In day to day life we rarely see non-sexualised naked people. The times we do see people naked or semi naked tends to be on TV and in adverts, and these images are mainly airbrushed and unrealistic. This leads to us all having unrealistic standards of beauty and what bodies should look like. It’s time to be proud of whatever body you have, and kick crash diets and holding your stomach in once and for all. Love your body! We will be making banners with positive body image slogans, taking photos, sketching nudes and creating art inspired by the above themes. All the art made on this day will be displayed in a free art show and clothing optional tea party on September the 26th. Clothing is optional, some guests will be fully naked and some will be fully clothed with everything in-between. Undress to whatever degree you feel comfortable. A film crew from Channel 4 will be present, they are filming for a new documentary about nudity and body image. Nobody will be filmed or photographed without their consent. All shapes sizes and genders welcome.
Well, Channel 4 did film the event and the subsequent art show, and some of the footage was eventually used in “My Daughter The Teenage Nudist”. But they cut almost all the shots of the body positive tea party and only used the footage taken at the art show. Somewhere in the production process the idea of making a documentary about positive body image and welcoming all shapes sizes was dropped and instead they focused on the attempts of Young British Naturists to recruit Mollie (age 18) and Alex (age 25) to the naturist movement.
Mollie and Alex are part of a growing group of teens and twentysomethings embracing the world of public nudity – a contemporary phenomenon that’s been driven by social networking sites such as Facebook as well as niche websites like Naked Vegan Cooking. They are on a quest to normalise nudity, question the media’s obsession with the body beautiful, and encourage other young people to liberate themselves by simply going naked – in the streets, in cafes or at art shows. The new nudists are keen to take the nudist lifestyle beyond the old fashioned naturist clubs. So why is this pastime increasing in popularity and what do the parents think about their child revealing all in the most public of places?
I didn’t notice any attempt to answer C4’s own question “why is this pastime increasing in popularity” although Mollie and her mum were seen discussing Mollie’s desire to be nude in public
My FB friend Sean nicely summed up the program:
It could have been simply an excuse for a tits and arse fest (nothing actually wrong with that, per se, just not here), but they did a pretty decent job. The individuals and their personal journeys came across very well as did many of the social and political issues, albeit to a lesser extent.
Huge kudos to my lovely new friends Jess Luke Alexandra who acquitted themselves beautifully.
As for my part in the program: although my car is clearly seen parked outside the art gallery, I only appear briefly in the program towards the end! (at Kraak Gallery talking to one of the artists who sketched the models at Islington Mill)
|Body Positive art show, Kraak Gallery, Manchester (I’m on the right)|