A NUDIE DIGEST – July 21, 2014

Betty White

Betty White

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What pains us makes us grow…

Is photographing and drawing myself narcissistic? Self-Absorbed? Vain?

Or could it become a simple, accessible way to heal from self-rejection?

For me it is definitely the second statement. I do it because I have always judged and criticized myself harshly, and drawing self-portraits is the best process I’ve found to really change my self-perspective. Usually, when I look in a mirror, it’s to check/criticize/correct, and in my never-ending quest for perfection I can always find something to fix.

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I am 48 years old now and have been drawing myself for 12 years. I keep quitting and coming back to it, because in spite of my resistance, it helps. This image obsession has sucked so much vital energy from my life over the years that a part of me is really angry about it and has pushed me to act. Fortunately, there is a part of me that is able to see beyond the skewed vision of my mind a catch a glimpse of something else… an imperfect yet strong woman with a still-vulnerable little girl inside, a worthy and yes, a beautiful human being. AS ARE WE ALL…

It’s a double-edged sword in that it’s only because I want to be so outstandingly beautiful that I can possibly see myself as so pitifully ugly. And I’m not, even on the world’s terms, ugly. It’s craziness… but even crazier, our culture FEEDS this craziness!

I chose drawing because it was simple, accessible, free, and I had gentle, non-judgemental people around who encouraged me on this path even when I wanted to throw myself, them, or my drawings out the window. I am no longer shy to talk about this or show my work because I’ve had enough of falling back to the false visions and ingrained beliefs that are so harmful to my health and happiness.

We’ve agreed to only share drawings on this blog – to describe the process and invite others to try it – but I’m posting this photograph because it expresses in a single image just how much I’ve struggled with shame and fought for self-acceptance. And, because photography is  the foundation for our drawing practice.

Being old enough to remember life before digital cameras,  I must say they played a huge part in the development of this process because their accessibility lessened the cost as well as the performance aspect of photography.  My first digital camera allowed me simply to take many, many, pictures, period.

silhouetteCCWhen I began this self-image work, I took a minimum of three pictures of myself EVERY single day for nearly 3 years, and stored them in my computer. I didn’t even try to pose; most often I was balled up in shame, but over time I was able to experiment and slowly unfold my body. I eventually loosened up and even took some pictures of me dancing nude, which only I have ever seen because they were only taken for me to learn to love me.

To take self-portraits I use the timer, propping the camera up anywhere, and spontaneously  throwing myself in front of the lens as the seconds tick down to the “click”. I don’t worry about lighting or backgrounds or positioning,  because taking the pictures is part of a process – it’s not about the results. In my mind, the pictures are only for drawing purposes anyways, so even if many of the photos are off-centred or unflattering, I keep them all, hoping to learn to accept myself from every angle.

But that is just the beginning – the most beautiful vision come through when I take up a pencil and slowly transform the photographs into the simplest of drawings and later more detailed “artwork”.

Ultimately, we’re all “works of art”, just the way we are. Any other vision of ourselves is simply false.

 

– Colette

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Witches (2) by Hjorvind

Witches (2) by Hjorvind

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lichubb:

lichubb:

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Bathing suits? No thanks! Who needs them anyway? (by ResonanS)

Bathing suits? No thanks! Who needs them anyway? (by ResonanS)

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July 14 was National Nude Day, so I have to post this. WHO WILL READ THIS?

July 14 was National Nude Day, so I have to post this. WHO WILL READ THIS?

Why is America so hung up on Naked Bodies as being ugly or shameful? Why do we consider our god given bodies to be something we should hide or if seen be ashamed of? Makes no sense to me. I just spent 4 days at a nudist resort here in Colorado around probably a hundred or so naked people of ALL ages from little babies to senior citizens with ALL body types, and no one was ugly to me, or anyone else there. Nudists have realized that we can’t change the body we were given and even if we could, why? Why do we have to have this ‘Perfect’ body? Does the way our bodies look actually change who we are? NO! Who we are comes from within, and how we treat others.

