News of the Nude, no. 12
A near-complete nexus of noteworthy nude news, neatly noted from numerous nations
Twelve months of Planet Nude has produced twelve editions of this regular series, News of the Nude, wherein I summarize and analyze global news that relates to nudity, nudism, naturism, top-free equality, nude expression, or body freedom.
After a full year of keeping this regular writing assignment up, the question I now grapple with, which is of absolutely no consequence whatsoever, is whether or not next month, the beginning of a new year, should be labeled “No. 13,” or if I should get weird and go with “Vol 2. No. 1,” to indicate a new year. Whatever naming scheme I go with, I kind of have to commit to.
It’s arbitrary, but I’m ambivalent. I like the simplicity of one and the eccentricity of the other. Let’s put it to a popular vote. What do you think?
Feel strongly? Leave a comment.
Looking at the assortment of headlines below, it’s hard to find many common strands, but one that emerges, in my view, is this idea of community. Many of these stories are about different communities, and the ways nudity is either embraced or rejected within the various micro-cultures of those communities. Sometimes there’s a culture clash between two altogether different communities. Other times, happily, a culture of nudity is embraced by the larger community. We like these stories.
I guess you could probably argue that, on some level, these themes of culture clash and community are common in most, if not all, nudist stories. Be that as it may, ‘community’ is as fitting a motif as I can come up with to highlight during this year-end edition of News of the Nude. Especially in taking time to put together our recent year-in-review, I have been thinking a lot about this community.
This regular series has become a staple in my monthly routine, a practice I’ve diligently kept up over the last year. I hope that it has also fostered a sense of community for some of you, as it has for me, by making the world feel a bit smaller and by drawing parallels between our experiences and those of others worldwide. Additionally, your engagement with these posts in the comments, sharing your perspectives or leads on stories, has greatly contributed to a tangible sense of community around this newsletter. Thank you for being part of this community.
Speaking of thank you’s: I want to share a few of the paid subscriber comments we’ve received in the past few weeks. We wouldn’t be here without these subscribers who see value in the work we are doing enough to support us with their dollars. Thank you to all of our generous new subscribers.
This is not a full representation of our new paid subscribers, just the ones who opted to include messages in their upgrade. More deserve recognition for their support. Whether or not you included a message, thank you.
I have to say, I truly love receiving messages like this from our readers. If you’re enjoying what we’re doing, or have feedback, whether you’re a paid subscriber or not, find Planet Nude on Twitter, Instagram, or Bluesky, and shoot me a note.
Okay, now without any further nonsense, let’s move on to the main attraction. As I always try to do, let’s start this month off with some good news. 🚀
A Clothing-Optional Polar ‘Bare’ Swim Dips into Surrey on New Year’s Day
The 16th Polar Bare Plunge in Surrey, British Columbia, hosted by Surrey United Naturists, offers a unique twist to traditional New Year’s polar bear swims. Set at Crescent Rock Beach, it’s a clothing-optional event, welcoming participants to embrace the cold in their natural state. The plunge, which typically draws up to 100 swimmers, encourages festive accessories while highlighting the fun and freedom of naturist activities. It’s a refreshing example of how naturism can be integrated into mainstream events, offering a fun and inclusive way to celebrate the new year.
Of course, Surrey is not the only place nudists do nude cold plunges, for New Years or otherwise. In fact, just yesterday I learned of a regular Nude Year’s plunge at Ocean Beach in San Francisco. Have you ever participated in such a thing? If so, where? 🚀
Europe’s largest naturist camp plots to oust French mayor in bizarre political row
Euronat, Europe’s largest naturist holiday camp in Grayan-et-l’Hôpital, near Bordeaux, France, is embroiled in a complex political and financial dispute. Mayor Florence Legrand has challenged the lease terms with Euronat, claiming the camp should pay double its current rent, plus a €9 million lump sum. This dispute has led to a political storm, with Euronat setting up a campaign group and 300 holiday-goers joining the local electoral roll, prompting the mayor to allege an ‘electoral conspiracy.’
