Bad Attitudes on Body Image in Media and our own words

I think this is a pretty well known issue, Lucia Lorenzi in her "Body Shaming," post has a perfect example of this.  Sometimes such examples are rather obvious, but often such concepts are not so obvious.  Even naturists educated about issues of body shame can make the same mistakes.

First Lucia is absolutely right when she says:
    But there’s something more insidious going on. It’s not just that we, as a society, as producers and consumers of media, and as networks of individuals, are shaming those bodies which are not perfectly toned and fabulously styled: we are waging war on ALL bodies. We are attempting to erase the body (the sensuous, moving, functioning, glorious body) from existence.
The thing is, we are a whole person.  We are both our body and mind - they are inextricably linked.  Our personal self esteem can be linked to how we perceive our own body.  Having a strong body image can improve your personal self confidence.

So while we should strive to get the media and society to stop treating nudism as a joke, we should also more closely examine our own lexicon.  Years ago I saw a story about how some social worker was helping young girls who had been ridiculed for not having "perfect" bodies.  Getting picked on for how your body looks is horrible, it can really bring down your self confidence.  So the worker told these girls a familiar refrain:
    Its not what is on the outside that is important, its what is on the inside.
That message, while true that you as a person should be considered important for your mind, is CONFIRMING the idea that the outside is bad, not worth your time.  It does nothing to change the default social attitude about the "perfect" body.  It may give some temporary relief but its a poison pill.

We need to push a more whole positive person message.  You are great the way you are, body and mind.  That those social perceptions are wrong and need to be changed.

So think about this, how many other things do we say that seem innocuous, but are actually toxic?  Don't be so quick to offer a reassuring message when you have not actually thought about real meaning.

Informative Poll by Bare Platypus

Bare Platypus is a cute and clever little blog that is currently running a poll that asks the question, "When did you become a nudist?"  For my part I clicked the "From the time I could get my diaper off."  I've always been a nudist and never really liked clothing.  These days it seems to bother me more than ever, my wife thinks I must be allergic to them.  Probably true.  Head on over and let them know if and when you became a nudist.

Snooze - A Short Story

In addition to writing the occasional article or software program, I sometimes write short stories.  "Snooze," is one I wrote many years ago and even had published in Naturally Magazine, though I don't recall which issue exactly, its been a number of years.  Recently I posted a copy of the story in the Naturist Fiction section of the Nudist Clubhouse website.

When I have time I try to get some of my others posted.  Let me know what you think.

Best Nude Scenes of 2012

First let me just make this clear, we are not talking about my home movies.  No, this is actually a story about real movies, you know, the kind you go to see in a movie theater.  You know, those places you went to before Netflix came along.

Second, yes I know this is not strictly a naturist topic.  But what I do find interesting about this is how movies tend to reflect and possibly drive the social idea of what is normal/ok nudity wise -- kind of like a social attitude measuring stick.  Of course, you should expect the default attitude of nudity == sex and not much in the way of casual nudity.  And while I really don't see the Hollywood attitude having changed much, there are few gems in the roundup from the Huffington Post.  Of note is the funny shower scene in "Take This Waltz" with Michelle Williams and Sarah Silverman.

(h/t: Nudiarist)

The Naturist Journal

The Naturist Journal ( is the site I ran along with my wife for many years. We would post news stories and other short articles and even answer questions about family oriented naturism. The site used to be based on slashcode, the software behind Slashdot, which is great for posting articles, taking comments and managing users.
Since those days many other sites now find great news stories and there are a variety of naturist bloggers that provide great content on naturist related news and topics. There are so many in fact that its hard to list them all, however I will note a few to take note of:

    Chet Kresiak is probably the most prolific poster of both news stories and a wide variety of nude photos. I can appreciate that by posting so many photos he attempts to make naturism seem more normal. I would be more selective in my choice of what naturism means by way of photos than he is, but that is probably more my idealism. He also posts news stories to his twitter feed.
Lady Godiva
    While she has been a naturist for a while she came to the attention of many by participating in OneAndOther and sitting on the Plinth nude, on a rocking horse. Since then she has gathered quite a following, helping to promote naturism on a very positive way.
Samantha Lynn Gilmour
    Samantha is very new to the naturist blogging world and seems off to a good start. She posts from her own personal perspective and not intentionally about promoting naturism, though she does anyway. We need more people like this posting stories in this way.
Like I said, the above is a sample - there are so many out there. Many use tumblr now and quite a few are on twitter.

For my part I do plan to post more in the coming year, both on naturism and other topics - just with my own twist on things. I use twitter for the most part, feel free to follow me there.

Playing catch up....

