Everyone gets naked right? It’s just that most people only bare all for bath and bed. The idea of being nude in a social situation scares even the most confident of people, so how do Australia’s naturists get beyond this and make nudity a normal thing.
The team at nude beauty got together with ‘Get Naked Australia’ (GNA) to talk body positivity, naturism and why its time for more Aussies to get naked in nature.
Get Naked Australia’s social media presence might have started as a bit of a laugh, but the response they received was phenomenal. The GNA team were inundated with messages and photo submissions from people who found depictions of ‘normal’ bodies empowering. The group aim to use naturism to empower individuals and groups to gain body confidence and change the way society views the naked body. “Nudity should not be something we fear. It should be embraced and celebrated”.
Lets find out a little more from GNA themselves.
What is Get Naked Australia all about and how did it start?
Get Naked Australia, or GNA as its commonly referred to, is a social media movement aimed at promoting body positivity through naturism; the practice of being naked in nature. We believe that non-sexual nudity can exist and it is a powerful tool at reclaiming one's self-confidence.
Within the first year of being online the pages following grew to over 100,000 followers. There were numerous news articles, radio interviews and even a live TV segment during a prime time news program. It literally went viral! We had dozens of people every day sending in their own photos from great places all over the country and stories about how the naked in nature experience made them feel. I received emails from people who were with groups of mates camping and all decided to skinny dip. I also received emails from people with mental health disorders and victims of domestic violence telling me how this concept of getting naked in nature has helped them reclaim their body which was very powerful stuff! There were a wide variety of reasons why people got involved.
Naturist, nudist, skinny dipper, exhibitionist, deviant...? Is nudity immediately associated with something sexual?
We prefer the term naturists or skinny dippers. Too many existing naturist communities believe it is a lifestyle, and that being a nudist/naturist is black and white. Either you are or you aren't. I believe this, amongst ridiculous media standards of how you should look, are reasons why Naturism began to decline in the 90's here in Australia. We believe that the term naturism, or the practice of naturism, resonates far and wide as everybody loves skinny dipping or spending some time naked in nature. It doesn't have to be given a label. Spending time naked in nature is one of the most human things you can do.
It is also common that people associate anything to do with nudity as either "cool and artistic" or inherently sexual. We believe Naturism can exist in that middle ground where it doesn't need to be artsy and it doesn't need to be sexual. You can just be socially naked with people, and that's it. It's no different to any other social setting except that it's in the outdoors.
What about body positivity issues? Can naturism really help?
Absolutely. Whilst the page started out as a bit of a laugh it became apparent how showing every day bodies naked in nature was a tool for empowerment of the individual. These weren't photo-shopped images of only beautiful bodies, they were just clips taken on iphones of everyday people being naked in nature. I received numerous emails from people telling me how this concept of being naked in nature has made them feel wonderful when it comes to their bodies and most have continued that positive journey forward and got their friends involved.
What is the Aussie naturist community like?
Tough question as it's hard not to talk about it negatively. Generally speaking, it's dominated by older male naturists. Many of who believe in the "no tan lines at any cost" lifestyle mentality which is extremely off putting for any young person wanting to visit a nude beach or nude venue in Australia. Similarly, there are plenty of perverts who use naturism as their excuse to get a good look at people. It's downright disgusting. As for venues, comparative to Europe and America there are very minimal good, modern naturist venues here in Australia.
So GNA is trying to change that. We are building a community group of young like minded people with a good balance of males and females. We all see Naturism as a practice and something we do regularly but we don't live it as a lifestyle. We have started running events like beach yoga, beach days, harbour cruises, camping trips and are starting skinny dipping tours this year. We want to rebuild the naturist culture here in Australia and it's definitely working as we are seeing far more younger people and far more females attending nude beaches and expressing interest, particularly when naturism can be practiced in a safe environment.
Do you get banned, blocked/images removed from social media a lot?
All the time. We have been unable to grow our following past 232,000 followers for 2 years now. We have only recently become "unshadow banned" which means our hashtags didn't come up in searches. However instagram claims this is not a legitimate thing. (Bullshit). We also have photos removed regularly for showing "images of a sexual nature" which is normally people standing naked in nature with their bums to the camera. It's further evidence how society and big tech perceives anything to do with nakedness as sexual or inappropriate. We are always on thin ice, so we developed an email subscription list and an online magazine to help spread our message and bypass social media's prudish standards.
Do you accept picture submissions? Any guidelines for those wanting to share?
Yep! We have a online submission page on our website where people can submit their photo's with a caption and location. We want people to tell their stories in the hope that it inspires others to get involved. We require the images to have no genitalia, female nipples or be too up close as it will get us in trouble. However for the magazine, photo contributions have no restrictions. We've received nearly 10,000 submissions in the last few years.
Nude beauty products is partnering with GNA on some upcoming projects to watch this space for the ‘nude news’!