The people at Mountain Air Ranch are absolutely the nicest and friendliest people I have met ANYWHERE, and they all run around nude. Hmmm, guess what, it’s not our naked bodies that make us nice people. And we have simply gotten over being ashamed of our body parts, especially our genitals and breasts.

It’s SO SILLY to be ashamed of those tiny parts of our bodies, or even our bellies, etc. Learn to love people for who they are and not how they dress or what they look like naked. And seeing someone’s genitals is NOT a turn on people. Can you really get turned on by just the sight of someones genitals? If so, you need to re-evaluate your love life, lol. But if you are attracted to the person as a whole, or in love with that person, then seeing their entire naked body can be sexual, yes. But to say that seeing another womans genitals alone is enough to turn you on is ridiculous too.

We spent 4 days here this time, and have done this before and we saw less staring and ogling here than we do at beaches and pools where people are clothed. And we saw NOT ONE INSTANCE of sexual lewdness anyone at any time because being naked does NOT mean you are looking for sex. GET OVER IT PEOPLE.

My dream is to be able to do anything in my life without clothes if I choose, whether it’s at a beach or washing my car in my driveway naked, without freaking people out and getting arrested. Some have said I do it just to expose my genitals to others as if I get some erotic turn on from doing it, lol. That is the farthest from the truth. I have spent a whole week naked on a jobsite once without ever being seen by ONE PERSON that whole time, and loved it.

There’s a lot of families that come to Mountain air ranch and believe it or not, the kids are not tramatized. I heard MORE THAN ONCE kids complaining about having to leave. They LOVE IT here, and the families seem very close. The kids get over the stigma of seeing their parents naked because their parents do raise them to be ashamed of seeing anyone naked in proper circumstances, which for kids in today’s environment means when parents are around, etc.

And would I freak out about seeing any of my family naked? No, they all have naked bodies and so what? I might find it a little weird for a few minutes, but if we all acted normal then I would get over it real quick. It’s just a naked body. I wish my family could come visit us and not require me to get dressed either. I wish they could understand what I’m writing but I know it’s highly unlikely to ever happen so I’ll respect their choice and put clothes on when around them. But it also makes me a little sad that most of my family would think it to ‘weird’ to see me naked. Seeing my genitals or naked butt is really not going to change anything about our family relationship, but it’s sad that family often feels that way about other family.

It’s a lifestyle choice, not a sexual one. Oh I could go on an on, but few will probably read this anyone, and it will probably only be the ones who already get it so I’m probably preaching to the choir. But if you got something from this post, let us know would you please?

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us again 8536 by ravenstark

us again 8536 by ravenstark

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The positive coverage relating to Vera’s fun run continues.

Talk around the locals appears to be that the council missed a trick in not insuring the proposed Record Skinny Dip attempt.

And the local Aqua Park, I learn, was going to be approached to throw open its doors exclusively for the use of naturists today, another plan that foundered.

So a ‘weekend’ of events was ultimately reduced to the fun run, with the local radio station (English speaking station for the ex-pat community) now giving it great publicity and support.

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It’s such a shame that much of this fell through. I’ve only been in town three days and already I can see the enormous potential for the local council throwing its weight behind the events and showing the area off positively to a global audience.

Note: Vera Playa is unique amongst all of the naturist resorts I’ve visited in being totally ‘open’ to the public. Anyone could drive down from the main road and onto the street shown in the photograph. I’ve walked naked from our apartment to the beach on ‘public’ streets, and the police have driven by without taking any notice. Here, that is normal custom.

Hopefully Ella, I and our families will be able to return next year for a full timetable of naturist events.

Pookes

 

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Male Nude Laying on Tree by mnart00

Male Nude Laying on Tree by mnart00

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The Fat Naked Art Project

The Fat Naked Art Project

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Island smile by UniqueNudes. This is the first and title image…

Island smile by UniqueNudes.

This is the first and title image and print offering from the series Island Smile, featuring a brand new model who goes by the moniker “Tawdry Hepburn.”

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Ask a Nudist About Dating, Naturism, and Body Acceptance

Ask a Nudist About Dating, Naturism, and Body Acceptance:Felicity Jones and Jordan Blum took over Gawker for a conversation about nudism.

