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News of the Nude, Jan 2024

Volume 13: A bunch of stuff that happened this month—now with video!
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Welcome to the first News of the Nude of 2024, now with video! We have some new features in store for this monthly series that I’m excited to introduce, but first let’s start off by addressing the elephant in the room: last month, I asked you all to vote in a poll to help decide on a new naming scheme for these posts going forward. Here were the final results:

How should we continue our naming scheme? Option A: "Number 13." Option B: "Volume 2, number 1."

As you can see there was a clear winner, with 75% of the vote preferring the format “Vol. 2, No. 1.” I have to say, this result surprised me; I fully expected the simpler response to win. But in the end, I realized that this format does make more sense from an organizational standpoint.

However, as you will note from the title of this month’s edition, we’ve opted to go a different way entirely, instead employing a month/year format. This will be the way we go moving forward. This decision was not made in any way to spite our readers, so I apologize if anyone feels snubbed. This just made the most sense for organization, in my view. Hopefully, you agree (or at least you don’t mind).

Okay, room-elephant addressed. Now back to your regularly scheduled programming.

‘News of the Nude,’ now with video

You likely noticed our other new feature at the very top of this post. That’s right, in addition to the new naming format, News of the Nude is now a video series! Well, sort of.

In the interest of expanding the scope and reach of this monthly series, we’re introducing a video feature highlighting each month’s ‘top five’ most nudiest headlines. These videos will live at the top of each month’s post, as well as on our YouTube page.1 It’s my hope that this multimedia feature increases interest and engagement by providing a shareable preview of the stories that we cover every month. As always, I welcome your feedback. Let me know what you think of this new feature in the comments.

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This is one of several fun new things that we are working on; some great new content and features in the works as well, and some exciting new prospects for Planet Nude on the horizon, so stay tuned to this space. More to come.

This month in headlines

Examining the headlines from this month in aggregate, patterns emerge. There are, once again, multiple stories of oppressive legislation in various states that paint a picture of a country that is facing a very real trend toward constricting basic freedoms long-enjoyed. These stories from the country considered to be the leader of the free West are mirrored by at least two stories from Russia about controversy and arrest over nudity in expression, either real or implied.

In contrast, we also see stories of naturism surviving despite prohibitive legal landscapes in Taiwan, and celebrations of nudity and body freedom in Japan and elsewhere around the world. Naturism in Britain is flourishing, as we see month after month. In these silver linings, we are reminded that naturism “finds a way.” It often does and always has found a way in many locales despite many challenges.

“Naturism finds a way.”

The growing legislative push that threatens naturism here in the U.S. poses challenges, but it will not end naturism; it won’t end humans taking it all off to get more real with each other, to connect with one another, or to express some point or purpose. It won’t end it as long as we live it and fight for it.

This month, we have many fascinating headlines, many more than what you see in the “top five” video above, so I hope you will read on and explore what I’ve assembled below. But first, as always, I want to say thank you to our new paid subscribers by sharing a few subscriber messages I’ve received in the last month.

Shout out to our new paid subscribers!

Thank you to our new paid subscribers!

Our paid subscribers make this whole newsletter happen. We wouldn’t be here without you. Thank you!

Of course, not all of our new paid subscribers leave messages or allow their messages to be shared; these are just a few, but we thank you all. And we also love and thank our free subscribers too.

Okay, without further adieu, let’s get to the headlines. 🚀


Naked Bike Ride Ban Passes Wisconsin Senate

Ruthie Hauge | Source

The Wisconsin Senate has passed two bills that could criminalize nudity. Media pieces like this one from Cap Times like to frame the legislation as if its effects stop at events like Madison’s World Naked Bike Ride, but the media is doing a disservice to Wisconsinites who largely so not understand that broad overreach of these potential laws.

These bills, now heading to the Assembly Committee on Rules and likely to the Assembly floor, have been extensively covered by Planet Nude. The media tends to focus on the child protection aspect of this story, but the legislation’s overreach could criminalize any exposure, even innocuous acts like peeing in the woods, or cheerleaders’ outfits that reveal too much butt cheek, or two or more adults sunbathing nude in their own backyard. These laws criminalize basic nudity, full stop. They are baldly unconstitutional, and unfortunately, they are highly likely to pass the full legislature in the coming weeks. Readers are encouraged to contact Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers to advocate for a veto. All of us must remain vigilant in protecting body freedom rights.

