Controversies over Get Naked Australia

Many naturists are aware of the Get Naked Australia Instagram account. Last year in April the site was temporarily suspended by Instagram due to “inappropriate content”. Instagram (like its owner, Facebook) censors “explicit” (but nonsexual) naturist nudity. However, as on Facebook, full nudity is allowed as long as genitals or female nipples aren’t shown. GNA, as far as I know, has always been careful to play by the rules.

What was surprising, though, is that some naturists also objected to GNA on the grounds that too many of the images included attractive young people. Duh. The site’s main emphasis is enjoying nudity in nature, especially by young people (“millennials”). If there’s any distinction at all between “nudists” and “naturists”, wouldn’t it be that the latter like to enjoy their nudity outdoors in nature?

Most of the GNA images include people in that category – exactly the people that are needed to become active in naturism, instead of shying away from it. Young people tend to have more “attractive” bodies, simply because the process of aging isn’t kind to human bodies, for a variety of reasons. The briefest review of the GNA site shows many bodies that don’t meet varying standards of “attractiveness”, and not all are young. The images simply reflect what has been submitted by, or with the approval of, those who appear in the pictures.

The current controversy focuses on the problem that too many commenters on GNA make sexually objectifying remarks on certain images of young women. As the site curator says, in Stop the Sexual Objectification!!

Just because there is a young, “attractive” body on this page, does not mean she’s putting herself out there to be objectified. She is not asking for it! Maybe, she, like most other good natured people on this site, just enjoyed her skinny dip and wanted to share it with others in the hope they do the same? Maybe she doesn’t want to see your “great sexy ass” comments and “eggplant” emoji’s. Maybe she just wants to join in on the freedom that is being naked in nature? Just because she’s “attractive” does that mean she’s not allowed?

This February 2019 news article – Why millennials keep getting naked in public – is a good, objective answer by a third party to the question: “why are they doing this?” The article states, concerning the originator of GNA, Brendan Jones (a “millenial”), that “His long-term goal is to form safe communities for young people to experience naturism all around the country.”

He’s speaking just of Australia, but that should be a major goal of naturists anywhere. Jones is quoted stating: “Naturism has no sexual undertones at all. Even online, when people post liberating photos of themselves and we get so many comments sexualising the post when that isn’t the photo’s intent at all. It needs to change, and people need to see that social nudity can exist without any sexualisation.”

A shorter way to describe the goal is: Making Nudity Normal. Unless naturists don’t agree with that, they should push back on anyone who sexualizes naturist social nudity – online or elsewhere – and contribute in their own way to normalizing nudity.

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