News of the Nude, Mar. 2024

Volume 15: A daring digest of diligently disclosed disrobed developments

This month’s News of the Nude may be one of our most positive editions yet. I mean, compared to the last few months, this one is downright sunny. And with the equinox and warmer weather, I’m feeling cautiously optimistic. Spring is in the air.

In the “negatives” column, we have a few stories of media sensationalization around nudity—a common theme in these monthly media reviews. And yet, a few of these ones also get marked into the “positives” column, as they spark some necessary dialogue around issues of importance to body freedom and top freedom. Net good.

Several stories of badass women also make the “positives” column this month, which is fitting, considering it has been a great Women’s History Month—a theme we have leaned into with the stories we’ve shared over the last few weeks. In the larger media landscape this month, there are women who are artists, women who are paving new ground, and women who are doing good for others. Hell yeah.

Some items don’t fit comfortably into either the good or bad columns. There are stories that are just true. And there’s at least one that’s largely untrue, as you’ll see. It’s always interesting to examine these stories in aggregate. Value is added in their juxtaposition and themes emerge.

What do you see this month? Share in the comments.

Paid subscriber shoutout

Before we get to the headlines, I want to express some gratitude to our new paid subscribers. Here are a few of the awesome messages we’ve received in the last few weeks:

Not everyone who becomes a paid member sends one of these great messages (though I wish they did), so there are more who deserve recognition than you see here. Thank you to all our paid subscribers; you make this newsletter possible. Thank you to our free subscribers, too. We truly wouldn’t be here without you.

Let’s get to the headlines from this month. We’re going to kick it all off with a piece from the “positives” column. 🚀

Sponsor shout-out:

This edition of News of the Nude is sponsored by the Naturist Education Foundation (NEF). Supporting naturist initiatives and preserving naturist history. Learn more at www.naturisteducation.org

Minnesota legislator proposes making it legal for women to go topless

Minnesota House Representative Samantha Sencer-Mura, a Democrat from Minneapolis, has proposed an amendment to state law aiming to legalize public top-freedom for women, challenging the current definition of indecent exposure. Inspired by the case of Eloisa Plancarte, who received a 90-day jail sentence for being topless in a parking lot, Sencer-Mura seeks to address outdated perceptions of nudity and gender identity. Although not expecting the proposal to be heard this year, she hopes it sparks discussions on gender identity and legal inconsistencies.

Current Minnesota laws, vague in defining private parts, exempt breastfeeding mothers but have led to gender-based discrepancies in enforcement. This initiative, co-authored with Rep. Brion Curran of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor (DFL) party, comes amid broader debates over constitutional rights to equal protection, as highlighted by the dissenting opinions in Plancarte’s legal appeal. Concerns have been raised about the law’s application to transgender individuals and the need for a more inclusive and equitable legal definition of indecency. 🚀

Balls Out Bowling: the nudist event splitting opinions

The Pittsburgh Area Naturists’ planned “Balls Out Bowling” event has stirred a mix of amusement and debate across media. Scheduled for April 28, the event encourages patrons to enjoy bowling in the nude, promoting inclusivity across all genders and sexualities, with a strict no-photography and harassment policy. While the concept has been met with skepticism by some, as detailed in BoingBoing’s tongue-in-cheek critique (linked above), it has also garnered significant attention from mainstream media for its novelty and boldness. NPR’s popular Wait Wait... Don’t Tell Me! and the Late Show with Stephen Colbert both mentioned the even, complete with all of the low-hanging jokes and puns you could probably come up with yourself if you haven’t heard them before, which you probably have. Even though the jokes and comments in these segments have been largely juvenile, kudos are due to the organizers and bowling alley proprietors for sparking mostly positive media buzz, demonstrating a successful blend of humor, novelty, and promotion of body positivity. 🚀