That is why I recently created change.org/keepbodiesfree. I know, people love to say that change.org petitions don’t do anything, and maybe that’s true, but how can it hurt to show the Governor that people overwhelmingly oppose this kind of legislation? If you have a moment, I would really appreciate it if you’d sign the petition and help us #KeepBodiesFree 🚀

Tell WI Governor Tony Evers to VETO anti-nudity bills

Sign the petition

Read our recent Wisconsin coverage:


Man Swims Naked in Bass Pro Shop Aquarium

This month, an incident in Alabama involving a man who went nude in a Bass Pro Shop pond and was subsequently arrested has exploded on the internet. A video of the man’s swim quickly went viral, capturing global media attention. However, what’s truly remarkable about this story is not his actions or his apparently compromised mental state, but rather the public’s focus on his physicality, specifically the size of his penis. The video sparked an absolute torrent of negative comments on social media, with many disparaging his manhood.

As a nudist who believes in the validity of all bodies, it was both remarkable and sad to witness such intense body shaming. While the man’s behavior was clearly wrong and not representative of nudism, the overwhelming amount of comments that emerged online focused solely on the size of his penis (including a few that even I admittedly found moderately amusing) really added up and amounted to, in my view, a disheartening reflection of our culture.

Several screenshots from Twitter where commenters impugn the manhood of the Bass Pro Shop skinny dipperSeveral screenshots from Twitter where commenters impugn the manhood of the Bass Pro Shop skinny dipperSeveral screenshots from Twitter where commenters impugn the manhood of the Bass Pro Shop skinny dipper
Several screenshots from Twitter where commenters impugn the manhood of the Bass Pro Shop skinny dipperSeveral screenshots from Twitter where commenters impugn the manhood of the Bass Pro Shop skinny dipperSeveral screenshots from Twitter where commenters impugn the manhood of the Bass Pro Shop skinny dipper
Body shame at the Bass Pro Shop

I found myself feeling more ashamed of our societal response than the skinny dipper’s actions.

Did you see the video? What about the comments? What are your thoughts on this incident? 🚀

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Crook County Mailbox Nudist Prompts Lawmaker To Draft Genitals Intimidation Bill

State Rep. Chip Neiman, R-Hulett. (Matt Idler for Cowboy State Daily)

An incident in Crook County, Wyoming, where an individual exhibited offensive behavior at a public mailbox, has led to the drafting of a bill by State Rep. Chip Neiman to address “genital intimidation.” This bill, though provoked by an extreme case, raises concerns about its potential overreach. It’s important to clarify that the behavior in question does not represent nudism or naturism, as nudists do not use nudity to intimidate or harass. However, the broad nature of this proposed law could inadvertently target lawful nudists. This situation reflects a pattern seen in recent legislation across the country, where isolated or indefensible incidents are exploited to justify new restrictive laws, such as the current bills coursing through the Wisconsin legislature, shaped by exaggerated reactions to a child’s participation in the Madison World Naked Bike Ride. Such strategies not only threaten the rights of law-abiding citizens but also risk lumping them together with genuine offenders. This tactic, reminiscent of political maneuvers used against the LGBTQ+ community, underscores a growing trend of leveraging outlier events to erode civil liberties. 🚀


Brits have nude awakening as six million love getting naked to escape their jobs

British Naturism

Another month, another set of stories about how British Naturism (and naturism in Britain) is seeing record-breaking growth.

This article from the Daily Star (which actually came out a few weeks earlier) also discusses the increasing popularity of naturism in Britain, highlighting British Naturism, which is celebrating its 60th anniversary. The article notes a rise in acceptance of naturism in the UK, coinciding with a more liberal society. They encouraged members to participate in 60 activities naked, from running to skydiving. The number of Brits identifying as naturists or nudists has risen to over six million, a significant increase from 2011. The article also mentions Hollywood actress Emma Stone's interest in the British TV show “Naked Attraction.”

Eventbrite Report a 32% Surge in the Appetite for Naked Events

British Naturism PR Image

A recent report from global ticketing platform Eventbrite, as highlighted by British Naturism (BN), indicates a significant 32% rise in UK event attendance mentioning ‘naked,’ such as naked yoga, from January 2022 to 2023. This trend mirrors BN’s observations but extends beyond the naturist community, suggesting a broader societal shift. Experts link this surge to a growing desire for body acceptance and mental health benefits through nudity. The data, seen as a rare insight into public attitudes, align with BN’s efforts in promoting naturism and body freedom, anticipating further growth in such events.

