- Patrick: The Movie
Patrick received 4 stars (out of 5) in the Guardian review. It has 87% positive reviews at Rotten Tomatoes. But can you find it on IMDB? No. Is there a DVD of it on Amazon (which owns IMDB)? No. So what’s the problem? Apparently it must be the dreaded nudity. Indeed, that includes full-frontal male nudity. (See the first review listed below.)
After all, the setting is a rustic naturist park, where many of the people are naked. Horror of horrors. At least Wikipedia deigned to allow a (very) brief page for it – which mainly just lists the many accolades the movie has received.
A few films, such as Educating Julie and Act Naturally, that feature nudist park scenes have been made in recent decades. (Both are listed at IMDB.) But they don’t have the heft or mainstream critical approval that Patrick has. Unlike those other films, in Patrick the nudist park setting isn’t central to the plot, and the nudity is treated quite nonchalantly – as it should be. Check out the reviews below for more information. Unfortunately, I don’t know how you can actually see the movie for yourself.
- Controversy surrounds new sculpture of Mary Wollstonecraft, asking is nudity necessary?
You really have to ask yourself what’s wrong with people who wonder whether nudity in a serious work of art is “necessary” – let alone as something a person might choose to enjoy in everyday life. Isn’t it enough that the artist – or person who enjoys nudity – has reason to feel that nudity enhances their art – or their lifestyle?
In this case, Mary Wollstonecraft isn’t nearly as well known to the general public as her daughter, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley – who’s famous as the author of Frankenstein and the spouse of Percy Bysshe Shelley.
Yet Ms. Wollstonecraft certainly deserves to be much better known. According to Wikipedia, she “was an English writer, philosopher, and advocate of women’s rights.” Indeed, today she “is regarded as one of the founding feminist philosophers, and feminists often cite both her life and her works as important influences.”
So what could explain why the sculptor, Maggi Hambling, opted for nudity in the Wollstonecraft memorial? Why should that be considered controversial or even disrespectful? Was it either controversial or disrespectful that Michelangelo chose to portray David nude? How about how Rodin chose to portray his Thinker? It’s quite likely there were very good reasons in both cases. So why should there be any difference for Hambling’s choice? Simply because Wollstonecraft was a woman?
I certainly don’t think there should be any difference, but I can only speculate about Hambling’s intentions. This appraisal of the statue posits that the figure isn’t a representation of Wollstonecraft herself but instead of Everywoman. Could it be that portraying the figure nude was meant to be a sign of empowerment? That unselfconscious nudity indicates strength, self-confidence, and equality with strong males?
- Getting naked for charity
British Naturism has a history of charitable support for the British Heart Foundation. (See here.) The choice of a health-related charity isn’t random, since a clothes-free lifestyle is felt to confer health and well-being benefits. The connection, in part, is a result of stress reduction and enhanced closeness to nature. Simply taking time off from everyday obligations to enjoy nudity is a big factor. Holding such events at carefully curated gardens is also relevant. On the other side of the planet, in New Zealand, another naturist group held a fundraiser for a local hospital – and a member cited “stripping down the stress” as an important feature.
Non-naturist organizations of various kinds have also used (limited) nudity as a way to get attention in addition to supporting worthwhile charities. Noteworthy examples include diverse sporting teams – often connected with an educational institution – that have also taken this route by selling calendars with coyly posed nudity. Recent examples include veterinary students at two Australian schools, as reported here. However, this sort of thing has at times been done somewhat clumsily, as noted in one example reported in an item below.
It’s rather unfortunate that U. S. naturist organizations have taken so little advantage of charity support for gaining attention and improving their image – as well as helping out deserving charities.
- Being naked and improved body acceptance go together
An aspect of the connection between nudity and health is how body acceptance is involved. Naturists understand that being comfortable naked requires acceptance of one’s body the way it is. Increasing body acceptance leads to more time spent naked, and that in turn leads to enjoying more of the health benefits of nudity, such as those due to stress reduction and better sleep.
However, this relationship is complicated. Physical fitness is also important for good health. Steps taken to improve fitness, such as healthy eating and adequate exercise not only improve health, but also help improve body acceptance. There’s a positive feedback loop in the relationship among body acceptance, nudity, health, and fitness. Each of these things tends to reinforce the others. The healthier you are, the more you’re likely to enjoy being naked – and vice versa. This relationship was explicitly recognized by the earliest modern naturists over 100 years ago. Plenty of exercise and a healthy lifestyle were strongly emphasized.
- How to be more comfortable in your own skin
“Taking charge of your own negative thoughts can be one of the toughest things to do when you don’t feel confident in your own skin. … You often critique yourself and feel shy around others, rather than embracing yourself for who you are as an individual! … It’s important to love yourself and appreciate you for you! That’s why we’ve gathered some tips on how to be more comfortable in your own skin, naked or not.”
- Naked body image and self esteem
This report is based on research by Keon West of the Department of Psychology at Goldsmiths, University of London. The research has previously been described here and here.
