I dusted off my very rarely used Nordic Walking poles and decided to take advantage of the nice late September sunshine and take a little walk towards Harewood Forest on the outskirts of Andover, Hampshire UK.
The Nordic Walking poles actually enable me to walk further than I would normally be able to do because they support my weight and also help to straighten my spine as I walk. The added benefit of an upper body walkout too.
Within 15 minutes I had walked the pathway out of town, under the A303 dual carriageway and into peaceful countryside, I can’t walk too far because I need to judge the distance to walk back, so I decided to turn off the path and into some fields. It was deserted with no one around so I thought it was safe to take off all my clothes and enjoy a walk naked.
I have done this walk many times in the past and have come across occasional dog walker and hiker and almost everyone says hello and smiles. I think providing you say hello and act normally, the fact that you’re naked (although initially a shock) causes no alarm. Some people in the past have said “good for you” and “nice day for a naked walk”.
The feeling of being naked in nature with the sun and air all over my skin is something magical and the majority of people who have never tried being naked in the outdoors are really missing a great feeling.
I enjoyed a 15 minute walk and picked some blackberries in the hedgerows, sat in the grass bare foot and just let the sunshine and peace fill my soul.
Time then to get dressed again and head back home.
It’s not illegal to be naked in public in England & Wales, however if someone is offended by your actions, it then becomes against the law. This very good insight article from a criminal law blog highlights our rights as naturists.
Paris Jackson has a message for her 1.4 million followers on Instagram – nudity is natural and “part of what makes us human”.
The model and only daughter of the late pop superstar Michael Jackson had earlier been criticised for posting a photo of herself lying in the sun topless alongside her dog – using a pair of strategically placed beetle emojis to cover her nipples.
That post appears to have later been deleted. But Paris, 19, later posted another picture of herself – this time topless and smoking, in black and white – alongside a long message hitting out at critics.
Nudism “started as a movement for ‘going back to nature’,” she wrote, “and was even called a philosophy”. It helps her connect to the earth and is a “beautiful thing” that does not have to be seen as sexual, she said.
“Feminism is being able to express yourself in your own way, whether it’s being conservative and wearing lots of clothes or showing yourself.”
She continued: “The human body is a beautiful thing and no matter what ‘flaws’ you have, whether it be scars, or extra weight, stretch marks, freckles, whatever, it is beautiful and you should express yourself however you feel comfortable.
“If this makes some of you upset i completely understand and i encourage you to maybe no longer follow me, but i cannot apologize for this in any way. it is who i am and i refuse to shy away and keep my beliefs a secret.”
Paris Jackson has recently been in the spotlight, after having reportedly signed a seven-figure deal to be the face of Calvin Klein. She recently attended the Met Gala in New York as a guest of the brand and will also appear in an upcoming Amazon Studios film alongside David Oyelowo, Amanda Seyfried and Charlize Theron, Deadline reports.
Courtesy of an article published in Goldsmiths University of London.
Researchers led by Dr Keon West (Department of Psychology) investigated the associations between naturist activity and psychological well-being, as well as the immediate effects of two real naturist events on participants’ life-satisfaction.
The first study – an online survey of some 850 British people of a variety of ages, ethnicities and religions – found that those who spent time naked or partially naked around others (eg. topless sunbathing or taking part in World Naked Cycle Rides), also liked their own bodies more, thought better of themselves, and were more satisfied with their lives overall.
The longer they had been practicing naturism and the more frequently they did it, the happier they were.
The second and third studies took place at a “Bare all for Polar Bears” event at the Yorkshire Wildlife Park (24 participants) and British Naturism’s Waterworld event in Stoke on Trent (100 participants). At both events, participants were assessed just before shedding their clothes and at the end of the event, before they put them back on.
In both cases participants experienced immediate and significant improvements in body-image, self-esteem and life satisfaction.
For decades, research has shown that body image dissatisfaction is a serious, global problem that negatively affects psychological health. Much of it stems from overexposure to “idealised bodies” such as those widely seen in magazines, on television, and increasingly on social media.
Previous research also shows that positive or neutral reactions to one’s own body, and exposure to “non-idealised” bodies (otherwise known as normal people), should counter the negative effects of idealised imagery. Logically, then, naturism – the practice of being naked in the company of non-intimate others – should be good for your body image and self-esteem.
Dr West says:
“The naturists have been saying this for some time. However, despite a lot of positive claims, little to no empirical research has investigated whether naturist activity (rather than attitude or beliefs) actually makes us happier or, just as importantly, why it makes us happier.”
Dr West believes that this current research is a good first step, but that there are still many more questions to answer. How exactly does naturism have these positive effects? And do the effects taper off after a certain number of naturist events?
Initial analyses of the data suggests that seeing other people naked is more important than being seen naked yourself. The data also seemed to find that the benefits hit a ceiling after about 20 naturist events a year – further naturist activity beyond this did not appear to make a difference.
Dr West suggests that further research, including longitudinal designs and randomised controlled trials would shed more light on these initial findings. While representation at the two naturist events was diverse, most of the respondents to the first survey were male, most were white, most were straight, and most were middle-aged. While the same effects were found when gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation and age were included as factors in the analyses, Dr West believes it would be useful to conduct research with more diverse populations.