BN has got its particular form of advocacy down to a science. It’s a shame they can’t bottle that success and send a little our way here in the U.S. 🚀

What lessons can naturist orgs in the USA glean from BN?

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Russian singer jailed under LGBTQ+ propaganda laws after nude performance

LGBTQ+ rights activists during a protest in St. Petersburg. (Getty)

Russian singer Maxim Tesli, the frontman of the band Shchenki (The Puppies), was jailed for ten days on charges of petty hooliganism after a nude performance. Arrested at a St. Petersburg airport, Tesli’s detention is linked to Russia’s LGBTQ+ propaganda laws. His act followed a similar incident involving rapper Nikolai Vasilyev (Vacio), who was jailed and fined for a performance at a Moscow nightclub. This represents a concerning trend where conservative forces conflate mere nudity with LGBTQ+ activism.

This misuse of legislation in Russia is echoed in similar trends in the United States. These instances underscore the shared vulnerabilities of the nudist and LGBTQ+ communities against legislative overreach. It’s a reminder of the need for solidarity between these groups in defending body autonomy, personal freedoms, and the right to expression, standing united against laws that threaten our ways of life. 🚀


Women in Japan allowed to take part in ‘naked festival’ for first time

“Thousands of men dressed only in loincloths gather for Japan's annual Hadaka Matsuri, also known as the Naked Festival” | Photograph: Buddhika Weerasinghe/Getty Images

This piece came out just yesterday; almost too late for me to include it in this month’s News of the Nude, but the story is too good not to include.

In a historic move, Japan has allowed women to participate in the ancient ‘naked festival’ or hadaka matsuri for the first time. Held every February in Inazawa, this 1,250-year-old event traditionally saw thousands of men, clad in minimal attire, gather to drive away evil spirits. This year, around 40 women, fully clothed, will join in making ritual offerings, a significant change in an event long considered off-limits to women. Ayaka Suzuki, a campaigner for gender inclusivity, expressed her lifelong desire to join the festival. This move comes as organizers face the challenge of rural depopulation threatening the future of local festivals. In a similar vein, women participated in Shiga prefecture’s Katsube fire festival for the first time in 800 years. However, the Somin-sai festival in Oshu will see its final event due to the aging local male population. This development in the naked festival is seen as a modest step towards gender equality in Japan, where women still face restrictions in traditional domains, for example, professional sumo wrestling, according to the article. 🚀


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‘Freedom’: the Taiwanese naturists defying social–and legal–norms while nurturing body positivity

“Fu, writer Ray Hecht and Yang admire the scenery at a farm in Sanzhi.” Photo: Brian Wiemer

In Miaoli County, Taiwan, a group of naturists defies social and legal norms by embracing nature in its purest form: nudity. Taiwan, progressive in many aspects, lacks official nudist spaces, and public nudity is strictly illegal, leading one group to discreetly practice naturism. They communicate via the social media app Line, in a group called “Return to Nature”, which currently counts 260 members, organizing monthly gatherings under strict guidelines to ensure a safe, non-sexual environment, especially for female participants. The key figures from the group who were interviewed in this amazing article, Keven Liao Tian-wei and Julia Fu Yong-en, describe their practice and their group’s ethos. The community, primarily older adults, values self-acceptance and freedom, illustrating a unique aspect of Taiwan’s diverse culture.

Naturism is full of stories of people scrappily figuring out a way to practice this lifestyle in adverse conditions. I found this particular story, and the wonderful writing by Ray Yecht, super inspiring and awesome. 🚀


“New year, Nude you!”: How to break through shame (in your birthday suit)

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On Breakfast Television, Stéphane Deschênes, a true nudist leader and (regular contributor to Planer Nude), discussed the importance of embracing nudity to combat body shame. Deschênes, also president of the International Naturist Federation and owner of Bare Oaks Family Naturist Park, emphasized that societal conditioning leads to discomfort with nudity, contributing to body image issues. He noted the damaging impact of social media’s focus on ‘curated perfection,’ which often leads to problems like bulimia in young people.

In contrast, naturist environments like Bare Oaks showcase the diversity of bodies, teaching that there’s no ‘ideal’ body type. Deschênes highlighted that historically, cultures like the Romans and Greeks celebrated nudity, a sentiment that has become less common over time. Despite a growing interest in naturism, societal pressures have led to the closure of some naturist spaces.

