Thursday, May 13, 2010

Final Essay

As you can see, I chose to create my end of the year blog project on naturalism or nudism, and how it effects the children who are raised in it. I wanted to know if being raised seeing nudity on a regular bases changed the way a child developed. Would the nudist lifestyle provide positive consequences? Negative ones? I even wondered if being raised by naked adults could be concidered a form of subtle sexual abuse. Nudity is a lifestyle that most people are very unfamiliar with and mislead about. My goal was to no longer be unfamiliar and mislead with the nudist lifestyle by the time I was done with this project.

This project has been a blast! Finding my information was somewhat of a pain, but the small bundle of information I did find was fascinating and thorough. I also got a kick out of the wonderful interview I had with Andrew Hill, a twenty three year old nudist I was able to scavenge up at the last minute. We had a fantastic phone interview. The only thing I was slightly dissapointed with was my book choice, The Naked Bus Driver. Though the novel started off fast paced and humerous, it lost its spark towards the back end of the story. The only other thing I regret is not having more time so that I could have done more with the recources I had. However, all together, I am very proud of the work I have accomplished.

After doing this research project, I firmly believe that it is okay to raise children in a nudist enviroment. I have come to this conclusion for many reasons. Though some children who are raised in nudism feel confused and depressed, most prove to be much healthier individuals in body and mind. For example, children who grow up around nudity are less likely to have teenage pregnancies, commit violent crimes, or have eating disorders. Most adults who were raised by nudists rate their satisfaction with life higher than adults their same age who wear suits and skirts to work. Children who are raised as nudists have a lower adult drug abuse rate, experience less sickness, and have a higher sex satisfaction rate in adulthood.

As for considering nudity "subtle sexual abuse", forget it. I realized that nudists are no different than other families. My mom raised me going to a Baptist church and praying with me every night because she wanted to teach me her beliefs. Nudists are just the same. They are simply teaching their children their beliefs. As long as there is no "sexual nudity" portrayed towards a child, there is nothing wrong with children being exposed to nudity.

I hope by looking at my blog, you can get a better grasp on nudism for yourself, and form your own opinion on the topic!


Phone Interview With Andrew Hill

When did you become a nudist?

I don’t really think people become nudists; I think that we’re all born that way. However, I chose to call myself a nudist two years ago.

Why did you choose to go nude?

It’s just natural, you know? I mean, as a kid I never liked clothes. I still don’t. It’s like a form of claustrophobia. My body gets claustrophobic when I wear clothes or shoes. It’s like my body can’t breathe.

And being nude takes away the claustrophobia?

Yeah, I mean, it’s just a freedom to be myself, and not to be judged by what I wear, or on my image. No one cares about that stuff when you’re all naked. People just look at who you are as a person, you know?

Haha I don’t know. But it sounds nice. Are their any other positives about being a nudist?

Haha I get a good tan that way. But mostly nudism appeals to me because when I’m nude, I’m not trying to be anything I’m not. It simplifies things.

How so?

Life just isn’t as complicated nude. I don’t know. Everything is just more relaxed, and everyone is more accepting. I mean, once you’ve seen it all, you kinda have to be accepting, if that makes any sense.

Yeah, kindof. Do you think it’s harmful for children to be raised in nudism? Explain why or why not.

No, I wouldn’t say so.

Why not?

I mean, if there’s a pedophile lurking around, well then yeah, nudity becomes an issue. But normally it’s fine for a child to be raised nude. It’s the same as raising a child in a certain religion or something. It’s a parents right to raise a child the way they feel’s best.
And you feel that it’s okay for children to be exposed to the naked body that early? Despite sexual content?

Haha, sexual content. That’s where nudists and the rest of society differ. To nudists, seeing the naked body isn’t sexual. It’s natural. There shouldn’t be anything shameful or dirty about a child seeing other people naked, because it’s not sexual. It’s just the way we’re made.

So when you see a girl naked, you just see it as natural?

