Episode notes: “Faces of Canadian Nudism”
Naked Age Ep. 9: Nudity and stewardship
From initial introduction to finished episode, this expedition into the nudist career of Petra Scheller took over ten months. While Petra was influential in Canadian nudism for more than three decades, most of the writing by or about her occurred on the pages of Canadian nudist magazines I have little access to in Southern California. It took multiple informal preliminary interviews and fact finding before I realized how deep her story actually ran, and how much more work I would have to do to do justice to its telling. From the moment we were introduced over email by a mutual friend, she was incredibly gracious and patient with me as I probed into her history of running around naked.
“Since mankind’s beginnings, clothing has occupied the minds and bodies of individuals. Its first logical role was for protection. Then adornment became an added raison d’etre. However not until the words of the Bible were interpreted to the masses did modesty enter into the picture. And it is the very preoccupation with modesty that has given the representation of the nude body various degrees of acceptability in society.”
- Petra Scheller, "Nude Art", Going Natural; Fall 1987
Of course, Petra has accomplished far more than merely a tally of years of running around naked (not that there would be anything wrong with it if that's all it was). As the episode will uncover, she had quite a trajectory in her career as a nudist advocate. And when you hear her recount story after story of different places her nudism took her and the different faces it put her in contact with, it becomes clear how influential her journey has been, not just for herself, but for the wider nudism movement.
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