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News of the Nude, Jun. 2024

A rich repository of revealing writings from the recent month
12

Hello and welcome to another News of the Nude. This month was full of World Naked Bike Rides, and this year is the official 20th anniversary of WNBR. Many of these news stories this month cover these events, from successes to backlash against the rides and scams surrounding the rides. Beyond WNBR, there are also stories of wins and losses for naturists around the world, and celebrations and battles hard-fought.

There is no need for further preamble; let’s just get into it. But first, as we do each month, let’s acknowledge our newest paid subscribers.

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Okay, with all of that out of the way, let’s get to the headlines. 🚀


News of the Nude 🪐


Wisconsin parents fuming after climate protesters strip down naked during public protest, official says

Milwaukee Journal Sentinal

The World Naked Bike Ride returned to Madison, Wisconsin, on June 15, 2024, despite legislative attempts to ban the event last year. Approximately 200 participants gathered to promote body positivity and protest against greenhouse gas emissions. Madison police have not issued citations for over a decade, though recent scrutiny arose after a young girl participated last year, prompting Republican lawmakers to propose bans.

Rep. Cindi Duchow expressed concern about children’s exposure to the event, highlighting that the proposed bills aimed to prevent minors from attending public nudity events and prohibit photographing nude children, except for reporting purposes. Although these bills passed the Senate, they did not reach a floor vote in the Assembly, thus failing to become law. Duchow plans to reintroduce the legislation in the next session, asserting, “In theory, all of my colleagues agreed with me.”

Dane County Supervisor Jeff Weigand played a pivotal role in last year’s controversy by raising concerns about a young girl’s participation in the news media. The same girl participated again this year, and Weigand wasted no time to step back into the limelight with a Fox News interview this week in which he called the event “evil” and stressed the need to protect children’s innocence. Weigand’s comments, alongside heightened media coverage, have intensified the controversy, with far-right groups like Gays Against Groomers and Libs of TikTok amplifying their stance against public nudity events, and conflating WNBR with pride in attempt to whip up homophobic anger amongst their followers.

Tweets from these groups further fueled the debate:

  • Gays Against Groomers Wisconsin: “🚨This just happened earlier today. A naked child was participating in a parade🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍⚧️ with nude adult cyclists and bystanders in Madison WI #GaysAgainstGroomers” Link

  • Reduxx Magazine: “WISCONSIN: A nude prepubescent girl was brought to the all-ages ‘Naked Bike Ride’ in Madison for the second year in a row. Concerned citizens had previously reported the girl’s participation to law enforcement, but police stated that no crime had been committed.” Link

  • Libs of TikTok: “How has nobody been arrested yet for this? Does Brian Krassenstein approve?” Link

These groups, known for their anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric and opposition to gender-affirming care, present a significant threat to naturists and events like WNBR, promoting a narrative that equates nudity with moral corruption and exploitation.

Despite the backlash, participants and supporters of WNBR argue for the positive impact of body positivity and environmental awareness. The Madison event remains a focal point of ongoing debates over public decency, personal freedom, and the protection of children’s rights in public spaces. As Peter Keating, the Madison ride organizer, recounted to Planet Nude, “[the mother of the girl] said something to me right at the start of the ride about doing it again, and I replied, ‘We’ll show those Republicans what we’re made of.’”

Notably, the same mother and daughter also participated in the Milwaukee ride one week later without even a blip in the press, despite a heavy media presence at the event, according to John Jankowski, the organizer of that ride. Contrasting the culture in Madison, the state capitol, with his city, Jankowski told Planet Nude, “It was hands down the most fun ride I have had so far.” 🚀

More background:


Seattle’s Denny Blaine Park to remain a nude beach

Luke Johnson | The Seattle Times

Seattle’s Denny Blaine Park, known for its unofficial status as a nude beach, especially for the LGBTQ+ community, will maintain its current usage guidelines. Seattle Parks and Recreation decided against implementing a plan to divide the park into nude and clothing-recommended zones, following public opposition. The plan was initially proposed after a controversial playground project, backed by millionaire Stuart Sloan, was vetoed due to community backlash. Friends of Denny Blaine Park, advocating for the park’s traditional use, expressed disappointment that explicit guidelines supporting public nudity were not included but appreciated the rejection of the zoning plan. The parks department recognized the community group and is working on improvements like handrails and invasive plant removal to enhance safety and access. 🚀

More background:


Cyclists harassed and assaulted at Naked Bike Ride in U.K.