Three People Did Not Enjoy John Cena’s Physical Perfection at Oscars

At the 96th Annual Oscars earlier this month, John Cena playfully performed a not-so-veiled nod to a historic Oscars moment from 1974, when Robert Opel infamously streaked across the Oscars stage. Cena was pretending to be nude (but actually wearing “nude” bicycle shorts), covered only by a winner’s card. Online reactions were mixed, with some even suggesting that the gag was in poor taste or controversial. However, according to the FCC, this cheeky homage only managed to ruffle the feathers of precisely three viewers, a comically small fraction considering the event’s massive viewership. As written in the above article from Rolling Stone, these three individuals were the only ones to vent their displeasure to the federal agency, with grievances ranging from accusations of indecency on prime-time TV to allegations of double standards regarding nudity. Their reactions, captured in the Rolling Stone article, inadvertently underscore the vast majority’s nonchalance or amusement at Cena’s stunt. Does this signify a shift in public sensitivity since Opel’s streak fifty years ago? 🚀


Bradley Cooper Says He’s Naked All the Time at Home

Bradley Cooper sparked conversation with his admission on Dax Shepard’s “Armchair Expert” podcast that he’s comfortable being naked most of the time at home around his family, attributing it to his upbringing. He shared insights into his family life, revealing that openness around nudity was normal in his household growing up and has influenced his parenting style with his daughter, Lea. This openness includes sharing the bathroom for conversations while one is in the bathtub and the other is on the toilet.

This blew up into a much bigger media story than it should have been. The actor’s admission led to discussions across various platforms from Perez Hilton to The View, with some questioning the appropriateness of his family’s approach to nudity. It seems Cooper’s story has ignited a broader dialogue on family dynamics, parenting, and societal norms regarding privacy and nudity.

It’s interesting to compare the two videos shared above in this summary, both of which are talk shows that follow a very similar format. The commentary is nearly identical, which says something about the way these stories are used for their dialogue-provoking abilities to fill airtime, but the discussion is fairly formulaic and rarely goes very deep. Still, you’ve got to hand it to the one lady on these panels who always speaks up and admits before the daytime TV wolfpack that she doesn’t think it’s that weird to go nude at home.

The debate on children’s exposure to nudity lacks a crucial element: scientific evidence. Most media discussions have missed this point entirely. If you’re seeking informed insights, I recommend the latest episode of Naked Age podcast, “The Science of Growing Up Naked.” Released Monday, it delves into the rich history of research on this subject. This episode is a must-listen for naturists, but also medical professionals and media experts keen to understand the nuances behind the recent discussions sparked by Bradley Cooper’s open admission. 🚀

Check out the latest Naked Age:

Flash Art: Neo Naturist trio bare all at Tate Britain

Tate Britain recently showcased the Neo Naturists—Jennifer Binnie, Christine Binnie, and Wilma Johnson—in a provocative display that blended art, activism, and history. Their nude performance, reenacting famous gallery nudes with body paint, posed a critical question about female representation in art. This act, part of the “Women in Revolt!” exhibition, highlighted their evolution from 1980s art scene outsiders to recognized contributors to feminist art history.

Wilma Johnson recently spoke with Planet Nude for a piece that explored this recent lecture (and current exhibition) and some of the historic meaning of the women’s well-earned recognition after a career of art and activism that spans decades. 🚀

Check our article out below:

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Hans Stein was co-founder of ‘the Cadillac’ of nudist resorts near Freelton

Hans Stein | Photo by John Rennison

Hans Stein, a pioneer in the Canadian naturism movement and co-founder of the acclaimed Four Seasons Family Nudist Resort near Freelton, recently passed away at the age of 95. His departure in December was noted in a recent article, marking the end of an era for naturists worldwide. After his harrowing experiences in WWII, Stein settled in Canada in 1957 with his wife Lisa, laying the foundations for their naturist sanctuaries, including the Ponderosa Nature Resort and the Four Seasons. These resorts became bastions of freedom, offering a luxurious escape for those embracing the nudist lifestyle, with memberships peaking at 1,200.

The Steins’ dedication to naturism was not without its debates within the community, notably around the Miss Nude Pageant, an event that was immensely popular but somewhat divisive with naturists for its objectification of female bodies. Despite such debates, their work remains a testament to their commitment to naturism’s ideals.