Depends on the content. I mean, a naked girl at a strip club and a naked girl at a nudist colony are two different types of naked, if that makes sense. Eventually you just get used to what type of nudity is what.

Was it hard for you to learn to differentiate? I mean, was it every awkward for you when you first started visiting nudist camps?

Haha yes. Especially with the girls. But you just have to be mature. And after a while, you realize it’s nothing special. Every girl has her stuff and every guy has his. What’s new, you know?

What are some negatives about being a nudist?

Bug bites in places you couldn’t imagine! Haha and sun blisters in places you’ve never had them. But after a while you toughen up… Hmmm… I guess the other downside to nudism is the public’s view of it. For example, my parents are very embarrassed by me being a nudist.

So your parents aren’t nudists?

No, my girlfriend and her family got me into all this. We’ve been together for three and a half years now.

Well congratulations!


So, do you face any other negative attitudes towards your decision?

Yeah, I mean basically everyone… The whole idea is just so misunderstood.
What do you think the most common misconception of nudism is? What would you like to tell people about this misconception?

I think the fact the being nude = having sex. We’re not like that. We’re not experimental sex hippies. You know? We’re just normal people. We do the same things everyone else does, just naked. Nudity can be sexual, but it doesn’t have to be, and that’s not the way we see it.

Do you think nudism is for everyone?

Hell no. Haha if you don’t feel comfortable with it, don’t do it. Some people just can’t get over the fact that they can see body parts. Which is sad, really, but if it would upset you, just don’t do it.

Haha I’ll keep that in mind. Do you think you can be “religious” and still be a nudist?

Yeah sure, I mean I am, I’m catholic, but I’m a nudist. Adam and Eve were made nude.
But they were clothed after they ate from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil…

Because the world’s a cruel place and their physical bodies needed protection. Not because of their sin.

I’ve never looked at it from that angle. Pretty cool. Do you think nudism will grow or shrink as time goes by?

It can only grow. No question about that. People are becoming less modest and more open to new things. Not to mention it’s a fad.


Haha, not here, but its becoming more of a fad in America than it’s ever been before. Everyone wants to be like the Europeans, or something.

Where would you like to see nudism in 100 years?

I’d love to see it catch on everywhere for everyone. It won’t happen, but I’d love to see it. Realistically? I’d at least like to see more nudism here in Alabama. There aren’t many hotspots here for nudists.
No kidding! It was a pain trying to find anyone to get an interview with!

I can imagine. I also guess it’d be pretty cool if more young people jumped onto the idea. Most nudists are kinda on up there.

Yeah, I noticed that too. Well, thank you so much for your time. Is there anything else you’d like to say before we end the interview?

Uh, not really? Haha I don’t do well without a specific question.

Well wait, I guess I should say, don’t knock it until you try it. I know nudism can seem strange, but until you try it for yourself, you’ll really never know whether you approve or not.

Thank you very much for your time!

I interviewed a twenty three year old nudist named Andrew Hill. As you can see, he’s a funny guy! Jeez, the sarcasm was beautiful in his interview, I couldn’t have asked for a better candidate. Thank god for my brother and his friends who have friends! Anywho, I think I learned a lot from this interview. He said, ‘you know’ a thousand times, but other than that flawless!

This interview made me realize that we’re all somewhat the same in a way, even if we make different lifestyle choices. Not that I didn’t already know that, it’s just that I never thought it would be so easy to talk to a nudist. We’re all just people, trying to figure out the world and enjoy life to its fullest. Clothed or not, we all are on the same journey.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Naked Bus Driver, written by Marshall B Allen Jr, is a partially fiction, partially true account of the life of Newton D. Fiveash, a Greyhound Bus driver as well as the developer and owner of Chinkapin Ranch, a landed nudist park near Lake City, Florida. Allen takes us through Newt’s life from beginning to end, from South Georgia farm boy to Tarzan stand-in to navy man, to bus driver. And if that’s not crazy enough, from bus driver… to butt naked! At a rest stop one day, Newt finds a copy of Sunshine and Health Magazine, and gets hooked. Even married to a strict Catholic wife, he cannot restrain himself from his love for nudism. Then one fine day, Newt visits Lake Como nudist colony, only to realize that his life as a nudist had just begun! The rest of the story leads the reader through Newt’s dream of opening a successful nudist colony of his own, Chinkapin Ranch, a place where many believe, just as Michelagnelo said, that, “The foot is more noble than the shoe, and the skin is more beautiful than the garmet with which it is clothed” (Allen 182).