London bike ride 2024 | Source

WNBR events in London and Brighton saw around 2,000 participants promoting body positivity and protesting car dependency. The Brighton ride, marking its 18th year, concluded at the city’s naturist beach, while London riders pedaled from locations including near Buckingham Palace. The events, aimed at raising awareness about climate change and cycling infrastructure, attracted public attention and reactions ranging from amusement to hostility.

Despite the celebratory atmosphere, participants faced harassment and assault. Onlookers heckled and physically attacked some riders, highlighting societal resistance to public nudity. British political activist Tommy Robinson, known for his far-right views, shared a clip of the harassment, which was well-received by his followers. Sussex Police, present at the Brighton event with more than a dozen officers, aimed to ensure safety, but incidents of violence underscored the challenges of public acceptance.

The WNBR, originating in 2004, has become a global event advocating for environmental awareness and cycling safety. In Canada, cities like Vancouver, Toronto, and Montreal also host annual rides, promoting sustainability and body acceptance. The recent events in the UK reflect both the progress and ongoing challenges faced by the naturist and environmental movements. 🚀


Portland World Naked Bike Ride canceled for 2024, but it will return

2023 Naked Bike Ride in Southeast Portland

Portland’s WNBR will take a hiatus in 2024 and return in 2025, organizers announced. The Portlant event, widely regarded as the largest WNBR in the US, was first held in 2004 and drew 10,000 participants last year. Organizers cited volunteer recruitment delays and the scale of the event as reasons for the break. They are now seeking volunteers for 2025, encouraging new perspectives beyond the bike community. The ride is a major part of Pedalpalooza, a months-long bicycle festival in Portland. 🚀


Harry Potter-obsessed nudists to get wands out with trip to real-life Hogwarts

Château d'Alnwick en Angleterre par beau temps | Source

Harry Potter-obsessed nudists will have the chance to roam Alnwick Garden in the nude this summer, as British Naturism offers fans an opportunity to explore the historic site that served as Hogwarts in the Harry Potter films. Scheduled for June 8, the event invites participants to enjoy the garden’s water features and the Poison Garden, with a changing area and refreshments provided. The promotion, titled “Get Naked in Northumberland,” highlights the unique experience of being naked in the picturesque setting of Alnwick Castle. Tickets are priced at £12, promising a whimsical day for naturist Harry Potter fans. 🚀

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This News of the Nude is sponsored by the Naturist Action Committee (NAC), dedicated to making naturism an accepted part of society.

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Byron Bay stripped of nudist beach after no alternative found for clothing-optional zone

The NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) announced the closure of the clothing-optional area at Tyagarah Nature Reserve, near Byron Bay, by August 30. Established in 1998, the area will shut down after a recent land survey determined it falls under NPWS jurisdiction. Despite discussions with stakeholders, no viable alternative locations were found. Local resident Gwen Gould celebrated the closure, citing long-standing issues with lewd behavior. However, Northern Rivers Naturists president Bradley Benham expressed disappointment, noting the beach’s 25-year history as a nude area. Compliance challenges are expected, with some predicting continued nude use despite the rule change. 🚀

More background:


German naturists fear for future of lifestyle amid falling interest

Alamy

The German Association for Free Body Culture (DFK) faces a steep decline in membership, falling from 65,000 fifty years ago to 34,000 today. DFK President Alfred Sigloch cites generational conflicts and social media pressures as primary reasons for the drop, noting older members’ resistance to change and younger people’s discomfort with nudity due to digital surveillance and body image issues. The cancellation of the DFK’s 75th anniversary celebration due to low interest underscores the crisis.

