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Nudity is subversive. It’s okay for nudism to be too.
Why nudists should want nudism to retain some of Its rebellious edge
Nudity has been used by artists and activists as a form of protest and subversion throughout history. Nudity has been used to push back against oppressive regimes and to defy censorship. Performative art such as body painting, protest and political demonstrations, and even nudity in protests against racism, sexism, homophobia, and class discrimination all have been seen as ways of expressing dissent and a desire for change. Nudity has been used to shatter aesthetic conventions, to challenge the status quo, and to celebrate the beauty of the human body. It has served as a powerful symbol of freedom, of defiance, and of self-expression.
The nudism movement, ever-striving to become more mainstream, seeks to normalize nudity and help broader culture see social nudity as inoffensive and ordinary. Of course, that’s absolutely what it should be doing. That is how we achieve the utopian ideal of nudity as a daily way of life for any and all. However, in service of this, there is a tendency to let certain issues go unaddressed in avoidance of conflict or commotion. Is it possible that in its quest for acceptance, organized nudism may have lost some of its rebellious edge, and thus its ability to challenge traditional norms and values?
Inevitably as nudism seeks to align itself with the mainstream, it loses some tendency to challenge certain other traditional norms and values. It is unavoidable. When something is accepted by the mainstream, it naturally gains an interest in protecting the status quo. Despite these challenges, it is important for nudism to maintain some level of subversiveness in order to remain relevant and effective as a social and cultural movement, and to push against established and oft-closing boundaries. Subversiveness can be a powerful tool for affecting culture and challenging traditional norms and values. Nudists can reclaim some of the subversiveness that once defined the movement by challenging traditional notions of the body and clothing, and by adopting a willingness to be vocal about the values that we believe in, especially when they are unpopular. 🪐
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