However, this should not detract from the conclusion that naturism appears to have psychological benefits. For a long time many people, even health professionals, assumed that public nudity was a sign of psychological dysfunction. This perception has stuck even though an increasing number of people are now taking part in clothes-free activities.
The findings certainly indicate that naturism appears to have positive effects, not negative ones. As such, Dr West suspects that it could offer a low-cost, widely available solution to the problem of body dissatisfaction. “At the very least”, he concludes, “this is worth investigating”.
Naked and unashamed: Investigations and applications of the effects of naturist activities on body image, self-esteem and life satisfaction by Dr Keon West is published in the Journal of Happiness Studies.
From an article courtesy of the Daily Telegraph in the UK.
Patrick Sawer, senior reporter
4 FEBRUARY 2017 • 7:00PM
It is an activity regarded by many as at best mildly eccentric if not downright odd, prompting barely suppressed giggles among those who might, so to speak, witness it in the flesh.
What it is certainly not known for is bitter political infighting at the highest level prompted by accusations of wasteful spending and nepotism.
But the world of naturism has been split from top to bottom in a bitter dispute which has led to one of its most senior figures being deposed.
Now Britain’s official naturism body has demanded that Sieglinde Ivo immediately step down from her post as president of the International Naturism Federation (INF), in a letter drafted by lawyers and seen by The Sunday Telegraph.
The row has led to suggestions that British Naturism could pull out of the INF along with other countries opposed to Mrs Ivo, a middle aged Austrian naturist elected to the job in 2008.
Divisions began to appear in naturism’s international organisation after Mrs Ivo was accused of not doing enough to promote the benefits of naturism and failing to extol its virtues to the wider public.
Worse still, she was accused of spending more than £80,000 move INF’s offices from its longstanding headquarters in Belgium to an office close to her home in the small Austrian town of Horsching, and staffing it with members of her own family.
That led to angry scenes at the World Congress of the INF, held in New Zealand last November, when delegates from the body’s national federations – including Britain – voted by a narrow majority to strip Mrs Ivo of the presidency.
She was replaced by Armand Jamier, the fresh-faced President of the French naturist association, who, to the delight of Mrs Ivo’s opponents, says he will harness the power of social media to make naturism more fashionable and high-profile.
Bruce Kendall, one leading naturist present at the congress said: “The outcome was emotional for some, one delegate even broke into tears when the result of the secret ballot was announced.”
Mr Kendall, an American, added: “Mrs Sieglinde Ivo already has made the INF a laughing stock, she should be ashamed of herself for what damage she has done to the INF and naturism in general.
“What a great time to get rid of an organization that has become useless, and start something that works at promoting naturism worldwide.”
But Mrs Ivo is clearly not going to take her removal lying down.
Along with her supporters on the INF’s executive committee she is refusing to recognise the result of the vote and is determined not to lose her seat as head of the federation’s governing body.
Mrs Ivo claims the vote was riddled with procedural errors and the result cannot be regarded as legitimate.
In what her opponents regard as an act of naked aggression she has now persuaded the INF’s ruling council to convene a new World Congress later this year in order to re-run the election – at a cost of tens of thousands of pounds.
That has led to fury among Mr Jamier’s allies and hundreds of naturist worldwide, including the UK.
Duncan Heenan, a leading UK naturist, says many British naturists want to withdraw from the INF altogether and use the £8,000 they pay in members’ fees towards the organisation every year for their own benefit.
He said: “Mrs Ivo had held office for eight years and her first act had been to spend more than 100,000 Euros of INF money is moving the long established INF office from Belgium to an apartment in her own block in a small town in Austria, and staff it in part with her family.”
British naturists, who claim a membership of 13,000 and have long felt exposed as a small minority, contrast their position with those of their counterparts in France – which earns an estimated 300m Euros a year from naturist tourism – and the Netherlands, where there are an estimated 60,000 active naturists.
They had been hoping Mrs Ivo’s term as president would help raise the activity’s profile and encourage other to shed their clothes, along with their inhibitions.
But, they claim, she has let them down.
“She has presided over a period of extremely low activity by the INF, during which money has accumulated within its coffers, which should have been spend on defending and promoting naturism on the world stage,” said Mr Heenan.
In an open letter to Mrs Evo, the Naturist Action Group, set up by British enthusiasts of the hobby, accused her of damaging the image of naturism.
In the letter Reg Barlow, chairman of the group, stated: “The result of the election at the 2016 World Congress was clear; the majority of member federations are not satisfied with your leadership.
“By clinging on to power in this manner, you will have achieved nothing but make the INF look ridiculous.”
Mr Barlow added that if Mrs Ivo did not stand down “people will believe that you are more interested in the trappings of power than naturism”.
Mrs Ivo refused to respond in detail to the allegations against her when contacted by The Sunday Telegraph, saying only that “the majority of them do not correspond to the facts” and that the Naturist Action Group was not an official body and not recognised by the INF.
It’s 25th February and it’s overcast grey skies and 10 degrees Celsius. Not exactly great weather for outdoors naturism, but I’m a hardy soul and still like to enjoy some outdoors clothes free time even at this time of year.