This story is pretty wild, but it’s clear that the media controversy surrounding this conflict has been framed to generate intrigue and clicks. Still, it’s worth recognizing that on some level, every naturist space must navigate the delicate complexities of local governance and community relations. 🚀
More to explore
Less is more: A glimpse into Pasco County’s nudism industry
Pasco County, Florida, known as the nudist capital of the country, boasts a thriving nudist industry, contributing about $7.4 billion annually to the state’s economy, according to the above article. This community, home to various resorts and neighborhoods, embraces a clothing-optional lifestyle. Traci Kanaan, president of the Paradise Lakes Condominium Association, highlights the nonjudgmental nature of their community, which is characterized by typical neighborhood amenities but stands out for its culture of body acceptance and welcomes diverse body types and backgrounds, focusing on comfort and natural living. According to Kanaan, the community attracts a wide age range, including a growing number of younger visitors. Pasco county gets a lot of media attention like this for its culture of nudism. This may be the third or fourth story of this nature we’ve shared on News of the Nude in the past year. 🚀
Nude campsite in conflict with neighbors, where guests are confronted with ‘bare penises’
In Eersel, the Netherlands, a nudist camp, Hoeve Boord Ven, faces conflict with neighboring guesthouse BoksheideBuiten. In the above article, at least according to the Google-translated version I read, the guesthouse owner, Mr. Van Maanen, expressed discomfort over his guests, including children, potentially seeing naked campers. The issue seems to have sparked debate about modifying local regulations to mandate concealment of the camp from neighbors. The camp owner, Mrs. De Wolf, argues against discrimination, citing existing privacy measures and claiming harassment from their neighbors. Much like in the above two stories, this situation deals with the delicate balance between naturist spaces and the surrounding community. 🚀
Court revives Nirvana child pornography lawsuit over ‘Nevermind’ cover
The U.S. appeals court has revived a lawsuit against Nirvana over the ‘Nevermind’ album cover, which features a naked baby. The plaintiff, Spencer Elden, formerly the baby in question, is now 32, and alleges the band sexually exploited him and has caused personal harm. The lawsuit was initially dismissed for being filed too late, but the 9th Circuit Court overturned this decision, citing the recent republication of the album cover. Defendants include band members and photographer Kirk Weddle.
This story seems to pop up every few years, as the plaintiff has been open with the media about his seeking damages over the famous rock album art for some time, at least since he was first in the news trying to benefit from it. Nudists may cite this story and say, “What’s the big deal? It’s just a little harmless nudity?” and I would be inclined to agree with that sentiment on first blush, but of course, I’ve never walked a mile in the shoes of someone who has had their nude likeness used in one of the most iconic images in pop culture in the last 50 years. It’s easy for me to say.
Still, it’s highly troubling to consider the implications of labeling any image depicting mere nudity as pornography—it may have been personally damaging, but pornography?—and headlines like this one seem designed to stir up base emotions around a divisive issue.
One thing is for certain: the legal battle raises complex questions about consent, childhood exploitation, and artistic freedom. It underscores the need for careful consideration in using images of minors, especially in widely distributed media. The case also prompts a deeper discussion on the evolving understanding of consent and the long-term impacts of decisions made on behalf of children. And that certainly may have implications for nudist groups, businesses, or organizations using parentally consented images featuring nude families or children in their promotional materials.
Curious to know your thoughts! 🚀
Channel 4 axes nudist reality TV Show
In the UK, Channel 4 has canceled its unconventional reality TV show, ‘Naked, Alone And Racing To Get Home,’ where contestants, in a survival challenge, traversed the country completely nude. This show is similar to ‘Naked and Afraid’ in that it offers a distinct take on nudity by placing it in a casual, non-sexual context. Although its cancellation isn’t a major blow to nudism, it does diminish the presence of non-sexualized nudity in mainstream media. Personally, I would like to see more shows along these lines, not less. 🚀
Antiques Roadshow viewers left red-faced by racy ‘orgy painting’
BBC’s “Antiques Roadshow” stirred up reactions when a painting titled “The Nudist Colony Annual Dinner Dance,” depicting naked dancers, was featured. Valued at £5,000-£6,000, the episode amused some viewers and embarrassed others. Antiques expert Phillip Mould and the owner, who displayed it in his bathroom, jovially discussed the painting’s comedic aspects.