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nakedthoughtfortoday: Thought For Today – Monday, 7/7/2014

nakedthoughtfortoday:

Thought For Today – Monday, 7/7/2014

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Man on a zero budget

You’ll know, if you’ve read SLN for any length of time, that Ella maintains ‘alts’ for the times when she needs to take photos in a hurry and there’s no Harry or Diane around to do it, and she also might want to sport a slightly different ‘look’ (on her female alt). Speaking to her yesterday it appears that this is something of a historical thing with Ella, when she made her alts she didn’t actually know you could save entire outfits including skins, hair etc, and do an instantaneous switch.

Because you can save a whole outfit I’ve never had an ‘alt’ (and regular readers will know just how often I change hairstyles in SL) but if I’m going to be editing for a while I thought I did at least require a male alt that could be pressed into action without oddly looking like ‘Eva Pookes’ was online and looking like a man.

I was up early this morning, so I decided to set up a male alt for when I might need ‘him’. And I decided to do him on a zero budget and still make him not look like a newbie.

So…

…meet Mr. Pookes! (and no, he’s not being run by the still slumbering RL Mr. Pookes who is resolutely disinterested in SL).

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Working from a generic SL male avatar, I went to JStyle which offers excellent male skins for L$0 and picked a few up. From there, to Midnight Lotus where I picked up their free, non-functioning (i.e. it doesn’t grow erect, urinate or ejaculate) ‘Chrome Edition’ penis (top pic). And if you are going to be in situations where an erection is necessary -this avi certainly won’t- then the free mesh penis we blogged a couple of weeks ago (bottom pic) is your best option at Juicy Lips. To this, I added an excellent free male AO from the marketplace, called ‘Tuty’s free male AO’ (there’s also equally good female versions) and hey presto! Good looking male avatar for L$0.

As he’s under 30 days old the only thing I don’t like about him is his hair, but Sweet Hairs offer a free gift for female hair, so I’ll try and pick one up later on if I can see one that looks suitably male.

There you have it. A good looking male and not a linden dollar spent.

Pookes

 

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How brave are we? Gulp!


ella5bpookes3

 

How brave are we? Hmmm…we like to ‘talk the talk’ here on SLN, but would we consider ‘walking the walk’?

After a morning’s sunbathing and swimming on the beach yesterday, we repaired to Ella’s apartment while her children had a siesta. In the afternoon, we all made our way down to the pool, where Ella’s husband shot some video. A bit difficult for him for a time, as ‘the RL Mr Pookes’ and I apparently kept wandering into shot, oblivious to his presence. We said we didn’t care being in the video, as long as we got a copy of it! 🙂

So last night we had dinner in a lovely restaurant, and then made our way back to their apartment (children in bed, exhausted by this time) and sat on the balcony drinking wine. Talk, inevitably, turned to SL. At least, it did for Ella and I, while our respective husbands took themselves off to a nearby bar, where nudity is permitted, to share a few drinks.

As the wine flowed, we got to a point in the discussion where we were asking ourselves the question ‘we do like to rattle on about the naturist lifestyle, but would we be brave enough to ‘walk the walk’ on our own blog?’

‘Oh yes’, we said after a bottle of wine.

‘Oh no’, we said this morning over coffee as the sun came up over the Med.

And then we said….

‘….oh, who cares?’ So we’re reviewing Mr. Keng’s footage, and selecting some images from the video.

I’m not going to promise that we’re going to show crystal clear, full frontal shots (we aren’t actually posing for the camera anyway, it’s us as we’re enjoying the pool, naturally).

But if we’re going to be champions for naturism, then surely we have to be seen to be active naturists. Yes?

Ella returns home on Wednesday, I’m here until Saturday, but we’ll certainly go through the footage, choose a few shots and…maybe, gulp, just maybe, allow ourselves to face the camera and bare all for SLN! I’ll leave you to guess which photo is Ella, and which is me. I think I’ve added a poll, so you can vote on who you think each of us in the photos are. (Be patient if this has gone wrong, I’ve never added a poll to a post before, and Ella just shook her head when I asked her how to do it).

Pookes

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