Nudists on TV are the Butts of the Joke
Guest blog by: Amanda Hughes
Nudists on TV – Here’s a riddle. I’m mid-20’s, female, 5’6″ brunette, fit, and I work a 9-5 job in a city.
What am I? A nudist!
But chances are you did not guess that unless you are one.
Nudists know we come in all shapes, sizes and walks of life, but the public thinks we are all old, retired sex freaks.
Until you’ve tried it, you will probably knock it. Nudists are the butt of the media’s jokes (pun intended). Take ABC’s television series Modern Family as an example.
This show normally does an excellent job of portraying alternate lifestyles, but their recent episode, “New Year’s Eve,” was an eye-rolling letdown. When Phil and Claire think they have a beautiful hot spring to their naked selves, a gaggle of nudists show up for “Nude Years Eve” (which by the way is a great idea).
Instead of shrugging it off and going with the flow, they are visibly disturbed and look at the nudists like there’s something wrong with them.
The nudists represented in the show are a fair sample of who you see at nudist resorts. They are middle-aged, friendly, and unabashed about stripping down. The crowd is relatively normal except for the creepy hotel bell hop who first told the couple about the hot spring. He later shows up with the nudists, and the implication is that his goal was to see them naked.
Because only creepy pervs would tell you about a clothing-optional hot spring nearby, right? The producers don’t sexualize the scene – a good move – but they also don’t give us anything of substance or anything we can learn from it, other than the cue that we should laugh at the nudists, not with them. Why can’t Phil and Claire say, “Oh what the heck, we’re already naked!” and go along with it? Why the faces of disgust? Yes, their intimate moment is ruined, but why freak out about being nude in front of people who clearly don’t care?
I get it. Anything we as a society don’t understand is weird. And anything weird is wrong. But speaking from personal experience, as someone who had no exposure to nudism until adulthood, NOTHING feels weirder than putting clothes back on after you’ve been without them for a weekend.
You start to think about how unnecessary clothes are. How they tell us so much about a person before we have a chance to get to know them. When we’re all naked, we’re all on a level playing field. There is nowhere to hide. And what you realize after getting over the initial giggles and shock that you can see everyone’s private parts is that we are all the same. There is no status. There is no context by which to judge others. What you’re left with is something pure, unadulterated and liberating.
Imagine standing in the cool summer rain with no clothes on. Why go inside, it’s not like your clothes will get wet! Imagine swimming in a lake, unburdened by a sagging swimsuit. Imagine taking a shower with a handful of new friends, all naked, and it isn’t weird.
Naked karaoke. Naked grilling. Naked yoga. Naked camping – now there’s something. Don’t you hate having to throw on a bunch of clothes in a tiny tent right when you wake up, just to go to the bathroom? These are all things I’ve done with the Young Naturists America, and I’m not a middle-aged sex freak.
Now tell me one situation that wouldn’t be better naked. I’ve got nothing.
Nudists on TV – Modern Family Not So Modern? was published by – Young Naturists and Young Nudists America YNA