I personally found this book to be a letdown. Though fast paced and exciting at the beginning, the middle and end were quite a drag. I had the feeling that I was listening to my grandfather drone on through his stories rather than an author telling a tale. Many of the middle chapters seemed pointless, and could have been edited out, in my opinion. Also, the book was jam-packed with grammatical errors and typos, which was very unprofessional.

Despite my negative criticism, I have positive criticism as well. This book was very unique and down to earth. Since the book was based off a real man and his acquaintances, the characters of the novel came off very realistic and relatable. I also liked the light in which nudism was portrayed in the novel. The subject was neither condemned nor gratified. Instead, the novel showed nudism as simply another way to live, sometimes frustrating, and sometimes rewarding.

Allen, Marshall B. The Naked Bus Driver. Augusta: Harbor house, 2005. Print.

Picture this: A 250 pound heavy set bearded man is walking around a nudist colony taking pictures of small children… sound suspicious? Apparently not to the Crocus Grove Sun Club members of Winnipeg, Canada. He was just a part of the club. Many members of Crocus Grove even let the creepy guy babysit their children at the club while they went to do errands. That is, until someone finally put the pieces together. The man’s name is Bryan Larson. He was a dull bulb who was fired from his job in 2000 and who spent most of his time at home on his computer. Turns out that when police raided his house in 2001, Larson took the title for the largest collection of child pornography in the entire country.

Well how awful! How creepy! But how perfect for my debate! All I’ve been able to find so far are positives about childhood nudity, but this certainly is NOT a positive! The nudist camp was a candy shop for the guy! He could have his pick, and without any struggle at all! Though I wish the article had been longer and more detailed, it definitely made an impact!

Ko, Marnie. "A pedophile's paradise: Nudist camps." Report NewsMagazine 23 Sept. 2002: 1-2. Web. 24 Apr 2010. .

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Response 6

In David Manning's Opinion piece for the North County Times, Manning shares why he feels nudism actually protects children from sexual predators, harmful violence, shame, and corruption. Quoting surveys and studies used to write the book Growing Up Without Shame, Manning lashes out at "those who's ignorance allows them to attack us",or "Bible thumpers" (Manning).He even argues that the Bible truthfully encourages nudism.

Well, I was highly entertained by this editorial piece. Though not rich in facts, it was substantial enough to be reliable... as well as humerous! Manning mentioned ideas I'd never thought of before, and a few I may not agree with, but I'm certainly glad I heard.

Manning, David. "Nudism fosters healthier individuals, society ." North County Times (2005): 1. Web. 15 Apr 2010. .

Response 5 Video Response

This video was about a nudist resort called Lake Como in Florida. It was filmed by National Geographic and it explores the controversy, or "Taboo" of nudism. Using interviews of nudists and clothed citizens alike, the film team explores the misunderstood lifestyle, and shares their findings with others.

I am really upset that I couldn't access the second part of the video! I hate being left hanging! However, what I could see of the video was interesting. I have read alot about Lake Como in my research and enjoyed seeing what it was really like. This video was very professional, but also somewhat negative. However, I liked hearing something different.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Response 4 - Multimedia

In this video, the ANNR Youth Ambassadors of VidaNuda take time to interview each other and ask what nudism truly means to them. Some answers were "Being comfortable in my own skin","Being who you are and not what you wear", and "Never forgetting sunblock". Through these simple answers, the VidaNuda ambassadors attempt to explain why they daily choose to stay clothing free, and try to encourage non-nudes to join them for the cause.

