Copyright: Jock Sturges, "Radiant Identities"
Some time ago, I was invited to an 80th birthday. As a granddaughter of the jubilee is a competition swimmer, she told of her own pleasure in swimming. "I have never experienced one thing," she said, "I have never been swimming without clothes – that must be a wonderful feeling of freedom, but as I said: I have never experienced it." By the way, she told me about this unfulfilled longing, without knowing that I was a practicing naturist – and I told her: "To swim in the nude gives me a feeling of freedom and happiness – just like for foodie the food in a gourmet-restaurant!"
Freedom, like I enjoy it: Do you have to grow 80 years old to regret, that you have never experienced the happiness of this elementary freedom?
You don't have to.
In the nude all are equal. All people are born nude and begin their lives with the same scream that unfolds the lungs. But shortly afterwards, the equality ceases: the one is dressed in a silk garment, the other is wrapped in a rag. It is the clothing which makes us unequal.
In the joint nudity at a naturist's beach we are all equal again. With the clothes one leaves the own social status back, one reveals all the physical deficiencies, that loose meaning at the same time, because one shares them, and gains the natural charm of the non-interchangeable individual, the nudity makes us all equally vulnerable and gives us all the same natural dignity the form of creation - and renders our spirit free for the natural, deep experience of being human, with each other and for each other.
The joint nudity thus strengthens aplomb and, at the same time, respect for the other person: in the nude egality all gain strength.
Brotherliness is the third ideal of the French Revolution. What is meant is a human coexistence, characterized by tolerance, respect and care. It means fraternal sharing as well as mutual support, representation and defense of common goals and values.
And what does it have to do with nudity? Well, nudes are vulnerable, they have no protection. To be all together in the altogether is to present this vulnerability, to recognise and experience it in oneself and in the others – and to orient ones own action towards it. In the community of nudes there is less aggression but more respect, less anonymity but more care, less indifference but more cooperativeness.
The joint nudity thus educates to more brotherliness. Of course, the guys among the nudists grapple with anothers just like all the others, of course, the naturist girls quarrel just like their clothed girlfriends, of course, there are also banter and disagreement among the adults. But the overall social manners are more coined by tolerance, understanding, and a feeling of comunity: of more brotherliness.
And that is our strength, which nobody can withdraw from us!