DFK President Alfred Sigloch

Despite these challenges, Sigloch remains committed to promoting naturism, emphasizing its health benefits and historical significance. He highlights upcoming events like the 15th International Naturist Run and the DFK swimming championships as opportunities to reinvigorate the community. Sigloch’s optimism is bolstered by a slight membership increase during the COVID-19 pandemic, as people sought healthy outdoor activities. However, the rise of luxury camping and social media pressures continue to threaten the future of nudism in Germany. 🚀


Wreck Beach users say Metro Vancouver is meddling with management of clothing-optional site

Longtime visitors of Vancouver’s Wreck Beach, one of North America’s largest clothing-optional beaches, are upset over recent safety measures implemented by Metro Vancouver. These changes include the removal of large logs that provided privacy and barriers against wind and sun, leading to an increase in voyeurism. This update follows our previous reports on the beach’s management issues. Beachgoers like Mary Jean Dunsdon and Stephen Biduk argue that the changes have ruined the beach’s character and increased gawker activity. Despite Metro Vancouver’s aim to improve safety and access, the Wreck Beach Preservation Society is demanding the return of the logs to ensure privacy and maintain the beach’s unique environment. 🚀

More background:


Dad confronts cops over Oregon public nudity law

Thomas Collins, a father from Bend, Oregon, confronted a police officer over state laws allowing public nudity after a naked stranger walked onto his property in front of his two-year-old son. Collins’ video of the incident, posted on June 4, has garnered over 800,000 views, highlighting his frustration with the lack of legal repercussions for public nudity in Oregon unless it involves sexual intent. This incident sparked debate among Bend residents, with some advocating for personal freedoms and others expressing concern over children’s safety. Bend Police Communications Manager Sheila Miller explained that public nudity without sexual intent is not a crime under Oregon law. The controversy recalls a high-profile case from 2001, involving nude activist Terri Sue Webb, who disrobed in court and was later committed for mental health treatment. Opinions in Bend remain divided, with some residents calling for legislative changes to address public decency concerns while others emphasize the importance of personal freedoms. 🚀


Nude beach etiquette: Lose your clothes, not your manners

CNN re-shared a video featuring Ronna Krozy, PR chair for the American Association for Nude Recreation, which first aired last November. Ronna, a mentor I admire greatly, offers guidance on proper etiquette at nude beaches. Key tips include maintaining a respectful distance from others, always using a towel to sit on for hygiene, and avoiding any form of gawking or staring. Krozy emphasizes that naturism is about body acceptance and non-sexual social nudity.

Stéphane Deschênes, president of the International Naturist Federation (and Planet Nude contributor), adds, “People often think naturism is about not wearing clothes. But that’s not the objective. That’s simply the tool that we use to achieve body acceptance.” The video also addresses common concerns, such as accidental arousal for men and menstrual periods for women, advocating for comfort and respect for all beachgoers.

Naturism, a movement promoting non-sexual social nudity, has grown globally with hundreds of clothing-optional beaches. Krozy advises first-timers to behave as they would at a “church picnic” and stresses the importance of eye contact and friendly conversation. Deschênes highlights that naturism fosters openness and honesty, improving relationships. The video provides essential guidelines for enjoying a respectful and positive naturist experience. 🚀


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No one showed up for San Antonio’s World Naked Bike Ride on Saturday

The empty meet-up spot for the ride | Michael Karlis

This story made the rounds on social media last week and caught our attention for more reasons than the obvious. The WNBR in San Antonio, reportedly scheduled for June 15th, saw no participants. Despite online promotion, Alamo Plaza was devoid of nude cyclists or bicycles. Curious onlookers, expecting the three-hour ride, were left disappointed. What the article fails to uncover is that the listing that the writer of this article based his information on is a scam listing, and he was apparently duped. Organizers have not commented on the no-show. The event was hindered by threats of arrest and citation from local police, who were prepared to enforce a city ordinance banning public nudity. Initially planned for the Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort, the event was relocated downtown after hotel officials expressed unawareness. I am currently at work on a more in-depth investigation into this network of scam listings, which readers can expect to read on Planet Nude very soon. 🚀


Press release from British Naturism: It’s Time for Nudefest 2024

Photos courtesy of Helen Berriman

Nudefest 2024, the UK’s largest naturist festival, was held from June 17-23 at Thorney Lakes Caravan and Camping Park in Langport, Somerset. Since its start in 2007, the event has grown significantly, offering a week filled with activities such as live music, silent discos, sports, wellness sessions, and off-site visits to local cider farms. Event Manager Mark Walsh highlighted the community spirit as a key feature, while National Spokesman Andrew Welch noted its popularity within the UK’s naturist community, which counts around seven million people.

