to happen if his boys saw a naked person in the shower room." - Eagle59 "This is amazing to me also. Anyone under 30 at the gym seems to have a deep fear of nudity. They change into workout clothes with a towel wrapped around their waist and wear board shorts into the shower. They also sit in the sauna fully dressed. My friends at the gym, the 45 to 55 crowd seems much more relaxed. We walk to and from the showers naked and can even have a conversation along the way. I have thought about doing a survey about attitudes towards nudity. I suspect it comes from the fact that junior and senior high school students no longer shower at school. We have let the hysteria over the rare cases of pedophilia override common sense hygiene and body acceptance." - Hikenaked "Wow, yeah. These accounts have me shocked and horrified. Society has really stigmatized nudity even in locker rooms. Sad. Really sad that people are so ashamed to be nude even in front of people of the same sex. That mentality, to me, is what is shameful." - Steve-O