I just realized that its been over a year since I posted here.  Its been quite a year, so much has happened and kept me extremely busy...  Looking back I guess the last time I posted was before Hurricane Irene and that crazy snow storm that came before it.  That snow storm brought down ALOT of branches from trees in our yard, mainly in the front.  Irene brought alot of rain and the water table was already a bit high, so we got some flooding in the basement, which is where my office is.  I spent a good part of a day and night when we discovered the water was coming in soaking it up and using the shop vac to suck up the water.  Still, enough came in that damaged the wall and made the carpet completely unusable.  It took me about 6 months to get all that cleaned up and rebuilt.  I was able to move back in in the spring, and we now have a sump pump and can more easily monitor the water table.

All that also meant that my private yoga studio became more of a storage room so no yoga, no massage work... nothing.

I did find the time to take up a new hobby that I had long been interested in, r/c helicopters.  I have some very nice birds now, more on that in another post.  Oddly though I haven't had the time to fly any of them lately and I just got an r/c monster truck working again.  Flying is hard to do when the wind is strong so I have to try to time my flight time with the weather.

We also bought a new travel trailer, a Jayco X23B and a Yukon XL Denali to pull it.  More on that later too but for now I'll say that it was a big help while we had no power from Sandy.

My day job has been utterly crazy this past year.  I'm not sure how I survived it... maybe I didn't.... anyway, I've lost a few people this year that I need to replace.  I especially need a very strong developer in the Northern NJ area.

"Fish Don’t Know They’re in Water"

Just saw this posting over at Lifehacker ( ) about the above quote by Derek Sivers. What got me to thinking is the possible origin of the quote which comes from this joke:

one fish asks another fish "how's the water?" The other fish replies, "what the hell is water?"
As a society we are /used/ to wearing clothes.  So used to it that even the thought of being without them evokes many fears and often shrieks of shock.   When trying to explain nudism to someone who has never experienced it they often have a very hard time contemplating the idea.  They imagine all sorts of things, non of which come from the actual experience.

I'm often jealous of those that get to live full time in a clothes free setting such as Cypress Cove.  I love the very idea that to me clothing should be the feeling that is strange.  In my daily life I often feel like I'm there, but I also get the strange feeling sometimes that I should be dressed ( I know, perish the thought ).  I push through it because I know this is how I want to be.

Still, it occurs to me that this idea of a fish not knowing what water is may be a good way to help someone understand why nudists like going without clothes, and perhaps what is wrong with the perception of clothing being a "normal" state.

But one day, perhaps more of us can say, "what the hell are clothes?"

Nude Photo of Daughter leads to.. nothing

My previous post reminded me of a story I read years ago in "The Event (now known as Naturally Magazine)" about a nudist mother who had taken photos of her family at a costume party at their nudist club. In one photo her ~11 year old daughter looked to be dressed up in what might be something of a provocative costume to a non-nudist. But to a nudist it was an incredibly innocent photo, something any one of us would want to take of our own kids.

When this family took the film to be developed at the local photo store ( yes this story is that old ), the store employees did not panic and call the police. The family was very open about their nudist life and friend who worked at the photo lab that knew they were nudists was able to see the photos in the light we all would want, as no big deal - or just cute family photos.

It was a great story of how being open about nudism in your life can be a good thing. If you hide your way of life, that implies there must be something shameful about it, and people can take that queue from you. In my humble opinion, its better to be open about who you are.

Woman Loses Phone; Nude Pictures Sent to Contacts

There are many stories out there about nude photos being stolen from phones and shared with the world, and this one is reallly no different. What makes these stories worthy of news organizations publishing actual stories is that our society still sees the nude body as something to be hidden. We never hear in the news about people having photos of their bare feet shared all over the Internet.

When I was growing up my mother had this theory about cookies in a cookie jar. That when left out in the open, they are consumed slower than when they are hidden. The idea being that when they are out in the open they are less interesting when they are just always there. When hidden, its easier to act like they are special and that you may even be decieving yourself a bit about the rate at which they are being consumed -- there are always plently left until you eat the last one.

My point quite simply is, we should all do more to make nudity normal. We should be taking our queues from countries that have a healthier body/self image. It should really come as no surprise that "sexting" and stories of stolen nude pics seems to be uniquely American.

So if you find yourself the center of one of these stories, the best way to diffuse the issue is to simply shrug it off. It only becomes a big deal because you make it so, and that doesn't help our collective body self/image.

Use Nuance in a sentence

My daughter had Nuance as a vocabulary word for school - she's in sixth grade. Her assignment last night was to use that word in a sentence. Here is my answer:

"When it comes to comedy my teacher has a fairly nuanced wit.  How else do you explain these highfalutin vocabulary words?"

In the end she went with:
"I can see the nuance of each snowflake as it falls on a cool winter day."
I say she passes.