Deschênes advises those curious about naturism to start by getting comfortable with nudity at home and then gradually in social settings. He encourages visiting Bare Oaks for a community experience that promotes body acceptance. For more information, he directs individuals to Bare Oaks’ website, bareoaks.ca, underscoring the transformative experience of embracing one’s body and the natural diversity of others’. 🚀

More from Stéphane Deschênes:


Oklahoma introduces a FELONY BAN on VIEWING pornography

In Oklahoma, Senate Bill 1976 introduces a broad ban on viewing what it defines as “unlawful pornography.” This term is vaguely defined and includes any lewd exhibition aimed at sexual stimulation. The bill’s inclusion of child pornography, already illegal nationwide, masks its wider implications, potentially criminalizing the viewing of sexual content involving consenting adults. Critics argue that the bill’s broad scope could lead to unintended consequences, such as arresting individuals for possessing material like Playboy magazine. The bill’s wording has raised concerns about its potential to limit access to sexual materials, thereby reinforcing sexual perceptions of all nudity. This legislative strategy, seen in various states, often disguises wide prohibitions on harmless behaviors as measures addressing serious concerns, making opposition challenging, and bears a remarkable similarity to tactics used to pass laws restricting drag performances. 🚀


Comedian Natasha Leggero calls out double standards during set: ‘If the boys can do it, why can’t the girls?’

TMZ

Comedian Natasha Leggero recently made a bold statement about gender double standards during her set at the Hollywood Improv. This event took place during the Skyler Stone’s Comedy Rocks event in Los Angeles. Before Leggero took the stage, comedian Bert Kreischer, known for his shirtless performances, had performed. Leggero, aiming to highlight the double standards in comedy and entertainment, removed her top onstage, asking the audience, “If the boys can do it, why can’t the girls?” This act was not only a surprise to the audience but also a pointed commentary on the different standards applied to male and female performers.

Leggero’s actions garnered support from both the audience and her fellow comedians. Her subsequent social media post, which featured images of herself and Kreischer with black bars over their chests, drew positive reactions from other comedians. Chelsea Handler, Sarah Silverman, Margaret Cho, and others expressed their approval and support for Leggero’s statement. This incident has sparked discussions on the double standards prevalent in the comedy industry and has been widely reported and discussed in the media.

It shouldn’t really be news that a woman takes off her shirt, but the significance of Leggero’s act lies in its direct challenge to the often unspoken rules that govern how male and female performers are perceived and treated differently in the entertainment world, particularly in comedy​. She’s not the first female comedian to do it (comedian Tig Notaro made headlines in 2014 when she removed her shirt during several comedy sets and revealed her double mastectomy scars), but still, you love to see it. Good for her. 🚀

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New owners to rebrand campground as LGBTQ+ friendly with clothing-optional area

Amid club closures all over the USA, the Honey Bear Hollow Campground in Peru, Indiana, is being rebranded as an LGBTQ+-friendly, clothing-optional space. The new owners, who purchased the campground in May 2023, are dedicated to creating a welcoming environment for the LGBTQ+ community. The clothing-optional area will be located near the pool and enclosed by a privacy fence. Despite some community backlash, the owners are excited about the rebranding, which they believe represents a positive step for LGBTQ+ camping. The campground, renamed Misthaven Resort, is set to reopen on April 1, 2024. I think this is positive news, and I would like to see more spaces like this open up.

On an unrelated note, I can’t help but notice that their new logo looks a lot like a certain popular symbol that many naturists will recognize… 👀☀️🌊 🚀


Cancer survivors empowered by posing nude for calendar

Photo: Sally Smart

A group of women united by their battle with cancer posed nude for a calendar to raise funds for the cancer center that treated them in Bodelwyddan, Denbighshire, in Wales. Photographer Sally Smart, a cancer survivor herself, captured the images. The project, which raised £20,000, saw women aged 30 to 63 overcoming their initial fears to feel empowered and confident. The group, self-dubbed “breast friends,” includes members like Camilla Hanmer, diagnosed at 29, and Sylvia Armstrong, a wig consultant and hairstylist. They shared experiences and support, finding positivity and solidarity through the calendar project. The initiative raised significant funds and obviously fostered a strong sense of community among the survivors. 🚀


Free the Nipple: Why This Should Still Be Headline News?

