Two weeks ago, my mother, aunt, brother and I went up to Manhattan for the day. As we ventured through Times Square, we came across a group of bare chested women body painted in red, white and blue who permitted tourists to stand with them and take a picture. I paused in my steps and, after a few deep breaths, shared that I wanted to take a bare chested picture with the women. This would be my first time telling my brother and aunt about my bare-chested and clothes free life. My mom was over the moon and shouted ecstatically, “My daughter’s a naturist and she’s going to take a topless picture with these women!” in the middle of Times Square as she snatched my phone to capture the moment. It was heart-warming to see her excitement. I pranced over to the women and informed them of my request, and they expressed some excitement given that I, too, would be standing bare chested, enjoying the right to be. The moment I freed my chest, the breeze brought a refreshing breath to my skin, and I felt like …
Today’s Wednesday post looks at thoughts shared on a podcast episode regarding the importance of experience vs. pictures for the transgender community. I recently listened to the podcast Another Round, Episode 14 “Multitudity” with guest Tiq Milan during which Milan spoke to a number of issues facing the transgender community in terms of advocacy, advertising and strategy. One thing Milan noted is the importance of experience over pictures when it comes to supporting the trans community: Host: I know you talk a lot about the narrative of trans people, but also the visuals of these cable packages, where the B role is a lot of the body, like the focus, especially for trans people is, “We need images of bodies,” stuff, and that’s the primary focus. Do you consult in any way about not just the narratives but also the visuals? Milan: All the time, all the time. Host: What do you see often and like what are you trying telling them not to do Milan: A lot of times, I’ll go into a place, like a magazine or a TV studio, and …
For today’s Women on Wednesdays offering, I look at what represents freedom, independence and equality to women.
A short and sweet reflection for Women on Wednesdays today. As much as the clothes free / naturist / nudist community talks about how these movements aren’t just about naked bodies, I still see large numbers of retweets of nameless, story-less images. The following tweet came through my feed today via someone’s retweeting activities: Okay! Let's see how far an wide we can spread #nudism!Everyone click SHARE! Spread this amazing image far and wide! pic.twitter.com/dXArbg1km0 — Nudist love (@lovenudists) May 19, 2016 For me, these kinds of tweets are exactly why the movement is not making great headway. British Naturism is hosting “Women in Naturism” in one week, and yet people are still trying to draw women into naturism by using the same marketing techniques that the rest of society employs to sell their ideas and products. And the clothes free community, including those who call themselves experienced, long-time nudists, keeps re-tweeting these images. The account that posted this image claims that sharing this picture is the way to get the word out about how …
British Naturism is hosting Women in Naturism weekend June 4-5, 2016. As part of an effort to encourage more women to try on naturism, British Naturism will host Women in Naturism weekend in one week. Various locales will hold special events and activities focused on providing women safe, comfortable and exciting opportunities to enjoy being in their own skin. See what’s happening in some areas of the United Kingdom at: http://www.bn.org.uk/articles.php/_/news/women-in-naturism-events-near-you-r380 In the United States, the American Association for Nude Recreation has also created a list of venues holding events for Women in Naturism weekend. See if there are events near you: http://www.aanr.com/women-in-naturism-weekend If there aren’t any events near you or if you’re not yet wanting to step into a social setting, consider trying out spending time simply being clothes free in a safe space (e.g. at home, with a trusted friend or two, in a safe/legal outdoor spot, etc.).
In last week’s Talk Up Topic, clothesfreelife.com posed the question “Does naturism / nudism have a women’s problem?” My thought? “Yes, similar to other areas of the society I’m in.”
As part of our Women on Wednesdays theme today, I invite you, if you have not already, to listen to the Clothes Free Life podcast update from last Friday, which included part 1 of our interview with Gingerbread of breastsrhealthy. Gingerbread does a lot of work to support bare chest equality for women in the United States. In this interview, she shares some of her background and inspiration for her work. Part two of the interview will be share in an upcoming episode of clothes free living podcast updates!
So often in the discussions across which I come in my physical environment as well as the feeds I frequent online, women’s nudity is discussed in the context of shame: the nude woman is either shamed or she is working to overcome shame. I recently learned, however, of instances in which women use their nudity as a curse against others or an ill omen upon others in the context of political action. Such was the case of the Takumbeng female secret society in Cameroon, particularly during significant political upheaval in the 1990’s, which is today’s focus for this Women on Wednedays piece.
For the final installment of today’s Women on Wednesdays offerings, I share some reflections on the gaze of the female nude. Recently, I came across a piece in the Huffington Post “Who’s Afraid Of The Female Gaze?” This article covers a current exhibit at The Untitled Space gallery in New York called “In the Raw: The Female Gaze on the Nude”. This is a topic that has been on my mind since before I can remember, even prior to my clothes free life. However, when I stepped into clothes free living, the subject became of heightened importance to me.
One of our highlights for today’s Women on Wednesdays is the interview conducted by Earl D, Founder Curator and Editor-in-Chief OF clothesfreelife.com, with Cleo of @ToplessTopics. This interview was shared on the clothes free living update broadcast last Friday, April 29, 2016. I invite you to check out that post and listen to what Cleo shared in that interview.