Reblogged from NakedHistorian:
I was thinking about this whilst writing about Lady God1va. Being an attractive woman, she is the sort of person the media want to have as a spokesperson for naturism. It is unfortunate, but many people’s aversion to nudism is not directed to nudity as to ugliness. How many times have you seen ignorant trolls posting “I don’t want to see that” and similar comments in response to articles which include pictures of old or overweight naturists. A lot of people are very superficial. Recent interviews in Portsmouth about whether men should be allowed to go topless often got the response “It’s ok if they are not fat.” The media would rather show (and the public would rather see) young, fit naturists; preferably female ones, who are seen as less threatening.
However, interviews with attractive female naturists are likely to attract the wrong sort of attention. How many people watching “My daughter the teenage naturist.” chose to watch it because of an interest in naturism and how many were watching it because it featured a young naked woman? Perhaps people might tune in to see boobs, but learn something useful and interesting about naturism. However it could also perpetuate the sexualisation of nudity.
The use of attractive spokespeople also leads to the opposite effect, with people saying “It’s ok for people who look like her.” This was the response of some people when nudists in Manchester were promoting a naked dinner party. If attractive people are talking about being naked people with poor body confidence will compare themselves and think “I’m not good enough”. If older, overweight people are advocating nudism, them shallow members of the public with take the attitude of “I don’t want to see that.” Which leads to wanting nudists to keep out of public areas.
The only solution seems to be having us represented by a mixed group of people of all ages and shapes, but this potentially invites both types of negative responses.
What do people think?