“I very much like Hans and Lisa,” Stéphane Deschênes, owner of Bare Oaks Family Naturist Resort in Ontario, told Planet Nude. “But we did not always agree on what nudism/naturism was about. That’s OK because friends can disagree and debate ideas.” This perspective underscores the importance of preserving the stories of pioneers like the Steins, who navigated complexities to foster a more inclusive and accepting society. For his part, Stéphane has worked to preserve the Steins’ legacy and history, with a 2015 interview of them for his podcast The Naturist Living Show, that he also edited along with historical images into a compelling history video. 🚀

Check out Stéphane’s Deschêne’s 2015 interview with Hans and Lisa Stein for the Naturist Living Show podcast:

Twitchers Flock to Protect Nudist Beach Plovers

Chicks on the beach! A new hooded plover chick, a species with only a 2.5% survival rate from egg to adulthood without human intervention, has emerged at Point Impossible’s nudist beach. The Great Ocean Road and Parks Authority, along with BirdLife Australia and other conservation groups, have implemented protective measures including an exclusion zone to safeguard these vulnerable birds from disturbances like trampling, abandonment due to human or pet interference, and predation. Beachgoers are urged to be mindful of their presence and report any sightings to aid in the recovery efforts for the hooded plover population.

Normally they say no cameras on the nude beach, but I think for these chicks, exceptions should be made. What do you think? 🚀

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Protecting nature and naturism from prejudice in Byron Shire

Photo Eve Jeffery

The Byron Shire is witnessing a concerning trend towards social repression, particularly against naturists, fueled by conservative views and supported by the NSW National Parks Wildlife Service (NPWS), argues the above article from The Echo. This movement toward prohibiting beach nudism in Tyagarah and Kings beaches represents not just an attack on a minority but also on a cultural practice deeply rooted in Australia’s history. Aboriginal Australians, for instance, lived without clothing for nearly 70,000 years, viewing the naked human body as harmoniously integrated with nature. Modern naturism, challenging repressive attitudes towards the body, flourished in Byron Bay from the 1960s, contributing significantly to community health and mental well-being.

And yet, there’s a ray of hope amidst this repression…

Tyagarah CO Beach Stakeholder Meeting is happening

Just days after the above article was published, Bradley Benham, the Byron Bay naturist and protest organizer, issued an update on his group’s Change.org petition, announcing that following overwhelming support and international news coverage, the NPWS has agreed to discussions with Tyagarah Beach activists, extending their deadline to June 30th. A stakeholders’ workshop was scheduled for March 27th, 2024, a significant step forward made possible by the community’s support. 🚀

Nudists Swarm National Trust Sites as Bosses Draw Up ‘Stripping Off’ Guidance

Back to nature (Image: BBC)

The National Trust, guardian of over 500 historic properties and vast natural spaces across the UK, has issued guidance for accommodating naturists at its sites, aiming to provide “equal access” for all visitors. This initiative stems from a longstanding relationship between naturism and certain Trust locations, like Studland beach in Dorset, popular among nudists since the 1920s. The guidance seeks to educate local managers on naturism, ensuring all visitors, including those preferring to experience the sites in the nude, feel welcome. The move has been praised by British Naturism. 🚀

Michelle (31) Gives Free Nipples in Her Tattoo Studio to People Who Have Undergone Mastectomy: “A Nipple Should Not Be a Luxury Product”

Michelle, a 31-year-old tattoo artist from Boortmeerbeek, Belgium, provides free nipple tattoos to mastectomy patients, advocating that “a nipple should not be a luxury product.” Michelle funds this mission through her non-profit, Nippie, addressing the financial gap left by medical insurance which covers breast but not nipple reconstruction. Inspired by her mother’s battle with breast cancer, Michelle also founded Artfeelings, providing art lessons to cancer patients, enhancing their healing process. Despite a significant waiting list and social media challenges, Michelle’s efforts focus on providing a semblance of normalcy and dignity to those affected by breast cancer. 🚀

