How I Became A Naturist and Co-Organizer of the YNA SoCal Chapter
Guest blog by: Conci Nelson, new co-organizer for our YNA SoCal chapter (NOTE: We are looking for more people to join the YNA SoCal team to help run the group and organize events / meetups! If you are interested, contact us. )
Why didn’t I ever believe my mother when she said I was enough? She encouraged my every endeavor, attended events big and small, and I never questioned her faith in me because she demonstrated it every moment she ever could.
Why didn’t I ever believe that I was enough? Was it because my father felt I was subpar? I know he projected scars of his childhood onto me when I appeared more like a woman than his little girl, but his scars were not my fault. We’ve discussed it and addiction, pain, and misunderstandings can be overcome.
Why didn’t my mother ever believe she was enough? Her parents believed in her, encouraged her every endeavor, expressed their pride in her work, and supported her even when her choices seemed like unconventional pipe dreams at the time. And then, she went on to influence the lives not only of her loved ones and family, but of tens of millions of people around the world.
Why do I still question at times if I am enough? Feel uncertain about my own worth, intelligence, talent, and value? Feel as though I am unworthy of attaining success, though I have worked hard, have fought and conquered more than my fair share of battles, have the undying support of my parents, the love of my brothers, and the support and encouragement of almost every person I have ever met because there is something about me that draws people to me, earns their trust, respect, and loyalty, though for the life of me I never understood why I was worthy of the love of even one friend for the majority of my time on this planet.
Why was I, my mother before me, and countless other women since made to believe from childhood that they were of less value than our male counterparts? Why have we been sold a poison that we are not whole without a man, husband, or partner? Why are we taught that our bodies and external beauty are of higher value in our society than our brains and integrity, and yet they are vulgar to show in their most natural of forms. Somehow, we are simultaneously taught that we are not trustworthy enough to make our own decisions about our bodies, our reproductive systems, and what parts of our bodies are criminal to expose, or if it is even legal to expose them at all.
For as long as I can remember, I have asked these questions. I joined a project, Act Super Naturally, that I believe to my core offers an alternative to these impossible standards we have been held to for all of our lives, and for generations. I joined this project because I want the world to be better for the women who follow me, for my goddaughter and cousin (who is now one of the most amazing, courageous, and strongest young woman I have ever known), to my other cousins’ daughters, Maya and Lennon, who are just learning to speak, and every single young woman, child, and newborn like them. I never want any of them to question if they are enough, because they are. They were born enough. They were born perfect. They were born whole.
I became a naturist in this process because I finally realized that my exterior doesn’t matter; it’s a shell that transports my spirit around. I became a naturist because I finally realized somewhere along this process, that I am enough. I am perfect despite all of my imperfections in my shell’s coding. I became a naturist because I finally realized that I am whole and have always been whole.
I joined YNA and volunteered to be one of the co-organizers of YNA SoCal because I want to scream from the mountain tops announcing that every person, every woman, man, child, and everyone who falls anywhere within that spectrum is born whole and perfect, no matter what the fashion, textile, diet, beauty, and health industries tell you.
You are perfect despite what you have been trained. You are beautiful through your actions and love. And you are whole all on your own.
Were it not for Act Super Naturally and YNA, I don’t think I would know now (or maybe ever), that so am I.
Had you told me five years ago how much of my fate would be determined by an indistinguishable signature on a personal release, I would never have believed it. Almost three years ago, I met my partner in life and business, fellow naturist, and one of the best friends I have just after he was released from the hospital after a terrible motorcycle accident. He needed someone to appear nude in the stead of that scribbled release in a music video he was making as a new special feature follow-up to his first feature, Act Naturally. I said, I’d be game and JP Riley brought me into the fold that is Act Super Naturally, YNA, naturism, and introduced me to a whole new way of looking at myself and the world around me.
And for this new perspective on myself and the world, I am forever grateful.