Despite being a media-worthy annual event, there was a notable lack of specific press coverage this year. However, numerous attendees shared photos on social media, showcasing the vibrant atmosphere and indicating that an amazing time was had by all. 🚀


My life as a nudist - and the benefits of stripping off: Naturist reveals how getting naked can...

British Naturism is frequently in the news, but this is the first time BN Spokesman Andrew Welch has written the byline. Welch shares his personal journey into naturism, beginning with a transformative experience on a French beach at age 14. He recounts how naturism has provided him with a profound sense of well-being, relaxation, and acceptance, contrasting it with the stress and constraints of clothed life. Welch highlights naturism’s health benefits, including improved self-esteem and body image, supported by recent scientific research. He dispels misconceptions, emphasizing that naturism is not mandatory nudity but a choice for comfort and freedom. Welch’s narrative is a call to embrace naturism’s liberating and community-oriented aspects, encouraging readers to consider its joys and benefits. He notes a growing acceptance, with a 2022 Ipsos survey revealing 6.75 million Brits identify as naturists or nudists, and significant participation among younger people. 🚀


Nudists vow to continue baring all despite losing battle against new housing development they fear

In a previous edition of News of the Nude, we reported on the conflict between naturists and developers over Eastney Beach in Portsmouth, Hampshire. The naturists have now lost their battle to stop a new housing development, but they vow to continue using the clothing-optional beach. Despite concerns that new residents of the luxury flats will oppose the nudists, the council stated that public nudity aligns with the philosophy of naturism. The development, approved by Portsmouth City Council, will proceed, but beach access is expected to remain open to naturists. Naturist Graham Jickells emphasized that the community will continue to use the beach and await the reaction of the new residents. 🚀


Inside the nudist renaissance

Rowan Pelling explores the revival of naturism, highlighting Charles Dance’s recent nude appearance and its impact on promoting body positivity. Historically, Germany led the naturism movement with its Freikörperkultur, emphasizing a return to nature and simplicity. Despite a decline in membership at German naturist clubs due to social media pressures and privacy concerns, the UK is witnessing a resurgence. Pelling discusses the enduring appeal of naturism, especially in places like the Newnham Riverbank Club in Cambridge, where nudists and clothed members coexist. The movement offers spiritual and health benefits, providing an escape from the technological revolution. The article also touches on how modern naturism faces challenges from influencers and societal pressures, yet continues to attract those seeking liberation and a return to natural living. 🚀


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DeSantis Says He Cut ALL Florida Art Funding Over... Sexual Festivals?

Wikimedia Commons

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced he vetoed $32 million in public art grants due to events he deemed “sexual festivals.” The two events in question, including the Orlando International Fringe Theater Festival, were cited as the reason for cutting funds previously approved by the state legislature. The festivals, described by organizers as featuring live theater and kid-friendly activities, were characterized by DeSantis as inappropriate for taxpayer funding. This decision has impacted numerous art organizations, including the Tampa Museum of Art and Sarasota Opera, causing widespread concern. Critics argue that DeSantis’s actions misrepresent the festivals and harm Florida’s arts community.