This video was just perfect! It explains nudism in a way that anyone can understand and explains it in such a simple way that it's impossible to misinterpret. I think everyone should watch this video in order to understand the psychology of nudism. It is a gem!

Response 3

In the preface of the book The Naked Child:Growing Up Without Shame, written by Dr. Dennis Craig Smith and Dr. William Sparks, the two men attempt to answer the challenging and controversial question of nudity and whether it can be concidered child abuse. They believe that the true abused are those who grow up clothed. The clothed are the ones who suffer more from negative self body image and body shame. The clothed are the ones who suffer the most from sexual overstimulation. Dennis states, "We live in a time that the human anatomy is examined, extolled, studied, and lectured about, and at the very same time is exploited, ridiculed, and excluded from social exceptance. We insult ourselves by calling our bodies obscene, pornographic, lewd, base, dirty, immoral, or evil, and in doing so deny the basic truth of our own existance. Our anatomy is us - and is none of those terrible things" (Smith). Using reliable research and documentation, Smith and Sparks explain the pros of growing up without shame.

Though a little lengthy and wordy, I found this excert very informative. It was wonderful for me because not only did it answer many of my questions, it also helped me come up with more questions. This is good because it can help me brainstorm for future blog responses.

Smith, Dennis. Sparks, William. "Growing Up Without Shame." SCNA NUDE EDUCATION FORUM(1996):1-4.Web. 4 Apr 2010.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Response 2

Teenage pregnancy. No matter who you are or where you live, this growing epidemic is sure to effect you in one way or another. Every one's talking about it. Why is teenage pregnancy increasing, and what can society do to stop it? In John Silcox's article, "Stop Having Babies and Get Naked", Silcox explains that countries with higher nudity rates have lower teen pregnancy rates. So the question is, is there any real correlation? The article combats both sides of that argument, and leaves you to decide for yourself. Many people believe that nudity could prevent high teen pregnancy rates. One Member of Naturist UK states, "I can't understand why society has to divide our bodies like a butcher's chart and say this bit is good and this bit is bad. If there was not such a stigma towards nudity..., I think people would understand and respect their bodies better" (Silcox). However, Nursery Deputy Kate Evans says, "I'm not sure if being more comfortable with nudity would affect people's attitudes towards sex, as I think there are many different cultures and beliefs that affect your upbringing and morals, and that education is the key" (Silcox).

I thought this article was VERY INTERESTING! Though I was slightly disappointed by how locally based the research was, the topic was great! Not only is it entertaining, but it is also controversial, giving people something to talk about. I personally would have thought that nudists would have higher teen pregnancy rates, but what did I know! That's why this article is so awesome to me. It gets people thinking.

Silcox, John. "Stop Having Babies and Get Naked!". RiverOnline 17.27 (2009): n pag. Web. 1 Apr 2010.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Response 1

In Mark Storey's article, "Children, Social Nudity, and Scholarly Study", Storey attempts to disprove common myths about the potential harms of children being raised in a nudist family as well as discover positive correlations between nudity and child development using a variety of psychological investigations and case studies. According to Mark, "There is no evidence that children are harmed by non sexualized nudity, and there is good reason to believe they are benefited by it" (Storey). He believes this because very few psychological disturbances can actually be traced to a lifestyle of nudity. Instead, studies show many positive results can be linked to this lifestyle. Children raised in nudist families tend to have more positive self body image and less eating disorders throughout the life span. Living childhood nude has also proven to make boys less aggressive and more gentle in giving and receiving affection, as well as less likely to do drugs or commit crimes. Storey represents the Montana Naturist Organization through the article.

I personally thought this was a great source! The psychological studies were just the type of respectable proof I was looking for. Over and over again, this professional article stated its side with the perfect mix of reliable facts and personal flare. It answered many of my questions about the psychological effects of being raised in a nude environment.

Storey, Mark. "Children, Social Nudity, and Scholarly Study". Montana Naturist Organization.2007. N Magazine. Web. 23 Mar 2010.