Florence Pugh on the Importance of Freeing the Nipple

Florence Pugh, acclaimed for her roles and fashion sense, has again sparked conversation with her nipple revealing dress at the Oscars’ after-party. Criticism and slut-shaming ensued online, overshadowing the empowerment behind her choice. Pugh advocates for body positivity and the de-sexualization of natural body parts, aiming to shift the narrative towards acceptance and equality, and in so doing she’s genuinely leading a movement that embraces sheer and body positive fashions. 🚀

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OnlyFans Models Pretend To Breastfeed Baby Dolls To Bypass Nudity Policies On Instagram

In other nipple news, the above article asserts that OnlyFans models have been exploiting Instagram’s nudity policies by pretending to breastfeed baby dolls, as a loophole to post “sexually explicit content.” It contends that this trend involves models using dolls to mimic breastfeeding, allowing them to showcase nudity under the guise of educational content. This behavior has sparked controversy and concern among social media users and other content creators, who argue it sexualizes motherhood and attracts inappropriate audiences.

Now, I tend to fundamentally reject the notion that a nipple is inherently sexual under any circumstances, nor should it be censored on Instagram or other social media sites. If holding a doll allows them to skirt the policies and free the nipple, then more power to them. It’s not as if they’re using real kids. If they’re using it to pass off more salacious or pornographic material I could see why it could be an issue, but the examples presented in the article did not look very pornographic to me. In either regard, it’s a complicated subject, to be sure. What are your thoughts? 🚀


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Blandford Outcry: Nudist Camp Divorce Records in Public Library Sparks Controversy

“Blandford will not allow divorce story in library”

No book titles? Odd and impossible looking architectural features? Could this stock image be an AI creation as well? Who and what can we trust?

The story behind this intriguing headline is quite the tale. A nudist couple’s divorce ignites public controversy in a small town following its documentation in the local library’s archives. I saw the headline come up in a Google alert and was intrigued by the promise of a story that appeared to touch on interesting debates around privacy, community values, and more. But the article I found when I clicked on the link was vague in detail and clearly written by an AI generator of some sort. Puzzled, I started googling to see if I could find some other article that could substantiate the story and fill in the details. Some digging revealed that this headline, framed like a current event, actually took place in 1942.

The original article was re-published last month by The Berkshire Eagle, and was featured as a “this day in history piece from the paper’s historical archives. It was subsequently picked up by BNN News, a Hong Kong-based news site. Their version had some true details from the original article, including names and population data, but it presented the article without its historical context, leading to a full article that reads as if this nudist-themed controversy happened just last week.

After some more googling, I learned that the BNN News platform has been criticized for its controversial use of AI to aggregate and sometimes plagiarize stories. I could immediately tell something was off with its version of the story and that I should not take it at face value, but it took some investigation to figure out what had actually occurred. The AI story even has an apparently AI-generated stock image of a modern library, which made it more confusing.

While the story’s misrepresentation of nudism might seem trivial, it underscores the potential dangers of disseminating misleading information on more critical news topics. What’s the solution to this problem? 🚀

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Why Are Penises In Older Paintings So Small Compared To Today?

Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 4.0)

A fascinating study investigating the depiction of penis size in art over the past seven centuries reveals that penis sizes in paintings have grown significantly, especially from the 19th century onwards. Researchers analyzed 232 paintings from 21 countries, focusing on the “penis-to-ear” or “penis-to-nose” ratios as a measure, avoiding depictions of erect penises and children. They found that while penis sizes remained relatively small through the 15th to the 18th centuries, there was a notable increase in size in the artworks from the 19th century onwards. This change is attributed to modern influences such as the internet and pornography, which may have altered perceptions of ideal penis size, associating larger sizes with masculinity and partner satisfaction. The study suggests that contemporary media’s portrayal of exaggerated penis sizes could contribute to men’s body image issues and dissatisfaction. 🚀

That concludes this month’s edition of New of the Nude.

I, for one, am feeling hopeful. It’s springtime. The weather is warming. Some serious threats that had naturists cornered over the winter have been nullified. Right now, we need to come together and decide how to move forward. We can still stand tall. We just have to be thankful for what we’ve got. 🪐

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News of the Nude
A curated monthly collection of nude and nude-adjacent news items.
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