“For people predisposed to take part in non-sexual nude activities body image, self-esteem, and life-satisfaction are improved by such participation. Now, research … suggests that for people who may not be predisposed to such activities, a nudity-based intervention may nevertheless lead to positive improvements in body image.”
This is another article on the same topic: Nudism: how it can actually boost positive body image
- How to be more comfortable in your own skin
- Everything You Wanted To Know About Being A Naturist But Were Afraid To Ask
You don’t really need a whole book to explain how to be a naturist. The first and most important step is simply to start spending time naked – alone, or with others if possible. But of course you’ll have some important questions on your mind too. This concise article at a website about travel deals with some of the most common questions. It’s especially intended for people in the U. S., where naturism is more controversial and less well accepted than in many European countries.
Since the website is dedicated to travel and vacations, not surprisingly it suggests the first steps into naturism outside the home may well involve travel or vacationing. There’s much good advice here. But the key thing to keep in mind is simply to be naked when doing what you especially enjoy. It doesn’t matter much whether that’s sports, exercise, cruising, camping, hiking, or going to the beach. Here’s the mantra: “Whatever You Enjoy Doing, Doing It Nude Makes It So Much Better”. Well, maybe not shopping or going out for dinner, but you get the idea.
Given the site’s dedication to travel and vacation, you should take a look at their page of related naturist information.
- No Tan Lines Here, Clothing-Optional Parks See Uptick
To continue on the topic of travel and vacations, here’s an article from a mainstream magazine for people who visit or manage private campgrounds – especially for RV camping. It points out that naturist parks usually welcome RVers and are well-equipped for them. Most naturists with RVs already know this, so the article is actually inviting people who’ve never been involved with naturism to give it a try.
While most RVers looking for naked camping probably are already naturists, non-naturist RVers represent a promising group whose members might seriously consider the clothesfree option.
From the article: “To dress or not to dress? Probably not a question RVers ask each other too often. And probably not something which crosses the minds of those in the campground business. But believe it or not, there are a growing number of RVers who choose not to dress when they are camping, preferring to recreate at campgrounds in the buff.”
- Nothing new about using nudity in politics and protest
As an article in a Toronto newspaper – written by Stéphane Deschênes, owner of the Bare Oaks Family Naturist Park – points out, “Nudity has long been a tactic used to generate attention, in both politics and protest. One of the most famous incidents, Lady Godiva’s nude protest on horseback, is over 1,000 years old. Here in Canada, in the early 20th century, the Doukhobors protested religious persecution and demonstrated their humbleness by marching nude — men, women, and children.”
A number of other examples are cited, including PETA‘s antifur campaign, World Naked Bike Rides, last year’s Portland, Oregon Black Lives Matter protest, and FEMEN demonstrations in support of feminist issues.
Stéphane observes that “nudity will retain its ability to shock and bring attention to political and social issues.” And further, “While using nudity to expose injustice or promote a cause may seem cheap or exploitative to some, there’s no doubt that when one believes it’s worth it to be bare down to their toes in service of creating change, it’s bound to make headlines.”
Naked political and social protests have been discussed several times previously – most recently here.
- I earn £45 an hour to clean people’s houses in the nude
Naked house cleaning hasn’t received much attention recently, but evidently it continues to be popular in the UK. This article by “Brandy” gives a first-hand account of what it’s like to work naked doing house cleaning for strangers (or regular customers). She had grown tired of her previous job, at the age of 38, and was looking for something different and more interesting. Brandy says she really wanted to work in professional gardening, but needed income while learning the ropes of gardening.
She reports that most of her clients are male, and have always been respectful: “I have to say that I’ve never had to clean for anyone yet who has made me feel creepy. They’ve always treated me with absolute respect.” Her feelings about the work are very positive: “It’s definitely an unusual job, and I won’t do it forever – I still plan to be a gardener – but it’s got me out of a dark period, and it’s been liberating. I’ve got to tell you, I love it.”
With the pay being £45 (currently about US$62) per hour, it surely has a great advantage over waiting tables or driving for Uber. For anyone who enjoys nudity there’s the exquisite pleasure of working naked. And it’s certainly a much more socially acceptable job than working in a strip club.
- Cambridge University students strip down for racy calendar with nothing but athletics equipment to protect their modesty to raise money for medical charity
This is another example of university athletes supporting a charity by producing for sale a calendar featuring (partial) nudity. Unfortunately, this particular instance is a rather embarrassing flop. Even if you have a very positive attitude towards nudity, this isn’t something you’d be proud to have on your wall. Although it’s probably been sold out for some time now, a better option is still available: making your charitable contributions directly to the beneficiaries.
Here are the negatives of this one:
- Supposedly because of the need for social distancing, the athlete models were photographed separately and photoshopped (very poorly) onto the background. Very fakey.
- The idea of college jocks showing off their (not quite) naked bods for “charity” is no longer fresh and original. Don’t Cambridge students have enough imagination and creativity to come up with new ideas?
- The tabloid-quality wording of the article is off-putting – with lowbrow phrases like “racy snaps”, “protect their modesty”, “stripped down”, and “bare all” (which is a lie).
- There’s no frontal nudity, so this is nothing but exploitation of ersatz nudity.