The above article from Euronews discusses the “Free the Nipple” movement, exploring its history and emphasizing its ongoing relevance. It highlights the movement’s aim to challenge gender norms by allowing women the same topless freedoms as men in public. The campaign, started in 2012 by filmmaker Lina Esco, gained traction through celebrity support. Historical context is provided, tracing the evolution of female toplessness in media and fashion, from Marlene Dietrich to present-day celebrities like Florence Pugh and Khloe Kardashian. Despite progress, the article points out persisting double standards and social media censorship issues, reflecting on the need for continued attention to gender equality in bodily autonomy. If you’re interested in the history of the Free the Nipple movement, I recommend this quick read. 🚀


How an ‘almost naked’ party turned political in Russia

Photo: Mikhail Tereshchenko

An “almost naked” party in Moscow, attended by prominent Russian pop stars and a famous TV presenter, has sparked political controversy. This event, featuring guests in minimal attire, led to public and official outrage over alleged immoral behavior. The party’s timing and conduct were criticized for contradicting the state’s push for preserving “traditional Russian spiritual and moral values” amid Russia’s military actions in Ukraine. The incident reflects a growing trend towards totalitarianism in Russian ideology, with the government increasingly demanding total control over public and cultural expressions. 🚀


Twitch re-revises its guidelines to ban the implication of nudity

Associated Press

Twitch has updated its community guidelines to prohibit streamers from implying nudity, even through strategically placed objects, censor bars, or camera angles. The change is the third revision of the platform’s attire policies in less than a month. The new terms also specify that clothing must be fully opaque in covered areas and emphasize accurate content categorization, especially for streams near pools, beaches, or hot tubs. Twitch aims to blur thumbnails for streams labeled with sexual themes and update user settings for content control.

Clearly there are many challenges that video platforms face in addressing nudity. Platforms like Twitch and YouTube struggle with cultural variations in nudity acceptance. Their broad policies, aimed at the widest appeal, often result in restrictive rules that may not consider the nuances of human rights and cultural diversity. These lowest common denominator policies can sometimes ignore the potential for a more nuanced approach to human expression. 🚀

More to explore:


Cultures that still practice nudity

Dani Tribe members in traditional dress. Photo: Giovanna Fasanelli | Source

This interesting article from Northeast Now (which originally came from a locked post on Medium.com) discusses various cultures around the world that practice nudity as part of their lifestyle or traditions. It highlights the Zo'é Tribe in Brazil, known for their minimal clothing and wooden lip plugs, the Koma Tribe in Nigeria, who wear leaves and animal skins, and the Dani Tribe in New Guinea, where men wear penis sheaths and women are typically bare-chested. The article frames these cultures in relation to nudism, though I think it’s important to differentiate that while sharing nudity, these cultures’ practices are not necessarily rooted in the same ethos as nudism or naturism. Still, the examples shared illustrate that communal nudity and social nudity have been a norm in some societies for centuries, and a feature in their rituals, ceremonies, and daily life. 🚀


Origins of World Naked Gardening Day

Bill Schroer, president of the Naturist Action Committee (NAC) and owner of the Nuance Naturist B&B in Battle Creek, Michigan, discusses the history of World Naked Gardening Day (WNGD) on Why? Podcast. He clarifies that WNGD originated in England at Abbey House Gardens in 2003, not in America. The event became popular after the BBC featured the garden’s nudist owners, Ian and Barbara Pollard. WNGD was later commercialized in the US in 2005 in some party by Mark Storey of the Naturist Society and Jacob Gabriel, growing in popularity. Bill suggests changing the date of WNGD to accommodate colder climates and encourages people to try naturism through gardening, highlighting its therapeutic and connecting aspects with nature. He also addresses the broader cultural issues of body acceptance and the challenges of promoting naturism in contemporary society. Many people excitedly participate in this even every year, but have no idea where it came from. 🚀

This year’s World Naked Gardening Day is May 4th, 2024.

Listen here:


That wraps up the latest edition of News of the Nude. What did you think? What are your feelings about the state of nudity in the world? What can body freedom advocates do to improve our situation when we’re dealing with hard times? Leave your thoughts in the comments! 🪐

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You may have just clicked this link and noticed that there is no News of the Nude “Top 5” video there. Sorry about that. This week, YouTube chose to add a “strike” to the Planet Nude account for violating their “sex and nudity policy,” apparently just for including a link back to our own website in the description. As a result, we can’t post this or any other new videos for one week. Yes, this policy—and the measures they took against our account as a result—is asinine and draconian and complete bullshit, if you’ll forgive my language, but totally in keeping with what we’ve come to expect from these online platforms and their treatment of even a whiff of a hint at the idea of mere nudity. 🙄🙄🙄

The video will be up in a few days, sans link.

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News of the Nude
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