This presentation of nudity in an art form on a mainstream platform highlights the varying public perceptions of nudity. The episode sparked reactions online, ranging from amusement to embarrassment, with viewers commenting on the unexpected nudity.
For nudists who may have a higher than average tolerance to the sight of a naked body, the discomfort that nudity, even in artistic forms like this painting, tends to evoke in mainstream settings seems perplexing, but it is important to note and remember. Sometimes actual nudity may not necessarily be the best way to normalize the idea of nudity. Sometime the shock of nudity creates a backlash that’s too strong to overcome. Sometimes, at least in certain groups, even the notion of nudity is offensive. Is nudism a lost cause among these particular groups? It might be. 🚀
Polymorphous perversity in the heartland: The scandal of the Kinsey Institute and Indiana University
As we recently reported on Planet Nude, The Kinsey Institute at Indiana University is facing significant challenges in the wake of conservative criticism and state legislative actions. In a new development, Indiana University Provost Rahul Shrivastav is holding listening sessions to discuss the future of the Kinsey Institute following a state law banning state funding for the Institute’s sexual research. Just in the last two weeks, conservative commentators, such as Albert Mohler and The Federalist, have targeted the Institute, criticizing its research and calling for its defunding. Amid these pressures, there’s concern over the Institute’s academic freedom and its future operation.
It seems The Kinsey Institute is becoming a sort of lightning rod in the “culture wars,” representing progressive institutional values within the traditionally conservative core of America.
We will continue tracking this story and provide updates when available. 🚀
In case you missed it
Kansas school district restricts books that mention nudity, sexual orientation or gender identity
The Leavenworth School District in Kansas has adopted a policy restricting books with references to nudity, gender identity, or sexual orientation in elementary school libraries. The decision, which passed narrowly with a 4-3 vote, has been criticized for targeting LGBTQ+ books and potentially impacting a broad range of educational materials. The policy prohibits any visual or written description of nudity, extending to stories like “The Emperor’s New Clothes” and books featuring LGBTQ+ characters. While the policy becomes less restrictive in middle and high school, it has raised concerns about censorship and the representation of diverse identities in school literature. 🚀
Yes, really, you should be sleeping naked even in Winter
In this article from Huffington Post (can you call it an article? It’s really more like filler—filler that I saw passed around quite a lot on social media), a sleep expert advises that sleeping naked may be beneficial, even in the colder months, citing hygiene and health benefits, as well as benefits for comfort and mood. I’m assuming that for most readers of this newsletter, none of the information presented in this piece comes as any surprise. Still, you love to see it. 🚀
Kids play area by Seattle nude beach canceled after pushback
As we have also reported here on Planet Nude, Seattle’s Denny Blaine Park, known for being a nude beach and a queer and trans community hub, faced controversy over a proposed kids’ play area. The plan, backed by an anonymous $500,000 donation, was met with strong community pushback. Residents and advocates argued that the play area could disrupt the park’s status as a safe space for nudism and LGBTQIA+ individuals. Speakers at a community meeting expressed concerns about safety and potential conflicts, highlighting the park’s significance as a rare location for visibly trans individuals to feel safe. Very soon after the outpouring of opposition to the plans at a public hearing, the city reversed course and cancelled the development plans.
It’s notable that, just like with Hanlan’s Point nude beach in Toronto earlier this year, it was an organized and overwhelming response by the LGBTQ+ community fighting for the preservation of their own cultural spaces that ultimately resulted in the overturning of development proposals.
