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Family Nudity the Topic du Jour

Commentary by AANR Executive Director Erich Schuttauf…

Who knew that an article appearing two weeks ago in The New York Times entitled “When Do They Need a Fig Leaf?” about parental attitudes toward nudity and children would generate so much discussion? From journalists to child experts to everyday people, it seems everyone has an opinion about whether it is proper to be nude in front of one’s own children at home, for the kids to be nude, what to do about guests, and whether romping in the backyard sprinkler au naturel is okay.

 For those of you who saw the original Times piece the letters to the editor which appeared days later and included an “official” response from AANR or the reader comments on the Times website,  there are many words from parents and professionals alike in which to find comfort. 

The same is true for opinions on a Today show television segment. And “spinoff” stories appearing in other media spurred by the intensity of interest in this topic…

The Salt Lake Tribune

The Washington Post

The San Francisco Chronicle

Politics Daily

The Daily Sound 

Clearly, there are many people who may not consider themselves nudists who believe that nudity is a natural, healthy choice for families.

However, you owe it to yourselves and your clubs to peruse the comments, quips, and in a few cases vitriolic outbursts, from those who disagree with family nudity of any kind.  A range of objections from claims it is unsanitary—just about every news article, it seems, had to include some jarring mention of toddlers taking an unexpected whiz on the lawn—to immoral, rude, even outright dangerous to allow any nudity beyond individual showering.

This speaks to an issue that may be lost in the very true statistics we often cite about how many North Americans have gone skinny-dipping, or think beaches should be set aside for nude bathing:  the vehement, even chauvinist attitudes of those who disapprove of nudity.  In their exaggerated reports, refusal to consider facts, and protests that they “DON’T care how families do things in Europe,” one understands why their must be organizations like AANR, its regions, and clubs to provide a credible voice to counter bald assertions and “what ifs.” 

Please remember stories like this the next time someone poolside asks, “Why do nudists need AANR?”

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2 Responses to Family Nudity the Topic du Jour

  1. ultrasurf says:

    Good article . Will definitely copy it to my blog.Thanks.

  2. Reef Lizzard says:

    Thank you for organizing these articles and for raising a very important point about all this. The growing popularity of nude beach use or nude clubs and resorts should not mislead any of us into thinking that our culture’s attitude toward the unclothed human body has made the same progress. The way we naturists live our lives must always be a testament to our firm belief that there is no shame – at any age – in the naked body. The way we treat others, naked or clothed, as we live together is where any shameful action may be generated.
    As with many hot-button social issues, reason isn’t given much influence, but we naked ones must continue to gently, coherently and reasonably make our case over and over with as many friends, neighbors and co-workers as we can.
    Thanks again for this,

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