The American Association for Nude Recreation (AANR) is promoting this year’s headline publicity event for Nude Recreation Week as one big naked body painting party. The idea, still in the planning stages, essentially will have clubs and venues holding their own parties on July 14 then submitting photos (that mainstay of social nudism; pics of naked people!) to AANR for judging. One can assume that AANR will then release the winning photos to the news media to demonstrate the ‘wholesome family friendly’ nudist lifestyle. At this time, The Naturist Society (TNS) has announced no plans to participate.
We’re not so sure that promoting the naturist lifestyle as wholesome is best accomplished by presenting it to the general public as a naked body painting party, but we’re kind of old fashioned that way. And just a bit cynical. AANR must feel that this will appeal to the more adventurous textiles who can certainly see the fun in painting naked girls!
Now, that doesn’t mean we see anything wrong with body painting. We are only concerned with the image that the public will take away from this. When you hear ‘naked body painting’, what do you think of first, family activities or something somewhat more sexy? Can you picture a naked middle-aged man painting a child’s naked body as anything other than a questionable activity? Maybe we can but will a textile public that sees everything done in the nude as sex also see it as innocent and ‘family oriented’?
It had seemed to us that the previous Nude Recreation Week Guinness Book skinnydip events could be a great way to coordinate publicity and participation worldwide as a means of bringing social nudism before the public eye in a positive way. How better to show how easy it is to get naked around other folks, if only for a few minutes in a fun environment? Not as much fun as finger-painting a nude woman (and you know that’s the image that comes to mind!) though. It’s easy to see how this event could attract a lot of attention; let’s hope that it’s the right kind of attention!
One non-nudist wrote about her experience at a skinnydip and while it doesn’t sound like we got a convert, she makes a good point that may appeal to others: “…the purpose…first and foremost is to force myself out of my comfort zone, to have little adventures, to experience all that life has to offer. Well, I’ve lived to tell the tale that visiting a nudist resort is one way to achieve that!” The comments following her article further present social nudism as a positive, healthy experience; definitely not sexy at all. Isn’t that exactly what’s needed to combat the negative images so often presented elsewhere?
However, it’s not for us to decide how AANR promotes its main product ( membership). Nudists/naturists benefit from healthy AANR membership numbers and those have been falling, so perhaps drastic measures to drum up publicity, any publicity, that will get AANR’s name out there are justified in the long run if will help boost membership dues. If this doesn’t do the trick, maybe next year it could be tattoos, followed by piercings! As long as we’re promoting the activities of a small minority of nudists as fundamental parts of naturism, why not? As long as it gets attention, right?
Still, somehow the idea of portraying nudists as body painting enthusiasts (something that few nudists OR textiles are) does not fit well with the idea that nudists are just ordinary folks who happen to like being nude. It makes us appear much more exciting and adventurous (and touchy?) than most of the nudists we’ve known, anyway. That may help to diminish the public perception that we’re all old fuddie-duddies, but let’s hope that it doesn’t make us appear too wild in the process!
But you know what? We have AANR to thank for a lot of the things we take for granted as we go about our naked day. We can accomplish more by joining and helping direct the organization than we can by complaining. So start practicing your body painting technique and who knows, maybe next July you’ll find yourself pictured on a national cover in all your naked glory…censored, of course!
Even the Brits get into it: Britain’s National Trust Sets World Record
History of The Naturist Society (including the origins of Nude Rec. Week)
UPDATE: Be sure to read the comments below for some other opinions! ‘Chet’, incidently, is also ‘Nudiarist’ among other aliases. That will make it easier to follow. He also wrote the following essay on his website; apparently he did’t have enough space for his silly insults here. Go ahead and try to follow it all if you care, it’s really no big deal. ‘Chet’ is still mad that we criticized his nudie galleries a few years ago as being unbecoming to a ‘nudist’ website. No sense of humor and doesn’t read very well either. Skips words and makes assumptions, usually wrongly, then rants about the imagined assumption. Such a waste of an otherwise smart guy!
All Nudist, All Wrong - by ‘The Political Naturist’
Other sites produced by ‘The Political Naturist’ (he really, really likes to look at naked people, it appears):
- Nude of the Day
- Nudist Couples
- Nudist Women
- Nudist Men
- On Tumbler (we see that he interrupted his string of nude photos long enough to post his hissy-fit article! Good for him! A steady diet of most anything isn’t too good for you…)