This move is particularly foreboding for a state known for its thriving nudist communities and public nude beaches. DeSantis’s broad veto signals some potential future restrictions on body freedom and naturist activities, casting a shadow over Florida’s reputation as a haven for naturists. 🚀


Hoda Kotb says she went skinny-dipping with her kids

Hoda Kotb revealed she went skinny-dipping with her daughters, Haley, 7, and Hope, 5, in a friend’s private backyard pool. During a segment on TODAY, co-host Sheinelle Jones encouraged Hoda to share the story. Hoda described the fun experience, mentioning how her friend’s husband humorously shielded his eyes with a paper plate while barbecuing. The children shrieked with delight, making the moment memorable for the family. Sheinelle, who admitted never having skinny-dipped, praised Hoda for her spirited parenting, concluding that Hoda is a “good mom” for creating such joyful experiences with her children. 🚀


Cyclonudista Brussels: Biking Bare for a Better Tomorrow

On June 15, 2024, Brussels hosted the 18th Cyclonudista, part of the World Naked Bike Ride (WNBR). Despite rainy weather, participants gathered to advocate for safer cycling infrastructure and environmental awareness. The event highlights the vulnerability of cyclists and calls for improved urban planning to reduce car dependency and promote eco-friendly transportation. Originating from the Spanish Ciclonudista in 2001, WNBR has grown globally, using nudity to emphasize the need for better protection for cyclists. The event, inclusive of various levels of nudity, is meticulously organized with local authorities, ensuring a safe and impactful protest. Participants aim to draw attention to the lack of cycling lanes and the dangers cyclists face, pushing for significant changes in urban mobility. 🚀


Gaby Hoffmann is ‘annoyed’ that nudity is more controversial than violence

Matt Winkelmeyer | WireImage

Actress Gaby Hoffmann expressed her frustration over Hollywood’s controversial stance on nudity compared to violence. In an interview with The Independent, Hoffmann, known for her roles in “Crystal Fairy & the Magical Cactus” and “Girls,” emphasized her comfort with onscreen nudity, arguing that it shouldn’t be a big deal if it’s not exploitative. She criticized the public’s shock towards nudity while accepting graphic violence, questioning why nudity provokes such a strong reaction. Hoffmann finds the focus on nudity trivial and would rather see nudity than graphic violence on screen, stating, “Do we really need to talk about tits and vaginas? Let’s talk about AK47s.” Hoffmann highlighted the absurdity of celebrating violence while stigmatizing natural human bodies. She is set to star in Netflix’s “Eric,” a series about a missing child in 1980s Manhattan, which explores the struggles of parents, played by Hoffmann and Benedict Cumberbatch, amidst the harrowing search for their son. 🚀


Human ancestor ‘Lucy’ was hairless, new research suggests. Here’s why that matters.

Getty

New genetic analysis suggests that “Lucy,” the 3.2-million-year-old Australopithecus afarensis that is regarded as the precursor to the modern human, may have been hairless, challenging traditional depictions of her with thick fur. This study aligns with theories that early humans lost most body hair 3 to 4 million years ago, long before adopting clothing. These findings highlight the complex relationship between nudity, body image, and societal norms, and underscore the body’s innate ability to regulate temperature and adapt to environmental conditions without artificial coverings.

Naturists know well that the human body has evolved to function without clothing. Walking freely in the nude and experiencing the natural cooling system that your body provides with sweat, compared to the way clothes trap moisture against your body, makes this evident. Nudity is an evolutionary survival mechanism. Does this give new scientific and historical backing to a clothing free way of life? 🚀

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The big picture: a nudist paradise in 1930s France by Pierre Audebert

Île du Levant, 1935 | Éliane Schoeffert-Audebert collection | Pierre Audebert Archives

In 1928, French doctors André and Gaston Durville founded the first naturist club in Paris, leading to the creation of the Héliopolis resort on Île du Levant in 1930. Their naturist practices were aimed at promoting health through massage, vegetarianism, physical exercise, and hypnosis, partly as a response to the traumas of WWI and the Spanish flu. Photographer Pierre Audebert captured the serene and liberated atmosphere of the island for their magazine, Naturisme. The Île du Levant remains a popular naturist destination today, despite a decline in visitors since the 1960s. Audebert’s work is featured in this year’s Arles photography festival. 🚀


That’s it for this month. As you can see, there are many reasons to celebrate the progress being made in the world of nudity. And there are reasons to be cautious. But we can’t let the haters break our stride.

See you next month. 🪐

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News of the Nude
A curated monthly collection of nude and nude-adjacent news items, delivered on the last Friday of each month.
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