Social movements: Naturism

by Vlad Cocostîrc

nudist-beach

Surely anyone who had been to the seaside had encountered nudists. At least I had. We are all taught at a young age that nudity is not socially acceptable, but we all had the public nudity experience when we were very young and went to the beach or to the swimming pool. The Romanian law does not specifically state that public nudity is illegal. According to it, public nudity can be interpreted as an “obscene manifestation” or even “immoral”, but yet again it is debatable.

Naturism (or nudity) is the practice of going naked in various social settings, but it also implies that such activities are done in non-sexualized, family-friendly environments. According to naturists, clothes are an obstacle between the individual and nature. Also, they are an artificial way through which an individual builds its identity and social status. In addition, naturists believe that nudity helps health (for example the sunlight enables the body to make vitamin D) and lowers the social barriers. The naked human body is accepted, respected, cherished and enjoyed. Nudists claim that being nude in groups make them feel more socially accepted, as at least social rank is generally obscured. There are millions of people worldwide who practice naturism. Anyone who practices nude recreation or social nudity can be considered a naturist.

Naturism is slowly developing as a social movement. Its intention is to change the prudish attitude of the Western countries towards nudism. The fact that people associate nudity to sex most of the times creates the idea that the naked human body is something to be shameful about. As long as these ideas remain in the public belief, naturists will be perceived as an eccentric group or a deviant subculture. Another aim in order to develop more as a social movement is to eliminate the perception of nudity as a social taboo. There is also a tendency amongst nudists to be indifferent regarding this situation and to accept the status quo.

Recently, the Western countries have started to embrace nudity. For example, in Munich, Germany, public nudity has been legalized, so that in the city there are six places where people can practice naturism without being arrested.

Sources:
http://www.naturist.com/tns/about/FAQ.html
http://en.ekopedia.org/Naturism
http://www.examiner.com/article/barriers-to-development-of-a-nudist-social-movement
http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/munich-legalises-public-nudity-after-3414714

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