The Denny Blaine playground proposal sparked fears of gentrification and tension between the nudist, queer, and trans communities and the neighborhood families. This incident really highlighted the delicate balance in public spaces between different community needs and the importance of preserving safe spaces for marginalized groups, including those practicing nudism. 🚀
The rise of full frontal: How ‘Saltburn’ is ushering in a new age of on-screen nudity
The recent film “Saltburn” is making waves with its portrayal of full-frontal nudity, notably in a scene with actor Barry Keoghan. This trend of showcasing the naked body in film is growing, as seen in other films like Jennifer Lawrence’s “No Hard Feelings.” These scenes are not designed entirely for shock value; they also seek, on some level, to normalize and celebrate the human form, moving away from the notion that bodies are shameful or their only role in movies is in depictions of sex. According to this article, this shift in perspective is significant in a post-MeToo world, where intimacy coordinators ensure safe and consensual environments on film sets. The use of nudity in films like “Saltburn” is a step toward redefining the narrative around nudity, challenging historical biases, and promoting a more balanced representation of the male and female forms.
With all of that said, I’m going off the article, and haven’t seen the actual film yet. Have you? If so, what was your reaction to its depiction of nudity? 🚀
Female Nudity: How ‘Empowerment’ Lost Its Meaning In Capitalism World
In the above opinion-editorial, author Ishika Thanvi discusses the historical transformation of female nudity in feminist movements. She argues that the portrayal of nudity in feminist movements—initially seen as a political statement—has evolved into a commodified aspect in today’s capitalist society. This shift raises questions about the inclusivity of modern feminism, especially in relation to different cultural contexts, such as in India, where nudity is often equated with promiscuity and oppression. The author raises the need to redefine empowerment to be more inclusive of modesty, extending beyond conventional standards and acknowledging diverse experiences and backgrounds.
From a nudist perspective, this poses a conflicting idea. It’s certainly true that empowerment through nudity is not universal and varies significantly across cultures. What constitutes empowerment for some may not resonate with others, especially considering that women face varied forms of disempowerment. Nudism advocates for the acceptance and normalization of the human body in its natural state, viewing nudity as a potential form of empowerment. However, it’s crucial to recognize, to the author’s point, that this does not universally apply to all women due to cultural, societal, and personal factors. Imposing a singular form of empowerment, whether it mandates modesty or immodesty, fails to acknowledge the diverse experiences and needs of women globally. True empowerment in the context of nudity should be self-defined, and respectful of individual and cultural differences. Nobody needs to be naked to be empowered, and some may truly find empowerment through modesty, which is great—but if nudity empowers others, more power to them. 🚀
Nudism Trend - Fall/Winter 2024-25 (Studio Annflor Sangan)
Annflor Sangan’s creative studio has intriguingly unveiled their Fall/Winter 2024/25 line, “Nudisme,” shared via the fashion blog, Fashion Network. The collection, inspired by the human body, is a study in contrasts. As the studio describes, “The more I design and conceive fashion, the more I realize the importance of beauty... Hair has never been so important, products by the thousands, skin grains, morning routines. Clothes cover the body. But more than ever, in my opinion, the muscle is present.”
The line seems to be somewhat self-aware in its concept of nudity-inspired fashion, and I appreciate any design taking inspiration from the beauty of the natural human form—especially when it focuses not on some impossible bodily ideal but on the reality of bodies, emphasizing hair and freckles and other features—but still, I can’t help but scoff a little as I note the irony of a fashion line being called nudism.
It might be nude, but if you ask me, it’s still pretty far from nudism. 🚀
The Cure for the Winter Blues? Being Fully Naked in New York City
In a recent “Saturday Night Live” episode, Bowen Yang and Emma Stone humorously address winter blues with a quirky remedy: riding naked on a garbage truck through New York City. The segment, featuring pixelated nudity for comedic effect, showcased the cast engaging in various city jobs while in the nude, such as construction and graffiti cleaning. It really wasn’t nudism, and it was a little obvious that the pixel blurs were just covering skin-toned biker shorts, but the video was still pretty absurd and fun and I enjoyed it. 🚀
And that's a wrap on 2023’s final edition of News of the Nude. As we hover on the brink of 2024, a year shaping up to be a whirlwind of election frenzy and unpredictable twists, the collective anxiety is palpable. As we gear up for whatever next year throws at us, let’s stride into the chaos with some measure of confidence and do our best to embrace the Future Shock. 🪐