— Hector Martinez (@_Hector_Mtz) February 4, 2021
Interesting is that many people like and retweet this video. But not many answer to Hector’s question. Maybe because Twitter is not the right medium for writing an opinion of more than one sentence? Well, that certainly applies for me, so I write my thoughts here.
- Nudist vs naturist. What do they really mean?
- Imposed idealism. Being a ‘true’ naturist.
- Outdated naturist organisations. And old mentality. Resistance to change.
- An unknown community. Starting a conversation.
- Censorship on social media.
(True) naturism and/or nudism
Question 1 and 2 are the ever returning questions about definitions of what naturism and nudism are and what not.
Language, culture and personal interpretation apparently make it impossible to find one definition that suits all. Some try to solve this by introducing a new word, like nu gymnosophy. But I think the solution is to keep it as simple as possible can be.
So I say: All who enjoy being naked without getting sexual, call themselves a naturist. Naturism is the word used by the people in Europe who started naturism. The word nudist has already been hijacked by the porn industry, so naturist is the best choice. Voila! That was not too hard, was it? (With a bit of help from the pink elephant).
I know in the native English speaking parts of the world, nudism is more used than naturist. But since the rest of the world is already adapting so much to the English language, it would be kind of you to follow us on this path. (And in the mean time, consider using the metric system as well.)
Outdated naturist organisations
As a Dutch naturist I am of course member of NFN. Although we are a small country (17 million inhabitants) our federation is the largest in Europe. They have good communication with their members, but visibility in the outside world needs improvement.
They do a great job when it comes to defending naturist beaches and other activities like recently naked hiking in the forest. They also proactively address local politics when new recreational developments are planned. Thanks to NFN our voice is heard at this level.
What I miss in NFN and other organisations is speaking out publicly and frequently to promote naturism as a healthy lifestyle for body and mind.
One federation that really does not understand social media is INF-FNI. Their Twitter account is even set to private! Which public organisation has a locked social media account? Three weeks after this tweet, they still had not replied nor accepted my follow request
— Erik Naturist Amsterdam (@NatAmsNL) January 19, 2021
That brings us automatically to the next point.
An unknown community
Where LGBT people sometimes can’t hide their identity, naturists are masters in covering up. We know how easy it is to hide being a naturist. Only if you have to be naked in a public shower, the missing tan lines will out you!
Since being naked in most parts of the world is illegal and/or not accepted by the general public, we need to find other ways to promote naturism. We can expect the federations (see above) to do that for us. We have to do it ourselves.
We need to use our skills to bring the subject of a conversation to naturism. Sometimes I read coming out stories of naturists that look like the painful stories some LGBT people have when they need to come out of the closet. Then I really think, come on, we are just talking about the freedom of being naked. That’s something completely different than coming in a country where you might be killed for just being gay.
So don’t feel sorry. Be proud that you have found the freedom of naturism and share this with people you live. But don’t become a missionary who wants to convert people. Just telling about the well being you experience should be enough to get things going. It will take time for a hard core textilist will consider exploring naturism.
If you don’t feel confident enough to bring up naturism in a conversation, there is also the Naturist Symbol you can use.
The invisible community
A sticker or a t-shirt with the symbol can be a great conversations starter as well. Why not serve your coffee in a naturist symbol mug?
Censorship on social media
MeWe and Twitter are main stream social networks that allow nudity. Luckily there are some inspiring naturist influencers who encourage others to become more active in promoting naturism. For example Linda Weber initiated #IAmtheFaceofNaturism.
But the other big ones, YouTube, Facebook and Instagram are prudish. Since they are commercial organisations with their own rules, I think it is not worth the energy to try to change them. We need to be there to tell our story and become visible. But we need to blur. So we blur. And refer to MeWe and Twitter to share our uncensored footage of naked freedom.
I am probably too fast by declaring naturism the be the word we are going to use. And let’s agree that it will probably be impossible to get one definition that pleases us all.
Let’s encourage the modern federations to keep up their good work. And let’s forget the old ones. It’s not worth to try to educate them. Soon they will cease to exist, because all members passed away.
It is up to us to promote naturism. By recognizing each other. And have conversations about naturism with people who are new to it. Share your experiences in having these conversations in the many naturist groups on MeWe and other social media.
What do you think? Share your thoughts below, or in the orginal tweet from Hector.