Does nudism need a re-brand for a new generation?
(Bare Note: I wrote the following unpublished blog in August of 2016. This was the catalyst that led to BodyAccepted.com being born and the BARE values.)
“Nudism”, “naturism”, “clothes free”; it all refers to a practice of removing one’s clothes, whether connected to nature or not. Other popular references include; “body freedom”, “skinny dipping”, “skyclad”, “skin clad” and “FKK”. Then there are the terms adopted by the equality movement; “free the nipple”, “top freedom”, “bare chested” and more recently the “body image movement” and “embrace”. Nudism and Naturism are classic references to the practice of social nudity. Often seen as interchangeable terms, with Naturism holding more of a connection to nature and European origins.
I've often wondered, do the names given to these practices prevent others from truly feeling part of a community. Feeling like their own variation of simple nudity excludes them from a group. Are we segregating ourselves, due to the range of names, from being a larger collection of non-sexual nudity advocates? Does someone not feeling their practice is defined by the current names, mean a loss of another potential member of the body freedom family? Ultimately the question is, does non-sexual nudity need rebranding to be relevant in the 21st century?
Thinking of naturism and nudism as a brand, there are often negative connotations associated. Any search for these brands returns the adult industry’s version of “beauty”; young and slender beauties, sexualising the brand for their own gain. The brand should clearly demonstrate the existence of non-sexual nudity and that every-body is beautiful, no matter shape or size. This disconnect in the message further embeds in the general population’s opinion of nudism, where it is then associated with swingers and perverts. The media do no favours; the story is often about a few undesirables at a clothing optional beach, not the body confidence that a visit to that beach has given someone after years of self-loathing.
In order to have a future I think nudism needs to change to accept a new generation of body free, socially conscious and active people, who do not like structure and want to organically organise events, often at the last minute. What brand successfully captures and defines these people?
The “Vita Nuda” (latin for 'new nude life') movement at least made some way towards branding clothes freedom for young people. Promoting “the benefits of going clothes-free among the younger generations around the world” and a positive “respect for yourself and your body”. However, it still lacks as a brand to define the individual. I am a “Vita Nuda-ist” doesn’t quite work, although “I am livin’ La Vita Nuda” could be a great catchphrase.
With so many names around the practice of body freedom, perhaps an all-encompassing acronym is the answer. Similar to LGBTIQ used to refer to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Intersex and Questioning/Queer people. Some options include:
- NNCF (Nudist, Naturist, Clothes Free)
- NuNa (Nudist and Naturist)
- NNBFCFBCFtNSDSFKK (Nudist, Naturist, Body Free, Clothes Free, Bare Chested, Free the Nipple, Skinny Dipper, Skyclad, Free Klothing Kulture)
Okay, the last one may be a bit excessive.
The point remains:
- Do the younger generation have to accept defining themselves as nudists and naturists?
- Does the term nudist and naturist evolve into something different and leave behind the old branding?
- Does a new brand eventuate that encompasses what nude recreation is today?
My suggestion for a new brand, bareism. BARE (Body Acceptance Recreation for Everyone).
- Encompasses the baring of the skin in nudism, naturism and clothes freedom.
- Inclusive of bare chest and free the nipple advocates.
- Suggests vulnerability, which we as naked human beings are.
- References body acceptance, which is the underlying message across all existing names.
- References recreation, which captures the action and leisure aspect.
- References everyone, which is inclusive of all!
Please feel free to leave your thoughts, comments and own suggestions.