The Ignored Benefits of the Nudist Lifestyle
Society has grossly overlooked the psychological, health, environmental, and societal benefits of naturism.
Guest Blog by: African American Naturist
While many in America desperately seek solutions for the critical problems resulting from today’s shallow, materialistic, unsustainable, environmentally destructive, socially isolated, emotionally disconnected, mentally stressful, and physically sedentary consumer lifestyles, no mention is made by mainstream society of one important lifestyle aspect of many longstanding sustainable societies and indigenous peoples in less industrialized regions around the world (and historically by indigenous peoples within our own region), namely that of naturism.
While naturists in the developed world have long been aware of the psychological, health, environmental, and societal benefits of spending personal, family, and social time clothes free, we have been largely silent in sharing this information with mainstream society. The benefits of naturism are not even mentioned on popular environmental and sustainable design websites such as Treehugger, or Inhabitat. Health websites such as WebMD return zero results for naturism. The current discussion of sustainable social engineering and resource based economy as promulgated by The Zeitgeist Movement also makes no mention of naturism. Even social movements which should obviously encompass naturism, such as the promotion of holistic, sustainable, lifestyle practices is largely divorced from, and ignorant of, naturism. Naturism remains a stepchild, isolated, hidden, shunned, and largely ignored by more popular holistic health and wellness, community involvement, and environmental sustainability movements.
We naturists can no longer remain silent if we wish to pass on the benefits of naturism to larger society, maintain them for future generations, or even retain them for ourselves. Naturism is under attack. It is an attack of words, mostly uninformed words and knee jerk rhetorical questions based in fear and fantasy, sometimes inflamed by the misbehavior of a few disrespectful, socially irresponsible individuals. We are under an attack of words, ordinances, laws, policy revisions, external political subversion, internal organizational discord, media ridicule, and marketing distortions. We must win this war of words with our own true stories, our personal experiences, the benefits we have received, the social harmony we have observed, and the respectful personal accountability and social responsibility we have practiced. We must actively engage the movements which have yet to mention us in meaningful discussion of the values and benefits associated with the practice of naturism.
Like an unloved stepchild, we have been seen (often with misunderstanding, fear, and contempt) and not heard. It is time to come out of the closet, grab the microphone, and make our voices heard! We must do this, not only for our own good, but for the healing of our larger society which only becomes possible when truly broader and more inclusive holistic sustainable lifestyle alternatives and public policy options are brought to the table.
About the Author (Author Profile)"African American Naturist" is a professional design engineer currently working in the transportation industry and who has been privileged to be acquainted with people from many different walks of life and various regions around the globe.
That's why the least we can do when find good information resouces about naturism is sharing it - not only among other naturists, but among friends, family, etc. I believe the majority of people are not against naturism, just uninformed and/or misinformed.
There’s an old saying about “Know thine enemy” and, although I don’t class non-naturists as “enemy,” I do think that the “knowing” part is a wise one. “The way to peace is not by fighting your enemies. It is by not having any enemies…” - so maybe the "war" viewpoint could be energy-shifted into something non-aggressive?? So my question is: why is nudity - that simple act of being without clothes - so frightening and so troublesome to most of our fellow humans in the western world? Especially so, why do our “elected officials,” police and other “public custodians” and “opinion makers,” including clerics, speak out and act so vehemently towards it? What IS it, really, that scares them so much? - because if that is correctly identified, then we might be a good few steps further ahead towards shifting that brick wall and - like the Berlin Wall of old - seeing it crumble and disappear. They say that correct diagnosis is 90% (?) of the cure, so it feels as though knowing where the fear (sic) lies is a sensible first step. Are there any doubts that it is all rooted in fear???... There are a few old chestnuts that are bound to arise - “corrupting the minds of the young” is a classic, whereas most naturists know that a) kids are natural nudists anyway, and b) children pick up fears from their parents and other adults, more than they do by simply observing life. In other words, they are “given” fear by associating with fearful people, so that should (ha!) be easy to counter - although I cannot recall a really telling naturist rebuttal off-hand - ??? Anyone want to play the “It’s A Sin” game???!!! I’ll leave that one up to finer and more-agile minds than mine to figure out!! Final thought: “What is true never fears investigation; what is false... fears everything…” (and we are dealing with fear at a basic level here, aren’t we???…)
A very good article! The exclusion of naturism from the health blogs is the most distressing to me. I would think they'd be more open-minded than this. It used to be different. Many holistic bloggers USED to make positive references to naturism and many incorporated the healthiness of our movement into their medical practices!
It's interesting how things fall into place. I just watched a talk (TEDx) that I feel applies to this topic. It discusses the "why" around the fear of nudity, albeit from a different viewpoint. The outcome is the same. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lrdn4lazVBc It also brings forth an associated and immensely valuable aspect of naturism (social nudity) that is seldom mentioned - acceptance of and, more importantly, respect for the "sacred feminine." Truth be told, I believe that naturism upholds and imbues respect for both masculine and feminine, at a deeper and more energetic, sacred, spiritual level - but that's another topic!! :)
@TwoMetreMan I love TED talks! & yes, that one is coming from a different viewpoint, but certainly no less valuable! It's no secret that feminine sexuality has been seen as a threat, for ages I think, and as something that must be controlled, locked away and suppressed. Often in the name of "protecting" women I guess. In America I think we're prone to think of the barbaric examples in other countries and cultures first and foremost, when it comes to suppressing women and their sexuality. But it's in our culture too, with all the double standards of male and female sexuality and how women are taught to cover up so as not to been as a slut etc. And there are so many negative consequences from this, which she touches upon. I agree with you that naturism values and upholds both! I argue in my blog about feminism that it fosters equality between men and women. In a naturist environment, women aren't being told what to wear, can't be called "sluts" based on state of dress, can celebrate their entire bodies with no shame, no fear... Well, that's the end of my rambling thoughts. Maybe I'll write another article about it - it is a whole 'nother topic! lol